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Posted on: October 10, 2018

Organic Recycling and Modesto's Green Can

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Since 1997 Modesto residents have used both a black and green can as part of their standard garbage service.  They’re the same size, picked up the same day of the week (sometimes even by the same truck), and taken to the same transfer stations in south Modesto to be processed.

But these two cans are radically different in what they contain, how they are treated, and their impact on the City. 

The Organic Recycling Container

The Organic Recycling Container (commonly known as your “green” or “yard waste” can) is where you can dispose of all organic or compostable material.  Yard waste – grass clippings, leaves, weeds, brush trimmings, and any other small yard waste – is the most commonly disposed-of item.  In the City of Modesto, residents are not permitted to pile up this green waste in front of their house for street-side pickup (except during December when city crews pick up only leaves for the winter leaf drop).  All of that kind of organic debris must go in the Organic Recycling Container.

You may be surprised to learn there are other kinds of waste that can go in the Organic Recycling Container. Any food, including meat, bones, dairy, spoiled leftovers, kitchen scraps and trimmings, can also go into the green bin.  

The City makes it even easier; thanks to our partnership with Gilton and Bertolotti, residents can have a free kitchen bin to hold food scraps until they’re ready to empty them into the green can.

Paper products – cardboard, paper towels, mail, newspapers, and magazines – are also acceptable items for the green bins.  These items are especially useful when the contents of the Organic Recycling Container are being composted; they absorb some liquid to make the product more evenly moist, and they provide extra carbon to balance with nitrogen acquired from grass, fruits, vegetables, and other food waste. 

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