Curbside Services: blue recycle cart

Local jurisdictions have contracts with franchised hauling companies to provide service for collection of garbage, recycling, yard debris and food scraps, and motor oil/filters for residences. Curbside services are also available for businesses.

Single-stream recycling means that cans, paper, glass, plastic and cartons can be mixed together. These items are then locally processed for recycling at a materials recovery facility.

How to prepare

How clean do your recyclables need to be

Recycling standards are getting stricter. The market is requiring high-quality materials. Bottles and containers need to be empty of food and liquid. Paper needs to be clean and dry.

  1. Pour out liquids
  2. Scrape out food from recyclables
  3. Wipe out oily or sticky residue from recyclables
  4. Greasy, grimy, gooey, wet, or food-soiled paper goes in your compost cart


No plastic bags

Tip: Keep Caps On

It is preferable to leave screw-top lids on empty plastic, glass, and metal containers. If lids are removed from the container, they are too small to be recycled.

Accepted in blue recycling cart

Paper and cardboard

  • Bags (paper only, no plastic)
  • Cardboard (non-waxed)
  • Cereal boxes
  • Office paper
  • Egg cartons
  • Envelopes
  • Junk mail and magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Packing paper
  • Phonebooks
  • Sticky notes (larger than 3"x3")
  • Wrapping paper (non-metallic)
  • Shredded Paper - Sonoma Resource Recovery & Sonoma Garbage Collectors (ONLY). Recology customers: Green Compost Bin.

Plastic containers

  • Bottles (leave caps on)
  • Containers
  • Clamshell containers
  • Cups


  • Bottles
  • Jars


  • Milk cartons
  • Soy/rice milk cartons and juice boxes (aseptic packaging)


  • Aluminum, tin and steel/bi-metal cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Aerosol cans empty and without pressure
  • Scrap metal *

* Scrap metal accepted curbside varies by area: CUSTOMERS OF RECOLOGY SONOMA MARIN: Scrap metal that has no sharp edges and is less than both 5 inches in diameter and 1 pound or less. CUSTOMERS OF SONOMA COUNTY RESOURCE RECOVERY (WINDSOR ONLY): Scrap and cast aluminum, 40 pounds or less. CUSTOMERS OF SONOMA GARGAGE COLLECTORS: Scrap metal less than 24 inches in diameter, 20 pounds or less. Metal items must fit loosely in the cart.

Not accepted in blue recycling cart

Visit related topics on this website for reuse, recycling, and proper disposal options for the following materials:

Windsor only

In Windsor, your recyclable materials must be separated.

Put metal, glass, and plastic containers on the blue side and put cardboard and paper on the yellow side.

Household batteries

AAA • AA • C • D • 9-volt

Available to residential hauling customers in Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Unincorporated County, and Windsor.

To prevent shorting, tape the terminals of all batteries with heavy-duty clear tape.

Place batteries in bag and seal firmly.

Place bag on top of blue recycle cart for pick up. Never put batteries inside the curbside recycling bin. Doing so could start a fire.

Place bagged batteries on top of blue recycle cart for pick up.

Shredded paper

Available to residential Sonoma Garbage Collectors customers only

For customers of Sonoma Garbage Collectors, put shredded paper in a clear plastic bag inside the cart.

For confidential paper destruction services, see topic Paper, shredded and confidential shredding service

Put shredded paper in a clear plastic bag inside the cart.

Select rigid plastic items

Laundry baskets • CD/DVD cases • 5-gallon buckets

Available to Recology Sonoma Marin hauling customers only

Place items loosely in the cart.

Hauling company sorting guidelines

Sonoma Marin

(800) 243-0291

Sorting Guidelines

Sonoma County Resource Recovery

(707) 795-7470

Sorting Guidelines

Sonoma Garbage Collectors

(707) 996-7555

Sorting guidelines


The following resources are provided in English and Spanish language. Click on the image to download the .pdf. Visit Downloads & Graphics to download the complete 24-page Zero Waste Guide 2022-2023