General Refuse Collection Information and Rules
- Why is the City now charging for refuse containers?
Automated containers were provided at no cost to residents beginning
in 1994 when the City converted refuse collection from a manual system
to an automated process. Containers were provided to make sure that
each resident had a compatible container available when the change took
However, prior to 1994 residents purchased their own refuse containers
per the San Diego Municipal Code, which states that residents are responsible
for placing refuse out for collection in approved containers. The City
is returning to this previous policy whereby residents are responsible
for providing their own approved refuse containers. The container fee
will offset the costs of repairing, replacing and delivering automated
- Is the City charging for blue recycling containers?
No, the City will not charge for blue recycling containers. The reason
for this is to encourage the recycling of as much household recyclables
as possible. The current delivery fee of $25 per container will continue
to apply when residents request delivery of recycling containers. Residents
may avoid this delivery fee when they pick up recycling containers at
Collection Services, 8353 Miramar Place, San Diego, 92121.
- When were the new fees effective?
January 1, 2008
- How will I know if my damaged container needs to be replaced?
Containers need to be replaced when the City determines they are no
longer serviceable. Usually, the driver places a tag on the container
advising the resident to contact the department to schedule delivery
of a replacement container. If the driver does not notify the resident
but they notice that the container is cracked or damaged in a way that
will not allow it to be safely used for collection, residents may request
a repair or a new container by calling 858-694-7000. The City will determine
if the container can be repaired or needs to be replaced. In most cases,
the container will need to be replaced.
- How and when will my container be replaced?
New containers are normally delivered and the damaged containers collected
from the resident on the day after the regular collection day. Residents
will be notified by phone the day before the delivery. Residents can
avoid the $25 delivery charge by picking up their container at Collection
Services, 8353 Miramar Place. There may be a delay of up to six weeks
for delivery of new containers. If the current container is not serviceable,
manual refuse collection will be provided for 45 days.
- Does the $25 delivery charge apply to container replacement, making the total cost $95?
Yes. The $25 delivery charge applies to all refuse containers that
residents opt to be delivered by the City, and it is added to the fee
for the container. If the full $70 fee is assessed, the total cost including
delivery would be $95. If the container is less then ten years old and
was damaged by the collection process, the fee is prorated and will
be calculated for residents at the time it is ordered. Customers can
save the $25 delivery charge by picking up the container from Collection
Services, 8353 Miramar Place, San Diego, 92121. Approved containers
may also be commercially available at home improvement stores.
- How can I pay for the container and/or delivery?
Payment for a container and/or delivery must be received
prior to scheduling your delivery date and time. For all mail-in or
phone requests, only check or money order will be accepted. Never send
cash in the mail. Make sure to include a note with your name, type of
container (trash, recycling) and the container size you would like (96-
or 64-gallon). Also include the address at which the container will
be used (and thus delivered). Payment should be sent to:
City of San Diego
8353 Miramar Place
San Diego, CA 92121
Payment for a container you will pick up may be made
at the time of pick up. Obtaining a container in person, from the address
listed above, Visa/Master cards, debit card, check or money order will
be accepted. Bring the damaged container with you.
- What if my container is damaged, lost or stolen?
Residents are responsible for the container's security and care. When
damage results from normal use or due to age, the replacement fee will
be prorated during the 10-year anticipated lifespan of the container.
In other words, a container that breaks due to normal collection after
five years will be replaced for 50% of the fee and the resident will
receive a new container with ten years of expected use. If the container
is lost, stolen or damaged as a result of the resident's misuse, the
full fee will be charged for its replacement.
- Do I have to pay the fee when I move to a new house?
One container will be provided to each newly constructed, eligible
dwelling unit. All existing dwelling units eligible for City collection
have received a first container at no cost. Upon moving to an existing
residence, the container originally delivered must remain at that address.
If a container is not present, residents should contact the previous
owner through the realtor to retrieve the container. If the container
cannot be retrieved, Residents will be responsible for obtaining a replacement
container from the City ($70) or from another source.
- Did the City consider that some residents may not be able to afford the fee?
Affordability is always a concern for the City when implementing or
increasing fees. However, an approved container is required for residents
to use the residential waste collection and recycling service which
is provided without a fee. The $70 refuse container user fee is just
$7 per year for the 10 year life of the container, or 58 cents per month.
The City has determined that the $70 fee is a fair and reasonable fee
that does not exceed the cost of providing the container and is the
best option for the Environmental Services Department to offset the
rising costs of container repair, replacement, and delivery. Additionally,
with the acceptance of Visa and Master cards, residents may spread the
cost of the container over time.
- If I purchase a new container from a home improvement store, what do I do with my old container?
Contact the Environmental Services Department at 858-694-7000. Your
old container will be picked up for no charge and recycled.