Trash & Recycling

As of April 1, 2022, to comply with Senate Bill 1383 which was established and mandated by the State of California, all multi-family complexes, which includes condominiums, townhomes, apartments and duplexes regardless of size now have an organics (green) cart that will be used for food scraps and yard trimmings.

Single-family dwellings will continue to use their existing green cart, which can now be used for food scraps and yard trimmings.

Read on to find out what should go into the green cart/bin/container, or visit this interactive guide.

What Goes Into The Green Cart/Bin?

In addition to green waste and yard trimming, food scraps and food-spoiled paper products should go into the green organics bin/cart.

Plastic and bioplastic "compostable" bags are accepted too, but must be clear or translucent-green - bag contents must be visible.

- Flower & hedge trimmings
- Grass clippings
- Leaves & branches
- Lumber, scrap wood & plywood 
(not painted or treated)
- Weeds
- Bread, rice and pasta
- Cheese & dairy
- Coffee grounds & filters
- Fruits & vegetables
- Flowers & herbs
- Meat, bones and poultry
- Seafood and soft shells
- Pet food (non-medicated)
- Food-stained paper
- Paper egg cartons
- Paper napkins & kitchen towels
- Pizza boxes
- Plates
- To-go boxes (no coatings)
- Wooden & fiber-based utensils

What Cannot Go Into The Green Cart/Bin?

- All plastics
- Coffee cups and pods
- Fats, oils and grease
- Food stickers
- Gloves
- Glass
- Hard shells (clams, mussels, oysters, lobsters etc.)
- Hazardous waste
- Medication
- Liquids
- Tea Bags
- Plastic containers
- Styrofoam
- Textiles
- Tissue and wet wipes
- Paper napkins and towels with cleaning chemicals
- Parchment and wax paper
- Pet waste
- Rocks and soil
- Rubber bands and twist ties

Commonly Asked Questions & Answers

Did you say food scraps?

Yes! Athens' American Organics compost facility will convert food scraps into nutrient-rich soil amendment. The resulting compost is used by residents, farmers, city projects, garden shops and landscapers.

How do I participate?

To collect your kitchen food scraps, you can choose to use a portable, reusable pail-like container with a tight fitting lid. It could be plastic, metal or ceramic. Pail options can be purchased or consider reusing a coffee canister, large yogurt or margarine tub, or juice pitcher. Storage ideas can include the kitchen counter, under the sink, in the freezer, or wherever you feel is best.

Why organics recycling?

Landfills are the third largest source of methane in California. Organics waste emits 20% of the state's methane. By diverting organics from the landfill, you are part of the solution in helping to protect the environment and future generations.

Are bags accepted?

Liners are optional. Plastic and bioplastic "compostable" bags are accepted in the organics container, but must be clear or translucent-green, and bag contents must be visible. Acceptable organics will be processed, but the bags will not be recycled or composted.

Where is my green cart? What's my service day?

Your waste hauler will automatically deliver a green organics cart to properties by April 1, 2022. You cart will be serviced weekly on trash service days.

Where can I get more information?

If you have any questions about the new organics collection program, please contact the Athens Customer Care Center at (888) 336-6100 or visit

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