FAQ

 
Garbage Collection
 
Illegal Dumping
 
Recycling
How can I avoid problems if I participate in the Multifamily Community Recycling Program?
How can I ensure a successful recycling program in my community?
How can I get a green waste and mixed recycling service calendar?
How do I apply for a business credit account?
How do I get rid of large appliances and furniture?
How much additional work is required for creating a Multifamily Community Recycling Program?
I don't have space for three containers, what can I do?
Is it against the law for scavengers to go through my recycling bin?
Is recycling service available for residents of apartments, townhouses and condominiums?
What can I do about theft of curbside recyclables?
What happens if someone leaves their garbage/recycling/green waste containers out beyond their service day?
What is the maximum penalty for scavengers that go through my recycling bin?
What plastics can I put in my recycling container?
Where do my recyclable materials go after they are picked up?
Why can't all material be recycled?
Why should I participate in the Multifamily Community Recycling Program?
Why should I recycle my plastic water bottles?
 
Waste  
 
  
 
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Containers Can I purchase a County container? The County purchases containers for refuse/green waste/recycling for our customers for use and the containers are not for sale.
 
Similar containers can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot.

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Containers How does the County decide who to purchase containers from? Waste Management & Recycling purchases containers based on purchasing department contracts that are usually determined by price if the minimum bid specifications are met. This is a low-bid procurement process.
 
If you have any further questions, or are looking to do business with the County, please visit our Contracts & Purchasing Service Division.

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Garbage Can I dispose of a dead animal in my trash can? Animals weighing less than 15 pounds may be deposited in County refuse containers. Dead animals over 15 pounds or animals disposed in quantity should be taken to a rendering plant, veterinary clinic, pet cemetery or buried on the owners property.  Animals previously used for medical purposes are not acceptable for disposal.
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Garbage Can I get a dumpster? The County does not provide dumpster service as part of overall residential waste management service for single-family and duplex homes. Dumpster service is provided by private waste haulers who are permitted by the County. Select from a list of franchised haulers  or check the Yellow Pages listing under Garbage for a listing of waste haulers who provide service in Sacramento.  Dumpsters must be placed on private property and not within County right-of-way. Note: Single-family and duplex homes must have regular County-provided garbage service and cannot opt for dumpster service.


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Garbage How do I change garbage container sizes? To change your garbage container size call Customer Service at 916-875-5555. Waste collection service costs are based on the size garbage container residents choose to use. Current rates for service are as follows: Container Size/Cost per Month/Two Month Billing Rate:  30-Gallon Container $19.09 - $38.18.  60-Gallon Container $22.55 - $45.10.  90-Gallon Container $29.47 - $58.94
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Garbage How do I get information about trash collection and disposal? For information about trash collection and disposal e-mail customer service at utilites@saccounty.net or call between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
Local: 916-875-5555
TDD: 916-875-7105
Toll Free: 1-800-932-8990
You may also visit their website at http://www.msa2.saccounty.net/cubs/Pages/default.aspx.
 

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Garbage Is burning trash legal? Yes, you may burn trash as long as you are in compliance with the Spare the Air requirements and No-burn Days.  To check when burning is ok visit the Sacramento Regional Air Quality Resource's website at www.sparetheair.com/burncheck.cfm

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Garbage What if I forgot to put my garbage out on the day of pick-up? To report a missed garbage pick-up you can e-mail customer service at missedcans@saccounty.net or call 916-875-5555.

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Garbage What kind of trash can I burn? Only household trash and yard pruning generated at a residence may be burned.  The follow items are prohibited: rubber tires, asphaltic materials, bedding or furniture, dead animals or rotting materials. 

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Garbage Collection Can I get another green waste or mixed recycling container? Residents can receive one additional green waste and one or more additional mixed recycling containers for no additional charge. Additional green waste containers (more than two (2) per residence) can be obtained for a fee of $2 per container per month. Call Customer Service at 916-875-5555, to request additional containers.

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Garbage Collection Can I put all types of paper in my recycling container? All clean and dry paper is acceptable. Examples include newspaper, magazines, cardboard, phone books, food and shoeboxes, bulk mail, catalogs, paper egg cartons, computer paper and envelopes. Shredded paper placed inside a clear plastic bag with the top tied shut is also acceptable.

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Illegal Dumping How do I report an illegal dumper? To report the illegal dumper call the Sacramento County Information hotline at: 916-875-5656 or TDD 916-875-7105.  You can also report someone online.

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Illegal Dumping Is it true that I can receive a reward by reporting illegal dumpers?  If you report an illegal dumper and the information you provide leads to an arrest or citation you will receive $250. View our illegal dumping reward page for additional information.

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Recycling How can I avoid problems if I participate in the Multifamily Community Recycling Program? Be sure to educate your residents on the proper preparation and separation of recyclable materials to keep the collection site clean. Locked containers, proper lighting and monitoring the collection area will also keep scavengers away. Learn more about this program.

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Recycling How can I ensure a successful recycling program in my community? Proper planning and effective communication are the two keys to a successful recycling program. Take the time to understand your options and to make the right choices for your community. Learn more about how to kick off a successful recycling campaign at your apartment complex or place of business.

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Recycling How can I get a green waste and mixed recycling service calendar? To receive a printed or PDF copy of the Greenwaste and Recycling Service Calendar, contact Customer Service by email at http://www.msa2.saccounty.net/cubs/Pages/default.aspx or call 916-875-5555 between 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM Monday-Friday. They will send you a brochure either via U.S. mail or by email with the correct collection schedule for your street, plus information about mixed recycling and green waste collection. You may also visit our homepage at www.sacgreenteam.com to download a copy of your Service Calendar from the "Hot Topics" section.

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Recycling How do I apply for a business credit account? Please fill out the Credit Application and the Credit Application Supplement and mail them to:
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE 
UTILITIES BILLING & SERVICE
9700 GOETHE ROAD, SUITE C
SACRAMENTO, CA 95827.


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Recycling How do I get rid of large appliances and furniture? Large appliances and furniture are accepted at a number of recycling facilities in Sacramento.  View a list of facility locations and contact information. 

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Recycling How much additional work is required for creating a Multifamily Community Recycling Program? As the owner/manager of a complex, there will be an increase in your workload during the planning and implementation phase of the program. Once the program is in place, however, the time needed for monitoring and maintaining the program should be minimal. Learn more about how to start your program.

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Recycling I don't have space for three containers, what can I do? According to a survey, 90% of residents feel that their storage capability is good, fair or excellent. If you are having storage problems for garbage, green waste and mixed recycling containers, you can pursue the following options: Request Smaller Containers: Residents can request 38-gallon containers for garbage, green waste and mixed recycling. These containers have less height than 90-gallon containers but are just as wide.
Share Containers: It may be possible for you to share containers with your neighbors. Perhaps you could store the green waste container and your neighbor could store the mixed recycling container.
Removal: Residents who have no room at all for green waste or mixed recycling containers can request that these containers be removed.

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Recycling Is it against the law for scavengers to go through my recycling bin? Yes. According to Section 6.20.160 of the County Code:
"It shall be unlawful for any person within the unincorporated area of Sacramento County, other than the County or a permittee authorized by the Code or the Sacramento Waste Authority, to collect or remove refuse or salvageable material placed at a curb or in a container for County collection."
If you see scavenging, call the Sacramento County Sheriff Department at 916-874-5115 to report it.


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Recycling Is recycling service available for residents of apartments, townhouses and condominiums? Owners of multi-family homes (those with 5 or more units on one parcel) such as apartments, townhouses and condominiums are required to provide recycling services for residents. Check with the manager or owner of your unit for more information. Click here for information on the requirements of the ordinance which requires recycling services for multi-family homes. Information for apartment owners and managers is available on this page.


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Recycling What can I do about theft of curbside recyclables? To report a recyclables scavenger call the Sacramento County Information hotline at 916-875-5656 or TDD 916-875-7105. You can also report it online.

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Recycling What happens if someone leaves their garbage/recycling/green waste containers out beyond their service day? Residents are requested to move their containers back to their side yard, backyard or garage immediately after their service day to keep streets free of obstructions and help keep the neighborhoods clean. In the occasional case that a container is left out beyond service day, the property owner will receive a written request to move the container(s). This usually solves the problem. For repeated problems, please contact customer service at 875-5555.

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Recycling What is the maximum penalty for scavengers that go through my recycling bin? If people who violate Sacramento County Code 6.20.160 by stealing recyclables exceed three (3) convictions in a year, they may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and may be subjects to fines and/or imprisonment. To report scavenging, call the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department at 916-874-5115. 


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Recycling What plastics can I put in my recycling container? Film Plastics (must be placed in a clear plastic bag, tied shut):
Clean plastic bags from grocery stores and retail stores, shrink wrap (non-agricultural and non-food storage), new products plastic wrap, plastic windows from packaging such as windows from new toys packaging

 
Plastics - All food and beverage containers #1-7, including:
Beer and other malt beverages

Coffee and tea drinks

Detergent and bleach bottles

Fruit drinks

Margarine tubs, yogurt containers, and other wide-mouth containers

Milk and juice jugs

Plastic shopping bags and shrink-wrap placed inside a plastic bag and tied shut

Plastic toys that display that #1-#7 symbols

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Recycling Where do my recyclable materials go after they are picked up? Your recycling is taken to a materials recovery facility. There it is further sorted and classified for sale to buyers. This material is then converted into new "recycled" goods. You can look on the labels of items you buy to determine if they contain recycled content. Paper goods will often give a percentage of "post-consumer" content. That content is the material you have contributed through your recycling program.

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Recycling Why can't all material be recycled? In most cases it is a cost issue. The process of re-manufacturing recycled material is expensive. In some cases no re-manufactured processes has been developed. For some materials that could be recycled, there may not be enough demand. You can encourage the growth of the recycling industry by looking for, and buying items that display the recycling symbol and contain post-consumer recycling content.

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Recycling Why should I participate in the Multifamily Community Recycling Program? By participating in this program, you are joining thousands of other communities in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. In addition, you are taking control of your waste collection costs. In the process, there is a chance you may reduce your overall waste costs. And non-participation may subject your property to enforcement action by the County. Learn how to start your program.

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Recycling Why should I recycle my plastic water bottles? In 2008, over 3 hundred million water bottles were sold in Sacramento County, with just over half of those bottles returned for recycling. That means that the rest of those bottles made their way as garbage to our facilities, taking up valuable landfill space, or got into our waterways and other natural settings in the County, where they will stay for many years. The Department of Waste Management & Recycling depends on all County residents to remember to make sure they recycle their plastic water bottles, or carry reusable water bottles.

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Waste Can I bring my Christmas tree to a County facility? The California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that a million tons of extra waste are generated between Thanksgiving and New Years. Part of the generated waste is Christmas trees. Bring your tree to the North Area Recovery Station  or the Kiefer Landfill once the holidays are over and your tree will be recycled into biomass. Make sure all the ornaments, tinsel, lights, tree stands and nails have been removed from the tree.

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Waste How can I recycle electronic waste? There are several electronic waste recycling companies that accept materials from the public, businesses, school districts and government agencies.  For contact information and locations visit
our electronic waste page


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Waste How do I get rid of my old paint? If you are a resident of the Sacramento County unincorporated area, or the cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom, or Rancho Cordova you have two options for disposing of household paint:
 
Sacramento County North Area Recovery Station
Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off area
4450 Roseville Road
North Highlands, CA 95660
Customer Service: 916-875-5555


Sacramento County Kiefer Landfill
Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Area
12701 Kiefer Boulevard
Sloughhouse CA 95683
Customer Service: 916-875-5555


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Waste How do I know if a particular electronic item can't be thrown in the trash? The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has tested many electronic devices including: tube-type and flat panel televisions and computer monitors, laptop computers, computers (CPU's), printers, radios, microwave ovens, VCRs, cell phones, cordless phones, and telephone answering machines. These devices that DTSC tested contained concentrations of metals (lead and copper) high enough to make them hazardous wastes when they are discarded. Unless you are sure they are not hazardous, you should presume these types of devices need to be recycled or disposed of as hazardous waste and that they may not be thrown in the trash. For additional assistance, you can call the Waste Evaluation help line at 916-322-7676.

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Waste If I can't throw universal waste in the garbage, then how do I get rid of it? Many local government agencies run programs that help households and small businesses recycle or properly dispose of their hazardous wastes. Additionally, some retailers will collect certain universal wastes, such as batteries. For information on local collection programs, contact your municipal waste service provider, or visit the Department of Toxic Substances Control. You can also check Earth911.org for a universal waste collection program near you.

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Waste What happens if I throw universal wastes in the garbage? Like used motor oil and paint, universal waste in a kind of hazardous waste. It is illegal to dispose of hazardous waste in the garbage. In addition, by throwing universal waste in the garbage, you can cause additional hazards to your garbage handler. Eventually, chemicals in illegally disposed hazardous waste can be released into the environment and contaminate our air, water and possibly the food we eat.

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Waste What is a universal waste and why can't I put them in the trash?

Universal wastes are hazardous wastes that are generated by several sectors of the society, rather than a single business and type of industry. Hazardous wastes contain harmful chemicals which is they are put in the trash they may harm people or the environment. Universal wastes include:


Common batteries - AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries (e.g. hearing aid batteries). These may contain a corrosive chemical that can cause burns as well as toxic heavy metals such as cadmium. (Automotive batteries are not universal waste)
Electronic devices - Televisions, computer monitors, computer printers, VCR's, cell phones, telephones, radios and microwave ovens. These devices often contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper and chromium.


Electrical Switches and Relays - These typically contain about 3.5 grams of mercury each. Mercury switches can be found in some chest freezers, pre-1972 washing machines, sump pumps, electric space heaters, clothes irons, silent light switches, automobile hood and trunk lights and ABS brakes.


Fluorescent Tubes, Bulbs and other Mercury-containing lamps - These items contain mercury vapor that may be released into the environment when broken. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause harm to people and animals including nerve damage and birth defects. If mercury is released into the environment it can contaminate the air we breathe and enter into streams, rivers and the ocean, where it can contaminate the fish we eat.

Mercury Added Novelties - Examples include greeting cards that play music when opened, athletic shoes (made before 1997) with flashing lights in the soles, and mercury maze games.


Mercury Gages - Some gages, such as barometers, manometers, blood pressure and vacuum gages contain mercury.

Mercury Thermometers - Mercury thermometers typically contain about a half gram of mercury. Many health clinics, pharmacies and doctor's offices have thermometer exchange programs that will give you a new mercury-free fever thermometer in exchange for your old one.

Non-empty Aerosol Cans that contain hazardous materials - Many products in aerosol cans are toxic. Any many aerosol cans contain flammables, like butane, as propellants for products like paint. If you aerosol can is labeled with words like TOXIC or FLAMMABLE, don't put it in the trash unless it is completely empty.


Pilot Light Sensors - Mercury-containing switches are found in some gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, water heaters, space heaters and furnaces.


Thermostats - There is mercury inside the sealed glass "tilt switch" on the old-style thermostats (not the newer electronic kind)
 

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Waste What is Electronic Waste? Tube-type and flat panel televisions
Computer monitors
Laptop computers
Computer (CPU's)
Printers
Radios
Microwave ovens
VCRs
Cell phones
Cordless phones
Telephone answering machines.
These devices that DTSC tested contained concentrations of metals (lead and copper) high enough to make them hazardous wastes when they are discarded. For additional assistance, you can call the Waste Evaluation help line at 916-322-7676

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Waste What is hazardous waste? Any waste (solid, liquid or gas) that poses a substantial, present of potential hazard to human health or the environment due to its chemical, physical or infectious characteristics when improperly treated, transported or disposed of. 

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Waste What universal wastes can no longer be placed in the trash? After 2006, waste batteries, electronic devices, mercury-containing thermos, and fluorescent light bulbs, also known as universal wastes, can no longer be placed in the trash.

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Waste Where can I drop off hazardous waste? The North Area Recovery Station will accept most household hazardous waste.  They are located at 4450 Roseville Road and are open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information, contact customer service at 916-875-5555. 

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Waste Where can I find additional resources for information about universal wastes? California Department of Toxic Substances Control Universal Wastes web page
California's Integrated Waste Management Board's Universal Wastes web page

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