Residential Services


County of San Diego Mandatory Recycling Requirement

Effective July 1, 2021, the County of San Diego requires all single-family households, businesses, and multi-family complexes to recycle. This recycling effort targets single-stream recycling, where all recyclable materials are mixed together. The County passed a new ordinance that amended the Solid Waste Regulatory Code relating to solid waste and recycling collection. This amendment to the code now requires all residential and commercial generators to have recycling services.

Click here for information regarding the County of San Diego’s recycling requirements for single-family residences and multi-family complexes.

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Recycling is Easy with EDCO!

With our commingled recycling program, you can put all of your recyclables in one container. All you need to remember is what you CAN and what you CANNOT put in your blue recycling cart.

96-Gallon Cart

appx. 35.75" x 29.75" x 43.25"

64-Gallon Cart

appx. 31.75" x 24.25" x 41.75"

32-Gallon Cart

appx. 24.25" x 19.75" x 37.50"

Request Additional Carts

Residents can request additional recycling carts at no additional cost.

Request Additional Carts


Don’t Recycle:

Soiled disposable plates or cups, soiled paper towels, tissue, carbon paper, plastic bags (NO plastic grocery bags, newspaper delivery bags, or chip/snack bags), ceramics, drinking glasses, Styrofoam packing peanuts, mirrors, batteries, light bulbs, clothing or shoes.

EDCO’s Recycling Guidelines

Glass Bottles & Jars*

Recycle all food and beverage containers—clear and colored glass. No need to remove labels.


Flatten or cut boxes to a size that fits comfortably inside the recycling cart.


Recycle your newspaper and everything that is delivered with it—including inserts, coupons, etc.


Recycle aluminum and steel cans—including clean & dry paint cans and empty aerosol cans. Also, recycle aluminum foil.


To recycle cartons, place empty cartons in the recycling cart along with all paper, metal, plastic, and glass recyclables accepted through the program. Please ensure that food and beverage cartons are empty prior to placing them in the recycling cart. They do not require rinsing as long as they are empty.

Plastic Containers*

Recycle all rigid plastics, such as bottles, jugs, and jars, marked  image to image, and all beverage containers labeled “CA Redemption Value” or “CA Cash Refund,” including:

  • Food & Beverage Containers — Milk, soda, water, salad dressings, cooking oil, yogurt and cottage cheese containers, etc.
  • Jars & Canisters — Peanut butter and mayonnaise jars and aspirin bottles.
  • Cleaning Products & Detergents — Bleach, detergent, soap, shampoo, drain cleaners, etc. (Containers must be empty.)
  • Automotive & Yard Care Products — EMPTY motor oil, antifreeze, plant food, and herbicide containers.
  • Miscellaneous Rigid Plastics — Including, but not limited to, plastic buckets with metal handles, plastic drums, totes & empty garbage cans, plastic milk crates, kitty litter buckets, laundry baskets, lawn furniture and pet carriers, plastic toys, plastic agricultural trays/pots, plastic pallets, and other mixed plastic containers.

Look on the bottom of a plastic item, and you should find the “chasing arrow” symbol with a number in the center like the two shown
(Recycling Code 1 to Recycling Code 7).

Mixed Paper

Recycle virtually all clean and dry paper, including writing paper (all colors), computer paper, Xerox paper, “no carbon required” (NCR) forms, catalogs, brochures, magazines, junk mail, phone books, post-it type notes, and shredded paper (place shredded paper inside paper bags to contain shreds). EDCO accepts them all, PLUS if those items have staples, window envelopes, or even those little metal clasps on legal envelopes, they’re OK, too! But, please, no large metal items like clasps on Acofastener notebooks or 3-ring binders.

You can also recycle cereal boxes and other clean food packaging, including cake boxes, flour bags, frozen dinner boxes, paper egg cartons, and soda/beer 12-pack carrying boxes. You can also recycle paper grocery bags, gift boxes, shoe boxes, paper gift wrap, calendars, and core tubes from paper towels, etc.

*All food and beverage containers do not require rinsing as long as they are empty and free of food and liquids.

Recycling Alternatives:

  • Plastic grocery bags can be returned to grocery stores for recycling, or they can be reused.
  • Batteries and light bulbs must be disposed of properly and not placed in trash or recycling containers. Visit our HHW page for information on the proper disposal of HHW items.

Large items

Items too large to fit in the blue recycling cart can be dropped off at no cost at any of our Buyback Centers.

Global Recycling Crisis Puts Greater Focus on Recycling Contamination

There have been global concerns over the quality of recyclable materials, and these expectations are not going away.


In January 2018, China no longer accepted 26 types of recyclable materials into their country. Nearly 60% of recyclable materials generated in California are currently exported to China and other Asian markets. As a result, processing mills worldwide demand that recycling facilities ship only recyclables with less than one percent contamination, a significant change in material requirement standards. A minimal amount of contamination, such as garbage, green waste, or other debris, can ruin a complete load of recyclable material. The quality of recyclable material can impact your costs should contamination require recycling to be dumped as trash.

Please help us prevent and reduce the contamination of recyclable materials by reviewing EDCO’s guidelines and the acceptable items in our residential recycling program.

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