What Goes in Which Bin?

Orange County residents are served by different trash haulers across all cities and unincorporated areas. Haulers may provide different colored curbside bins and instructions about what and how items should be placed into each bin, a regional challenge when it comes to recycling messages for do's and don'ts. This is important, as the choices made before placing an item into a bin can prevent contamination and keep recyclables out of the landfills.

The good news is, County haulers are a valuable resource. Step one is knowing who serves your area. For a list of OC residential haulers, visit our page here. Next, learn to associate your bin colors with the type of waste that can and should go into each. If your bins don't have labels, you can download some here or create your own.

In general, the following items can be placed in the below bins. Keep in mind, the actual bin color may vary from city to city. Your hauler website may provide a more detailed breakdown of items listed:

Green Waste Bin:
Common yard waste, such as:
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Small branches
  • Weeds

Recycle Bin:
Dry, empty, non-soiled materials including:
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard (no food or grease stains)
  • Aluminum and metal cans
  • Glass

Items that can't be reused or repurposed, such as:
  • Bathroom waste
  • Rags and sponges
  • Mirrors
  • Cigarette butts
  • Broken glass items/dishes
  • Inedible food and scraps (if it can't be composted)

For tips and questions about recycling other items in your community, visit Earth911.