Organics Recycling Program

Compost Charlie's Sorting Game

Alhambra's recycling mascot needs your help! Click the image below to help Compost Charlie organize his trash properly before the garbage driver arrives. Play until the end for a fun surprise and to find out how well you know your trash. The best players will earn a spot at the top of the leaderboard!

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Put Your Food Waste to Work with Alhambra's Organics Recycling Program

Approved by the State in 2016, Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383) requires jurisdictions to provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses. SB 1383 is the most significant waste reduction mandate to be adopted in California in the last 30 years, and requires a 75% reduction in organic waste disposal by 2025 in California. Reducing short-lived climate pollutants, which results from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills, will have a significant impact on climate change in the state.

California Waste Stream Pie Chart 18 percent, other organics 19 percent, food 18 percent, lumber 12

On May 24, 2021, the Alhambra City Council passed the City's Mandatory Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance (Ordinance No. O2M21-4787), requiring all residential and commercial premises in the City to subscribe to the City's organic waste recycling program. The City of Alhambra and Republic Services entered a new waste management agreement in 2021 to reduce organic waste. Residents have been provided with new carts—blue for recycling, black for trash, and green for organic waste. Residents are required to sort their recyclables, organic waste, and trash into the appropriate containers.

You can find more resources and information on Republic Services website and on our website. For additional information, please visit the CalRecycle webpage.

New Black Blue Green Trash Recycle and Organics Recycle Carts

Organic Waste Dos and Don'ts

Acceptable Materials for Green Organics Container:

Yard trimmings

  • Flower trimmings
  • Tree trimmings (twigs/branches must be 4 feet or less in length and less than 6 inches in diameter)
  • Leaves, grass, brush and weeds
  • Untreated and unpainted wood2

Food scraps (raw or cooked)

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Bread, grains and pastas
  • Meat and seafood (including bones)
  • Prepared or processed (e.g. chips, sandwiches, etc)
    • Remove packaging and sort separately


  • Food-soiled paper
    • Napkins and paper towels 
    • Uncoated paper: plates, cups, bowls
    • Pizza boxes
  • Biodegradable Waste Bags

Unacceptable Materials for Green Organics Containers: 

The following materials must be disposed of in the Black Landfill container

  • Dog poop or pet waste from any animal4
  • Hot ashes or briquettes
  • Large amounts of soil or sod
  • Plastic bags
  • Rocks, concrete, dirt or sand
  • Particle board
  • Compostable plastics
  • Palm fronds
  • Diapers and bathroom tissue paper 
  • Wood that has been treated, coated or painted

Kitchen Pails

How to Use Your New Pail

It’s easy! Simply add your food scraps with your yard debris. No changes will occur with your normal yard debris collection day. Pro tip: Use a paper bag or biodegradable bag to keep your pail clean, or rinse off with soap and water after use.

Step 1

Kitchen Pail Instructions1

Place your compost pail in a convenient location in your kitchen. 

Step 2

Kitchen Pail Instructions2

Toss all food scraps and plate scrapings into your compost pail.

Step 3

Kitchen Pail Instructions3

Empty your pail into your yard debris cart, along with your yard debris

Republic Services distributed complimentary kitchen pails to all single family residences in November 2021. If you did not receive a pail or have any questions, please visit Republic Services' local office located at the Chamber of Commerce Monday-Thursday from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM or contact Republic Services at

Organic Waste Recycling Educational Resources

The City of Alhambra has many resources to assist you in setting up organics recycling at your home or business.

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Put Your Food Waste to Work –  

English, Spanish & Chinese

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It's the Law –  English, Spanish 

& Chinese

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 Tips to Keep your Green Organics 
Cart Clean

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 What goes in each cart?

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 Dos and Don’ts –  English

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Dos and Don’ts – Spanish

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Dos and Don’ts –  Chinese

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Cart Labels

Republic Services has released videos explaining the process and importance of organics collection for commercial businesses and residents:

Organic Waste Collection Requirements

Senate Bill 1383 and Alhambra Ordinance No. O2M21-4787 require all residences, commercial businesses, and multifamily complexes to subscribe to the City's organics collection services. 

In rare occasions, the City may grant waivers to be exempt from organics collection. If you are a commercial business and believe you generate below a certain amount of organic waste material as pursuant to A.M.C. 6.18.040, you may apply for a de minimis waiver. If you are a commercial business or multi-family residential property owner and believe your property lacks the physical space to accommodate a three-container collection system, you may apply for a physical space waiver. Download and complete a copy of the Organic Waste Recycling Waiver and email it to Republic Services at Representatives from Republic Services and Alhambra City Hall will follow up with an inspection for verification. 

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Questions or Concerns?

Please complete the "Contact Us" form below or email for any questions regarding Alhambra's Organics Recycling program or to submit a claim of alleged violations of SB 1383.

If you are submitting an SB 1383 violation complaint, please include the following:

  1. If the complaint is not anonymous, the name and contact information of the complainant. 
  2. The identity of the alleged violator, if known. 
  3. A description of the alleged violation including location(s) and all other relevant facts known to the complainant. 
  4. Any relevant photographic or documentary evidence to support the allegations in the complaint. 
  5. The identity of any witnesses, if known.

Contact Us

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