While dumping the garbage in the bin, select the relevant colors for different waste types. We have proposed a guide on "Waste management bin colors California" to answer what to dump in each container. Let's explore this useful guide!

Waste management bin colors California - Choose the Right

California waste management law configures proper scrap collecting infrastructure for the separate collection of different waste items. According to Cal, jurisdictions offer three garbage bin options to choose from i.e.

  • Three-bin system
  • Two-bin system
  • One bin system

Although you got adequate information about waste management in California you should know about How To Reduce Waste In Everyday Life?

Here is an explanation of all these systems with a list of items in each container.

Three-bin collection system

In three container waste collection systems, as the name shows, the residents are provided with three containers. They will have to dump their waste according to the directions of the jurisdictions of California.

According to the California waste management authority, here is a list of the garbage cans' colors.

Green bin System Means

Organic household waste items will go to the green garbage bin. According to the directions of waste management, it should have the label 'food waste.' Here are recommendations to use this bin properly.

Food waste items:

Food waste items

The food waste will go to the container with a green lid container. You can dump these junk foods in this specific bin.

  • Bread scraps
  • Junk rice
  • Paste wastage
  • All baked foods
  • Dairy or cheese products
  • Coffee dregs
  • Used tea bags
  • Herbs and flowers
  • Raw or cooked vegetables
  • Fruit and vegetable peeling
  • Meat and poultry
  • Junk seafood

Food waste papers:

Food waste papers

‌Like junk food, the brown food papers will also go to the green bin. You can dump only the following unbleached papers in this waste container.

  • Brown food paper
  • Paper towels
  • Coffee filters

Other waste items:

Besides the household garbage items listed above, use the same green bin for the following waste products.

  • Woody toothpick
  • Woody coffee stirrer

Note: Avoid dumping the following food wastage in the organic wastage bin;

  • All bio-plastic components
  • Compostable food waste products
  • Plates having plastic linings in them

Blue Bin System Means

The recyclable household garbage will go to the blue bin, which has a label of 'recycling.' Use this waste container for the following products.

Plastic waste items:

Plastic waste items

 You can dump these plastic waste products in the blue waste bin.

  • Plastic waste products ranging from 1 to 7 (other than compostable)
  • Drink bottles, including those of juices, soda, and water
  • Water and milk jugs made of plastic
  • Rigid plastic items
  • Plastic trays
  • Plastic crates

Note: Don't dump the following plastic waste items in this recyclable waste can; ‌‌

  • Plastic wrappers
  • Plastic shopping bags

Metallic waste items:

Like plastic and products, metal waste items will also go to the blue garbage can. These items may include any of the following;

  • Drink cans (aluminum or tin)
  • Scraps of aluminum or other metal foils
  • Metal trays made of metals
  • Spray cans
  • Steel waste products

Paper waste:                                            

Paper wast

Paper is also recyclable, so dump it in a blue waste can. All the paper waste items in the following list will go to this garbage container.

  • Empty drink cartons
  • Empty soup boxes
  • Egg packaging cartons
  • Paper envelopes
  • Paper files
  • Waste mails
  • Old magazines
  • Milk boxes
  • Juice cartons
  • Old newspaper
  • Paper shopping bags
  • Book wastes
  • Rough notes

Cardboard waste:

Cardboard waste


  • Aardboard also falls under the category of recyclable waste items, so it will also go to the recyclable bin. You can use a blue garbage can for the following cardboard waste items.
  • Empty cardboard boxes
  • Frozen food cardboard cartons
  • Cereal packaging boxes and other similar items

Glass waste:

Glass waste

Glass scraps are also recyclable, so consider dumping the glass remains in the blue garbage can. You may consider dumping the following waste items in it.

  • A scrap of Amber glass
  • Green glass wastage
  • Beverage and cold drink bottles

Note: Never dump these glass garbage products in the blue bin;

  • Laboratory outlets scraps
  • Scraps of glass windows

Grey Bin System Means

Grey bins, which are black in some areas, are for compostable or landfill waste products. All the landfill items in the following list will go to this garbage can.

Waste food container:

Waste food container

‌Ensure that you dump the following household waste items in the grey garbage container.

  • Wrappers of candy and other foods
  • Chips or snack packaging
  • Juice boxes
  • Coffee cups
  • Waste straws
  • Scrap plastic utensils

Glass waste:

As mentioned above, all glass items will not go in the recyclable waste bin. Some should go to the landfill can. Here is a list;

  • Waste dishware
  • Glass decorative pots
  • Glass vases
  • Glass statues
  • Scrap glass toys

Paper waste:

Like some plastic going to the landfill, certain paper waste products will also go in the same bin. Here is the list of such products;

  • Paper stickers
  • Waste photographs
  • Paper cups with plastic linings
  • Tissues
  • Paper with a plastic coating
  • Hard paper book and notebook covers
  • Padded envelopes

Other waste items:

Besides the above-listed waste products that should go to the gray garbage can, dump the following items in the same bin;

  • Latex or vinyl gloves
  • Waste foam items
  • Waste fabric products
  • Old clothes

Two-bin collection system                                                                

2- Two bin collection system

If you have two bin waste collection system, you'll receive one gray garbage container, and the other may be blue or green. Dump the household waste items according to the following sequence.

Green/blue bin:

Mostly, the green bin is for dumping organic household garbage. This waste will include all the above-listed food waste as well as that of the yard.

Gray bin:

In two bin waste collection system, organic paper, cardboard, glass waste, metal can, and other recyclable trash items will go to the gray bin. So, use recyclable waste bins for this list only.

Single bin collection system


Single bin collection system

All household or workplace garbage will go to a single gray container in areas featuring a single bin waste collection system. Here, one doesn't need to use any separate dumping method. The waste management team will collect the garbage and process it for recycling after sorting.


As per CSU rules, dumping household or workplace waste in the appropriate bin is necessary for proper processing. If you throw the waste in the wrong can without notifying the garbage collectors, it will be a headache for them. Possibilities of certain penalties or punishment according to the law are also there.

We have listed ‘waste management bin colors California’ for effective garbage processing. It will assist you in dumping the waste items in the right bin. For more garbage fixtures updates, could you stay connected with us? ‌‌

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