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Stanislaus County

Recycle Right.

Today’s material processors have strict standards; they won’t accept contaminated loads. Contamination can result in an entire load of recyclables or organics being landfilled. This drives up processing and disposal costs for everyone. Download a recycling guide..

Keep Container Lids Closed.

Open lids are another source of contamination – moisture – which ruins the recyclability of paper and cardboard. Open lids caused by overfilled containers also contaminate our environment with wind-blown litter. Help keep our community clean by keeping container lids closed.


Tips to Avoid Contamination

Follow these simple guidelines to avoid contamination. Click here to download a printable guide.

Tips to Avoid Overages

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s wrong with putting trash in Recycling or Green Waste carts?

Any non-recyclable material inr the recycling or green waste container is considered trash. In the Recycling Cart, food and liquids ruin paper and cardboard so they can’t be recycled. Materials like plastic bags, clothes, and wires wrap around the sorting equipment used to separate paper, plastic and glass for recycling; causing equipment to break and the bales of recyclables to be contaminated with non-recyclables. Manufacturers reject loads of recyclables with contaminants, which can result in the material being landfilled.

In the Green Waste Cart, materials like plastic bags, diapers, garden hoses and plant containers get shredded along with the organics meant for compost. These contaminants ruin the compost intended for farming and gardening. The State of California prohibits contaminants in excess of 0.5 percent by weight in finished compost and film plastic is limited to 0.1 percent. These standards are designed to ensure quality compost is used to grow food and nourish our landscape.
To learn more about why it is important to Recycle Right, visit

What’s wrong with overfilling a cart or bin?

An overfilled bin or cart can cause wind-blown litter which results in blight, pollution in storm drains and trash in our water ways. Our cities are held accountable for storm water pollution under the federal Clean Water Act. Falling debris from a container being lifted for service can also fall on the truck’s hot equipment and ignite a fire. Not overfilling containers and keeping the lids shut keep our community clean and safe.

To learn more about why it is important to Recycle Right, visit