City program offering free kitchen pails for organics recycling extended through Oct. 14

Due to high demand, the City of Sacramento has extended its free kitchen pail giveaway through Oct. 14.

The pails can be used to collect food scraps. They are designed to encourage participation in the new state-mandated organics recycling program, which launched this summer and is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in landfills.

City residents can register for a free pail at or by clicking here. 

Once residents confirm their address is within City limits, they should click the link for “Pail Registration” to choose a community center, date and time of pickup. The pails come with a roll of compostable plastic bags and an informational brochure. They are limited to one per household while supplies last.

Property managers seeking bulk orders and customers with disabilities or mobility issues should to request their pails.

What do I do with the pail?

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

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 a yard waste container 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.