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Residential Programs and Services

The City of Carlsbad contracts with Waste Management for residential recycling and trash services.

Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs


Food Waste Reduction: Quick Pickle Video
Plastic Waste Reduction: Beeswax Video
Reduce Plastic Waste: Seedling Videos

Residential Recycling & Trash Services - Important Information

  • Good neighbor reminder about when to put out and take in trash cans
  • Residential customers are provided 35, 64, or 96 gallon carts for recycling, trash, and yard waste.
  • Residents can receive one trash cart and up to three recycling carts and three yard waste carts at the normal monthly rate.
  • Recyclables, trash, and yard waste are picked up on the same day.
  • All material must fit into the cart with the lid closed.
  • Carts must be placed two feet from cars or other objects and one foot away from other carts.
  • Carts must be placed with the handle facing the curb.
  • Carts must be clear of overhead obstructions.
  • Carts should be placed out by 6 a.m. on collection day.

Residential Recycling Services

Recycling at home is as important as recycling at work.  There are many easy ways residents can reduce waste and promote recycling on a daily basis.

What goes in my blue bin?

Please make sure to follow very simple, but important recycling rules:

  • Recycle all bottles, cans and paper
  • Keep items clean and dry
  • NO plastic bags in the recycling bin (you can take them to your grocery store!)

Residential Green Waste Services

Green waste (also known as yard waste) makes up a significant portion of the solid waste that is disposed of by residents. Diverting this material from the solid waste stream to compost, helps extend the usable space of the landfill and keeps methane-producing materials out of the landfill.

What is Green Waste?

Green waste includes: yard waste, branches and twigs, flowers, weeds and roots, leaves, grass and plant clippings and wood (non-painted, stained or oiled) and chips.

What is NOT Green Waste?

Cactus or palm branches are NOT considered green waste for recycling purposes. Additionally, glass, metal, aluminum, plastic (bags, flower pots), rocks, dirt, concrete, and treated or coated wood (painted, stained, or oiled) are not considered green waste.

Multi-Family Recycling

Multi-family properties, such as apartments and condos, tend to face more challenges than single family housing when organizing and implementing recycling programs. Since apartment buildings require the cooperation and dedication of residents, landlords, building owners, maintenance staff, and haulers (among others), recycling often gets overlooked due to its high level of commitment.

However, just like any other entity in the City of Carlsbad, apartment and condominium complexes are required to recover recyclables, which must be separated from other solid waste by residents, tenants and landlords.

Helpful resources

  • Please download our Multi-family Guide to provide you with information about services in the city.  You can request printed guides. 
  • Also, we have customized recycling tote bags that help residents store and transport materials to your property's recycling carts or dumpsters.  We can provide them for free (while supplies last.)
  • Clear labeling of recycling and trash bins will help residents understand how to properly recycle.  If signs have faded or you want to add additional signage, you can download signage or request laminated copies to help educate residents. 

Keys to Success for Multi-Family Recycling

Recycling collection strategies vary depending on the building size, number of units or apartments in your building and how you manage your trash now. There is no single formula for creating the “best” recycling system. However, a few characteristics are common amongst multi-family buildings with the highest recycling rates.

  • Make the program as simple as possible
  • Educate the tenants about how to recycle
  • Provide feedback to tenants on their progress
  • Enforce the rules, when necessary

Improve recycling at your property

  • Are trash and recycling containers located side by side or in the same enclosure?
  • When recycling bins are located next to trash bins, residents are more likely to Recycle Right.
  • Work with Waste Management to make these changes at your property.

Please contact the city if your multi-family property does not have recycling service, or does not have enough recycling service.

For more information

Contact the city's Recycling & Trash team at 760-602-4646 or recycle.trash@carlsbadca.gov

Billing and Service

Billing for services is determined by the property location in the city. If your property is located within the Carlsbad Municipal Water District your water, sewer, and trash services will appear on the same bill. If your water service is provided by either the Olivenhain Municipal Water District or the Vallecitos Water District you will receive a separate bill for your trash services. To find out which district the property resides in consult the water district map.
  • To set up trash service within the Carlsbad Municipal Water District call the City of Carlsbad utility billing office
    at 760-602-2420.
  • To set up trash service outside the Carlsbad Municipal Water District contact Waste Management directly
    at 760-929-9400.