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Environmental Services

General Refuse Collection Information and Rules

Blue Bin Truck

The City of San Diego, Environmental Services Department operates a commingled, automated curbside recycling program that currently serves approximately 285,000 residents with trash, recycling and organic waste recycling collection service. Automated refuse collection trucks are equipped with specially-designed hydraulic arms that grasp, lift and empty City-issued refuse containers. This automated collection program streamlines collection and prevents work-related injuries. 

Customer trash is collected and brought to Miramar Landfill, recyclables to local materials recovery facilities and organic waste to the Miramar Greenery

Container Setout and Collection

Customers must use City-approved automated refuse containers to receive trash, recycling and organic waste recycling collection service.

Trash Bin Tips

Containers should be stored in a secured location that is not visible from the public right of way. This could include such locations as behind a fence, in your backyard or in your garage.

  • Collection Frequency
    • Black trash bins: Once a week
    • Green organic waste recycle bins: Once a week
    • Blue recycle bins: Every other week
  • Collection occurs Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The collection day depends on where you live in the City. Find your collection schedule 
  • To ensure collection, all containers must be placed at the curb in front of your home or alleyway by 6 a.m. on your scheduled collection day.
  • Set the authorized container on the street or alley, wheels against the curb and with the handle facing your home.
  • Remember to leave space. Containers should be 3 feet from other containers, parked cars, lamp posts, trees, mailbox posts and any other obstructions so the collection truck can safely access your container.
  • There is no collection of City of San Diego trash, recyclables or yard waste on the following City-observed holidays, and waste will be collected one day later for the remainder of the week:
    • New Year's Day
    • Memorial Day
    • Independence Day
    • Labor Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day
  • All containers must be removed from your designated point of collection by 6 p.m. on your scheduled collection day. Failure to remove containers is a violation of City of San Diego Municipal Code Section 66.0105.
  • Fees may apply for additional refuse/waste containers and for replacement containers for lost, stolen or damaged containers.
  • Learn more about available container sizes and how to obtain a container. 
  • Eligibility and Service Standards of Waste Collection
  • City Recycling Ordinance for mandatory recycling requirements
  • How to Prolong the Life of an Automated Container.
  • Please contact the Environmental Services Department at 858-694-7000 or to report damaged, lost or stolen containers; to request an additional container; or for general questions about trash and recycling collection.

Please refer to collection services with a City of San Diego-approved private franchise hauler or certified recyclable material collector if you are a home on a private road or multifamily property, business, or mixed-use property with collection service already with a private waste hauler. 

Help Keep Your Neighborhood Litter-free and Clean!

What CAN go in the Trash, Recycle and Organic Waste Recycle Bins

City of San Diego What Goes Where Guides

What Can NEVER Go in Any Bin

Please never put any of the following materials in the trash, recycling or organic waste recycling containers. These materials can harm refuse/waste collectors, the equipment and the environment.

  • Liquids of any type. The refuse/waste in landfills must be as dry as possible.
  • Hot coals, ashes or lit cigarettes.
  • Building and construction debris (dirt/rocks, tree trunks, carpets or large scraps).
  • Furniture, appliances or auto parts (water heaters, major appliances, couches/chairs, car bumpers, fenders, engine blocks, batteries, items over 50 pounds)
  • Unwrapped sharp objects (broken glass should be well-wrapped in newspaper before placing it in the trash.)
  • Household Hazardous Wastes (paint, cleaning fluids, motor oil, insecticides, solvents, acids, gasoline, pool chemicals, highly flammable liquids, radioactive materials or toxic chemicals). 
  • Sharps including needles, syringes, lancets and other self-injection devices. Talk to your health care provider/pharmacist or bring to a household hazardous waste collection facility.
  • Medical waste from home healthcare services may require special disposal. Talk to your doctor or provider about disposal instructions.
  • Universal waste (all types of consumer batteries, electronics, fluorescent lightbulbs and mercury-containing items such as thermometers and thermostats). 

Visit for more disposal and recycling information.

For further information, Contact Environmental Services at 858-694-7000 or

Missed Containers

  • Trash, recycling and organic waste recycling pickup is guaranteed for containers placed in collection areas by 6 a.m., unless they are in violation of City regulations. If your container has not been collected, look for a tag from your driver on the container. The tag will explain why it was left. If the container is not tagged and it was set out before 6 a.m., call 858-694-7000, or submit a Missed Collection Request.
  • Visit the missed collections map to see if your area has been impacted.