Food scrap recycling is free and easy

Residents Recycling

You’re probably already doing great placing newspapers and wine bottles or soda cans into recycling. But, what materials do you still frequently put into your black landfill bin, and is there a way to eliminate those next? Take your recycling to the next level, and help Lafayette achieve a 75% waste diversion rate.

Waste Audit Shows That 57% of Lafayette Garbage Could be Recycled! 

Sustainable Lafayette partnered with Republic Services in the summer of 2014 to conduct an audit of the garbage of 20 typical single family homes in Lafayette.  The headline is that 57% of the material in the landfill bins could have been recycled!  Roughly 3/4ths of that was compostable items that could have gone in the green organics bin.  Read the full report.  Thank you to all the families that participated!

The Best Thing You Can Do: Recycle Your Food Scraps 

Roughly 50% of the garbage we throw away is compostable and could go in your green organics bin and get turned into compost, instead of ending up in a landfill.

“If there’s one thing that I could tell residents in Lafayette, it would be to keep food scraps, organics and compostable papers out of their garbage.” – Rebecca Jewel, Recycling Program Manager at San Leandro Transfer Station

It’s easy!  Just collect your food scraps and compostable and food-soiled papers in a kitchen compost pale, and then empty them into your green yard waste bin when full.  And don’t forget that food-soiled cardboard, like greasy pizza boxes, are also accepted.  More info about the food scrap collection program…

Fully Utilize Your Recycle Bins

Lafayette residents produce 3.6 pounds of garbage per person, per day, and over 80% of that waste could be recycled or composted. To divert more waste from landfills, it is important to utilize the curbside recycling and composting programs and understand what materials go in each collection bin. Check to make sure your household is not sending any recyclable or compostable items to landfills.

View the complete list of what you can put in your blue recycling bin

View the complete list of what you can put in your green organics bin

View the complete list of what you can put in your black landfill bin

Beyond Curbside Recycling

We can only put certain items into our household recycling bins like glass, cans, paper, cardboards, and firm plastics, but we can easily donate or recycle a wide array of items beyond that and keep them out of the landfill. Also, in California it is illegal to discard electronics and hazardous waste in your garbage or recycling bin. Check out our Lamorinda Recycle Guide to see where you can recycle plastic bags, batteries, light bulbs, clothes, toys, electronics, wood, and more.

At School and in Town

Some of our household waste ends up at schools, parks, or downtown.

On average a kid using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste a year -  help the city divert more of its waste and send your kids to school with a zero waste lunch. Read more about recycling efforts in our schools.

While in town try to minimize your use of disposable items that can’t be recycled, like coffee cups, or that aren’t generally recycled downtown (because of a lack of recycling receptacles) like disposable water bottles and soda cans.

Help Promote the Campaign

Beyond recycling there are additional ways that you can support the campaign and help the city achieve a 75% waste diversion rate.

Show your support for the campaign by placing a circular “Recycle Lafayette” sticker on your blue recycling and green organics collection bins so that they face the street on pickup day.  Stickers are free and available at the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

Tell your favorite businesses in town how important it is to you that they recycle. Less then 20% of commercial waste in Lafayette is recycled, while residents recycle over 40%. Help the campaign by encouraging businesses to recycle as much as possible and suggest that they provide recycling bins for customers if applicable.

Share your tips – write a brief success story about how you’ve increased your recycling and we’ll share it on the Sustainable Lafayette website.  Just email us at:



In 2009, the EPA concluded that as much as 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided through strategies like recycling and composting.

More information: is the web site of the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority and has comprehensive information about your garbage and recycling services and also about special recycling needs and programs.

View the Residential Services Guide for a summary of residential services.

How Do I… Recycle Food Scraps?

Food Scrap Recycling Program: The food scrap recycling program diverts food waste from landfills by taking household food scraps and turning them into compost. Food Scrap Recycling is free and easy; simply place your discarded food scraps into your green organics cart, and roll your cart to the street on your designated garbage pick-up day. For a free collection pail for your kitchen, call the waste authority at (925) 935-8900. For more information please visit

Even Better – Composting at Home: If you already participate in the food scrap recycling program and want to do more, consider composting at home. By placing your yard clippings and food scraps into a compost bin at home, you can reduce the amount of garbage your household produces, and create healthy soil for your garden. Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority (CCCSWA) sells compost bins at a discount, and offers free instructional workshops to get started.

How Do I… Dispose of Hazardous Waste?

Many common products that we use in our daily lives contain potentially hazardous materials and if not properly disposed of threaten human health and the environment. In California it is illegal to dispose of the following items in your trash or down storm drains: hazardous waste, fluorescent lightbulbs, batteries, electronics, mercury containing items, chemicals, paints, medical sharps, cleaning products, motor oil, and tires. For information on proper disposal of hazardous waste, and to find a disposal site near you please call the Hazardous Waste Hotline at 800-646-1431, or drop off the listed hazardous materials at the Central County Facility in Martinez. For more information and for directions, visit For more information on hazardous waste that is banned from the trash please visit CalRecycle.

How Do I… Recycle Electronics and Appliances?

In California it is illegal to put any electronic device in the trash because electronics contain chemicals that can contaminate the air, water, and food, posing serious health risks. Unwanted electronics and appliances should be reused or recycled. Functioning electronics can be sold or donated thereby prolonging their useful life. Nonfunctioning electronics should be recycled by a qualified business or organization. For a list of businesses and organizations that offer free e-waste recycling, visit, Additionally, Nifty Thrift, and Verizon Wireless are Lafayette businesses that recycle electronics, please contact them directly for more information about accepted items.

Where Can I… Donate Reusable Goods?

  • Reuse & Clean Up Days: Twice a year you can conveniently donate reusable items curbside. You will receive a flyer two weeks before your scheduled pick-up day, or call Republic Services for service dates.
  • Drop off Box Locations: Open 24/7, Campus California has collection bins throughout Lafayette for unwanted clothing. Visit their website for locations.
  • Non-profit OrganizationsGoodwill, and The Salvation Army offer drop off and pick up services for used goods, visit their websites for more information. Also, many nonprofit organizations send fliers requesting used goods and specifying the date they will be in your neighbor for pick-up; watch for these fliers in your mailbox.
  • Consignment Stores: Resell your unwanted items at consignment stores in Lafayette: The Wayside Inn Thrift ShopChameleon Consignment, Rosie’s Upscale Consignments, and They Grow So Fast.
  • Book DonationsFriends Corner Book Shop accepts unwanted books.

Where Can I… Recycle Motor Oil?

The closest disposal location for used motor oil is Jiffy Lube, 3363 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette CA. For additional locations, please visit California’s Used Oil Recycling Program.

Where Can I… Recycle Medications?

View a list of pharmaceutical collection bins around Lamorinda.

Where can I… Recycle Batteries?

Drop off batteries at CVS pharmacy or Ace Hardware in Lafayette, both of which provide free household battery collection. For additional information visit the RecycleSmart battery recycling page.

Where Can I….Recycle Plastic Bags?

There are collection bins for plastic bag recycling at the following stores in Lafayette: CVS, Diablo Foods, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, & Whole Foods.  You can also bundle them together and put on the top (inside) of your blue recycling bin.  This is a new service starting in 2015!