Memorial Day Weekend Update | Due to COVID-19 related concerns, Santa Cruz beaches will continue to be closed from 11am - 5pm and Shelter-in-Place orders will be enforced. For more details on our beach closures please visit: Santa Cruz Beach Closures 

Recycling and Waste Reduction

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REDUCE PAPER WASTE- While we do encourage Recycling Right, Reducing your overall household waste is a great way to support the City's Essential Workers and lengthen the life of the landfill. The Resource Recovery Facility is operating with reduced staffing due to Covid-19 and paper is one of the materials that requires lots of hands to produce a sell-able commodity in the increasingly restricted market due to changes in export to Asian countries for processing. 

RRF MRF PAPER LINE no-junk-mail-190x220

Follow these steps to reduce the amount of paper your household generates.

  • COMPOST YOUR PAPER- Plain paper,  newspaper and, shredded paper * is compostable so add it to your compost pail or compost bin! If you don’t have a backyard compost bin, take advantage of the City's $40 Home Composting Rebate Program.                           * As a Reminder, never put shredded paper, even bagged, in your recycle cart.
  • GO PAPERLESS- Contact your bank, doctor offices, and other companies that send bills or statements to your mailbox. Ask them to add you to their electronic list and remove you from the paper mailing list
PPE not Recycleable


A reminder that personal hygiene products like gloves, face masks, tissues and paper towels should be placed in the trash. 



      No Free Stuff on the Curb       Spring Cleaning 2

The City offers solutions for unwanted items as follows: 

  • USE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ BULKY ITEM TAGS- Schedule a pick up of unwanted furniture and appliances 831-420-5220
  • RENTER?- Pick up services available for Non-Account Holders (utility bill not in your name)- Complete this form.
  • TEMPORARILY INCREASE SERVICE LEVEL- Finding that you are utilizing more packaged goods at this time? No problem, you can call to have your level of garbage service temporarily increased to avoid the extra fees that may come with overloading your garbage cart or placing contamination in your recycle cart. Email Customer Service at
  • RECYCLE RIGHT!  Use the Recycle Guide or What Goes Where App (See further down this page) as a reference when choosing what to place in your blue recycle cart. Carts with contamination may not be emptied and may incur extra fees. 
  • REPAIR IT!- You Tube has information on all sorts of REPAIR projects. Who knows you might learn a new skill and save something from the landfill
  • NO FREE STUFF ON THE CURB- Don't leave items on the Curb with a Free Sign. These items impair safe navigation of our sidewalks and often are relocated to our creeks and open spaces. Items left on a curb are considered Illegal Dumping 
  • BOX UP and SET ASIDE- Donate or share on Free Cycle and Next door once the SIP is lifted.
  • ENLIST THE HELP OF A HAULING SERVICE- Check local listing for companies that specialize in Junk removal and hauling. This will save you a trip and will help to manage the flow of traffic at the landfill.


Recycle Right! Videos to Help You Get the Right Material into the Right Bin

Watch our entire series below by clicking the Recycle Right! icon or choose individual segments beneath it.

Recycle Right

        Quick Reference Recycle Guide

Cardboard Paper Metal CropdPlastics Bags Glass



 R&R202 WebBanner2020

   Refuse & Recycling Newsletter 2020 

Our 30-second "Think Before You Throw" video with Warriors' mascot Mav'Riks teaches how to avoid recycling contamination.

Need Help with Your Refuse or Recycling Service?

Click on Refuse Service Options to view the cart sizes available and monthly rates or call Customer Service: 420-5220 for assistance.

Get more information by clicking on the following:    

 Curbside Recycling Guide [PDF]- Extensive

Scrap - Santa Cruz Recycle Art Program Video


           Additional Links


 R&R202 WebBanner2020

   Refuse & Recycling Newsletter 2020 

Watch “Santa Cruz Recycles” Video-(Click Underlined Link)

Watch what happens to your recyclables - from house, to cart, to truck, to sorting, to baling and then resale to make new products.

Recycling Questions?
Call (831) 420-5593


 Master Recycler Volunteer Training Program 

Classes begin Every February- Preference given to those who live and work within the Santa Cruz City Limits) but all are welcome to apply. For questions, please email or call 831-420-5593

Confused about Recycling? Passionate about Zero Waste? Ready to share what you learn? Join your fellow residents for seven evening classes and two Saturday morning field trips where you will learn about the 6 R's of Discard Management-  REFUSE, RETHINK, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE and ROT.  Participants agree to miss no more than 1 class and to complete 20 hours of volunteer community service within the City of Santa Cruz over the course of 12 months. Volunteer opportunities include staffing an outreach table at the Earth Day Santa Cruz Celebration, weekly Downtown and West side Farmers Markets, and special events. You will learn up to date  information from Industry experts and gain the tools to  educate and empower friends, neighbors, schools, and businesses to  Waste Less and Recycle Right! 

Missed Pick Up or other Service Questions?
Call (831) 420-5220



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