For information about items that can be placed in which container, visit the Solid Waste containers web page.
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In 2022, Council approved a pilot program for the organics (green) container to be serviced every other week. During the pilot program, the city tracked feedback and found that most complaints stated that they did not have enough service with the organics container serviced bi-weekly. The City also noted an increase in utilization of green waste curbside collection and significant amounts of organic material in other waste containers. In June 2023, City Council reviewed the pilot program concerns and decided to end the organics container bi-weekly collection based on feedback from citizens that listed concerns over space, odors, and pests.
The City kept the recycling (blue) container on a bi-weekly collection, but changed the schedule for collection. To make for the most efficient collection possible, the City’s solid waste haulers will be collecting recycling bi-weekly based on the resident address.
The City mailed updated calendars with this schedule to all residents. You can find more information on the collection schedule and containers here. If you have questions about your collection day or week, please contact the Solid Waste Division at 209-577-5494 or email us.
Yes, the cost of changing organics (green) container collection from bi-weekly to weekly is $3.14. Additional increases to support the SB1383 implementation requirements and current programs provided to our customers also increased rates by $1.62 for a total residential rate increase of $4.76 in July 2023. More information on Solid Waste Rates can be found here.
Senate Bill 1383 is a state law that became effective in January 2022 that requires local cities and counties to reduce their organic waste going to landfills. Organic waste is yard waste, paper waste, and food waste. As these materials break down in a low-oxygenated landfill they produce the greenhouse gas methane which is 80x more potent than carbon dioxide.
SB 1383 requires that the state:
These two objectives can reduce food insecurity and help combat climate change in California.
The City’s previous collection method of a black and green container is no longer permissible under SB 1383. The City conducted a statewide analysis of other jurisdictions, hired an independent consultant to analyze collection and provide compliant recommendations, and solicited feedback from residents, businesses, and waste haulers. The least expensive compliant option for the City was to add an additional container for collecting recyclables.
The blue recycling container will be distributed to customers by the end of 2022. The collection will start on January 1, 2023.
Improper use of a container can result in Administrative fines. Staff will be conducting random inspections for all three containers to ensure that the correct waste is placed in the correct container.
The green container is for food-soiled cardboard and paper. This includes pizza boxes or cardboard take-out containers, tea bags, paper towels and napkins, coffee filters, and paper cups or plates.
The blue container is for recyclable, clean cardboard, like shipping or cereal boxes.
State law and Modesto’s Municipal Code require that residential customers receive solid waste collection service with three containers for all occupied residences. The rates for this service are set for the entire program and there is no option to only receive some containers.
The blue can is for more than just CRV material. We encourage residents to continue to take their CRV material to a facility if they want and it is cost effective for them to do so.
Items such as soup and vegetable cans, clean aluminum foil, metal pie tins, cooking oil bottles, detergent containers, bleach containers, shampoo bottles, dishwashing liquid bottles, milk jugs, food packaging, rigid clamshells are not redeemable at recycling centers but can still be placed in your home recycling container and taken to a center for processing.
Note: All containers must be rinsed of residue or wiped out.
Waste in the black can is collected by the waste hauler, then sorted to remove residual organic or recyclable material. Haulers then transport this waste to Covanta’s waste-to-energy facility, located near Fink Road Landfill outside of Patterson. This facility incinerates waste to produce energy which powers many households. In some cases, waste is also sent to area landfills.
Waste in the green can is collected by the waste hauler, then sorted to remove non-organic material; contamination must be below 1% for the waste to be processed. Clean organic waste is then transported to the City of Modesto Compost Facility, located at 7001 Jennings Road. Organic material is ground and spread into composting windrows, where a five-month process of watering, turning, and decomposition produces a nutrient-rich compost. For more information on the composting process or to purchase clean organic compost, please visit the City’s Compost web page.
Recycling from the blue can is collected by the waste hauler, then sorted to remove non-recyclable material. Contamination is a serious and cumbersome issue in recycling and can cause loads to be rejected and sent to incineration or landfill. Separated recycling will be transported by the City’s haulers to the appropriate recycling or reuse center.
The City offers self-haul options on a limited basis. This requires a deposit with the City, and monitoring of dump receipts, and can be revoked at any time. If you’d like to see if you qualify or want more information, please contact Solid Waste Management.
Yes, in some cases solid waste service can be shared with an adjacent (next-door) neighbor. If you’d like to see if you qualify or want more information, please contact Solid Waste Management. If approved, both addresses must share all three containers.
There are several ways to store your food waste until your pick-up day. Explore some of those options below:
A small air-tight bin can store food scraps in your kitchen between trips to the large green bin. Line the bin with newspaper that can also go in the can, or with plastic, then place that plastic liner in your black can. The City has free kitchen buckets for residential customers; contact 209-577-5494 to request one.
You can store food scraps in your freezer, then add them to your green can on the day of or the day before your waste service.
Paper products are compostable and can absorb liquids and smells from organic material. You can put food waste into a paper bag or cardboard box to minimize odor and insects.
Limit direct sun exposure as heat can increase odors.
Keeping the lid of your organic container closed can prevent odor and insects. Contact your solid waste hauling company to request the repair or replacement of damaged cans.
Did you know that other organic materials can absorb liquids and limit smells?
Examples of materials that can be layered with food waste in your green can:
Organic material, including food waste, paper waste, cardboard, and yard waste, that is placed in your green organics container is taken to the City’s Compost Facility and converted to rich, organic compost. You can place this material directly into the container, or in paper bags, cardboard boxes
Compostable bags require approval by the City for use. If you choose to use compostable bags for our organics waste, please follow the below process:
2. Email the Solid Waste Division pictures of front and back of the package or a link to the internet page for the ones you wish to purchase and your address. If there is a certification organization, please include that in the picture. The Solid Waste Division needs to ensure that the bag will break down in our composting process.
3. Once you have received the approval, the City will email your solid waste hauler that you are approved to use compostable bags. Without this approval, the hauler may see bags in your green organics container, think that they are regular plastic, and tag the container for contamination. You cannot use compostable bags in the green organics container without emailing the City and receiving approval.
No, only stores, restaurants, event centers, schools, hospitals, and other food producers need to donate their excess food. If you would like to donate optionally, you’re welcome to contact local donation centers.
Visit CalRecycle’s website for more information on SB 1383.
You can contact the City through one of these methods and we will assist you: