Register for a free kitchen countertop pail ahead of changes to organic waste recycling

To help customers separate food waste from garbage, the City of Sacramento is offering a free kitchen countertop pail that can be used to collect food scraps.

This offer supports the City’s new organic waste recycling program for residential customers.

Starting July 1, residents will now separate their food scraps and food-soiled paper from other waste and put it in their organic waste container (currently their yard/green waste container), instead of their garbage container. Collection of organics will be weekly and on the same day as garbage service.

Supplies for the pails are limited and will be distributed via a reservation system for pick-up at a local community center.

How do I reserve a pail?

  • Each City household is eligible for one two-gallon pail. Residents must first confirm their address is within City limits using this link.
  • Once your City address is confirmed, a second link to a short registration form will appear. Users can choose from several pickup dates, times and locations. Customers can change or cancel their appointment using the confirmation email.
  • If registration assistance is needed, residents can call 916-808-4900 or send an email to

Residents who live in apartments are also eligible to receive a pail. Organics recycling for apartments is provided by private haulers. Property managers are responsible for working with tenants on organic recycling at their buildings. More information for multi-family waste services is available here.

Where do I go to pick up the pail?

  • Kitchen pails will be available for pickup on most weekdays from June 13 to Sept. 16. Customers can choose a weekday morning or afternoon at one of seven community centers located throughout the city.
  • The City also will host two Saturday giveaway events at Sutter’s Landing Park on June 18 and July 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Customers must register to pick up a pail and bring a paper copy or screenshot of their confirmation to the pickup.

What do I do with the pail?

Food waste (including fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, bones, eggshells, and spoiled food) and food-soiled paper (including coffee filters, soiled napkins and paper plates) can be easily collected in the kitchen pail, then transferred to the curbside container (with any yard waste) for collection.

The kitchen pail is not required for organic waste recycling but can help make it easier to separate food waste from garbage and mixed recycling.

A bag is not required to collect food scraps, but any BPI-certified compostable bag or paper bag may be used. Do not use plastic bags or put any plastic in the organic waste container.

The new organics recycling program is due to Senate Bill 1383, a Statewide mandate intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in landfills. Customers can find more information here, visit or email


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