Watch a short "Recycle Right" Video.

Watsonville residents and businesses recycling efforts are bringing us close to meet the goal of diverting 75% of all refuse away from landfills established by the State of California. The City of Watsonville provides curbside collection of recycling, garbage, and yard waste for residential and commercial properties which include single family homes, mixed use properties, and multifamily dwellings. Garbage and recyclables are collected from over 11,000 homes and businesses each week.

Residential Recycling Services

To set up recycling services, please call Customer Service (831) 768-3133.

  • Curbside collection of recycling occurs every other week.
  • Please remember that over 75% of waste produce is recyclable.
  • A 95 gallon blue recycling cart is provided to each household at no additional charge.
  • Do not overload your cart. You may request a larger cart or second cart, if needed.

Commercial Recycling Services

All businesses are required to recycle. The City of Watsonville is committed to supporting your business with compliance.  Our goal is to make recycling easier for your business and reach full compliance.

Business Bulletin

November 2018
March 2019

Solid Waste Outreach staff is available to:

  • Help create and implement a waste reduction plan for your business.
  • Provide technical assistance with setting up infrastructure for recycling.
  • Train your staff on proper recycling.
  • Provide recognition opportunities.

The City’s Solid Waste Division also provides Organics Waste Recycling services for local businesses, for more information please contact Customer Service (831) 768-3133.

General Collection Guidelines 

  • Cart wheels should touch the curb and handles facing your house.
  • Leave 3 feet of clearance on all sides of your carts (signs, poles, cars, etc.).
  • Set your cart out the night before. Garbage and recycling service starts at 4:30 a.m.
  • Do not place bulky items in carts; please take them to the City's Drop-off Center.

Mandatory Recycling Requirements

California requires mandatory commercial recycling as required by Assembly Bill 341 (Chapter 476, Statutes of 2011 [Chesbro, AB 341]) and Senate Bill 1018. This regulation addresses recycling requirements for businesses that generate 4 or more cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week and multifamily residential dwellings with 5 or more units, regardless of the amount of waste generated; local jurisdiction requirements for education, outreach, monitoring and reporting; and CalRecycle review.

Learn more about AB341 - mandatory commercial recycling.

CalRecycle Logosm


What to Recycle

Plastics Acceptable for Recycling:

  • Plastic containers #1-5
  • Beverage bottles #1-5 (lids are OK if attached)
  • Rigid Plastic Items larger than 12 inches:
  • Basketsbucketclothes basket
  • Buckets
  • Coat hangers
  • Coolers and ice chests (Rigid, not foam)flower pots
  • Crates
  • #2 Flower pots (no dirt)

Plastics NOT Acceptable for Recycling:

  • NO: Small plastic items (examples: utensils, hot cup lids, loose caps, condiment cups)
  • NO: Plastic Bags, Film Plastic (no stretchy plastic)
  • NO: Compostable plastics
  • NO: Styrofoam
  • NO: Non-rigid food packaging (snack bags & other "soft" plastic packages)
  • Large plastic items that don’t fit in collection carts can be brought to the City’s Drop-off Center.

Paper and Cardboard 

  • Newspaper and all inserts that come with them.
  • Mixed Papers:
  • Colored paper
  • Coupons
  • Egg cartonsrecycling paper
  • Envelopes (okay to include metal staples, clips, glue, labels, and plastic windows)
  • Cereal and frozen food boxes
  • Gift wrap and tissue paper (not okay to include toilet paper or diapers)
  • Juice and milk cartons
  • Junk mail, magazines and catalogs
  • Pizza boxes (clean)
  • Telephone books
  • White paper
  • Books (hard and soft cover)
  • Shredded paper (tie in paper or clear plastic b
  • Corrugated Cardboard (not waxed): Please cut or flatten to fit into the cart.


  • Beverage/Alcohol bottles
  • Food jars (Empty, clean. Lids can be left on.)


  • Aerosol cans (empty, non-toxic)
  • Aluminum foil, foil trays and pans
  • Beverage containers and lids
  • Coat hangers (bundled)plastic food container
  • Food containers and lids
  • Pet food cans and lids
  • Scrap metal:
  • Screws and nails
  • Keys
  • Paint cans (empty, no wet paint)pots and pans
  • Pots and pans
  • Utensilsscrews
  • Nuts and bolts

We can help

To report a problem, such as missed service, illegal dumping, or container repair or for general questions call Customer Service (831) 768-3133.