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Yard Waste Recycling

Yard waste recycling is the unsung hero of recycling programs. Putting waste into your green bin at home or work is a great way to divert waste from the landfill. Check out the info below on what can and can't go in your green bin.

This recycling loop starts by putting your yard trimmings in a green waste container. Clean green materials are taken to county facilities where they're processed and ground into mulch. The loop is completed when you use that mulch around your plants to return nutrients to the soil.

Give your yard waste a second chance at life - Recycle it!

What can I put in the Green Bin?

Green waste consists of leaves, grass clippings, other yard trimmings, and plant materials. No food waste, wood ash, soil, or old plant pots and hoses, please! Some types of plants are also unacceptable and must go in the trash. Learn more by reading our Green Waste Do's and Don'ts. Here's the short version:

Please note that eucalyptus and oleander are no longer accepted in our green waste program and must go into the trash.


  • Grass clippings (but you can also leave these on the lawn)
  • Leaves
  • Small branches
  • Flowers
  • Ivy
  • Plants

No (Trash these):

  • Agave
  • Bamboo
  • Cactus
  • Cannabis
  • Caster bean
  • Invasive species
  • Palm fronds
  • Pampas grass
  • Poison oak
  • Thistle
  • Yucca
  • Eucalyptus
  • Oleander
  • Animal waste
  • Food (compost it at home instead!)
  • Plastic bags or pots
  • Dirt, rocks, or smelly socks!

Fibrous plants should not be thrown into green waste containers, since they jam the grinders at our facilities that are used to produce mulch. Additionally, poisonous vegetation, like eucalyptus and oleander, leach toxins that can potentially harm us or our plant friends, and will contaminate our mulch piles.

Remember, all materials on the "No" list go in the trash (or your home composting system if acceptable).

Our Greenwaste Songs!


We also have Award Winning Songs that can help you figure out what can and can't go in your green waste bin. You'll need Windows Media Player or a similar program to listen to them:

Green Waste Blues.WMA
Green Waste Ragtime.WMA

Self-Hauling Greenwaste and Organics

SB 1383 requires commercial organic waste generators, including landscapers, to maintain certain records if they self-haul their organic waste. Click here for the self-hauler recordkeeping form.

Residents who self-haul their waste must also recycle their organics, but they are not required to maintain records.

Residents and commercial food scraps generators have the option to drop-off their food scraps at the following locations:

  • South Coast:
    • Isla Vista Food Co-Op (for Isla Vista residents only, located at 6575 Seville Road, carts are available at all times)
    • Saturday Farmers Market (1119 E Cota Street, Santa Barbara, Saturday 8am – 1pm, residents only)
  • North County:
    • City of Lompoc Landfill
    • City of Santa Maria Landfill

Click here for a list of sites that accept green waste for businesses and residents. Scroll to the bottom for locations by community/region. Please call ahead for hours of operation and applicable fees.

If you have any questions about the County’s organic waste recycling programs, please contact us or call (805) 882-3618.

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