Waste Reduction and Recycling


Confused about what goes into your recycling cart or the trash? Download the What Goes Where app on the Apple Store or Google Play. It works throughout Monterey County. You can also go to http://whatgoeswhere.info/

Download the Recycling Quick Guide for a rapid reference on what can be placed in your blue bin.

Did you know? We offer community food waste collection at our weekly farmers’ market and at our Vista Lobos Community Room. Bring your food scraps to the market on Thursdays between 10 am and 2 pm or anytime at the enclosure by the Vista Lobos Community Room. Look for the large yellow bin. 


2020 Garbage Collection Rate Adjustment

The City contracts with GreenWaste Recovery to provide trash, recycling, green waste, food waste, and construction debris collection services. Each year, the rates are adjusted to account for changing costs of labor and supplies. In 2019, a rigorous analysis was conducted by a third party consultant to determine the actual cost of waste collection in the City; this is a Cost-Based Rate Adjustment or CBRA. 

This audit revealed that, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, the rates charged did not cover the special services provided in the City. These special services, which are important to the well-being and appeal of our community, include:

  • Backyard and side-yard service at no additional cost,
  • A village superintendent to ensure cleanliness of our downtown and Del Mar area,
  • Twice daily collection of our public trash and recycling receptacles,
  • Shortened collection period in the downtown area to minimize traffic on the streets and unsightly containers on the sidewalks,
  • Delayed start time to minimize early morning noise impacts to our residents and visitors.

The City Council reviewed the rate calculations and elected to maintain the services provided to the residents and businesses in Carmel-by-the-Sea. As a result, residents and businesses will see a 42% rate increase for waste collection, effective July 1, 2020. It is important to note, that while this is a large increase, Carmel-by-the-Sea still receives these services at a lower rate than comparable towns with backyard collection services (shown in purple on the graph below).

The documents below provide more information on the rate analysis and increase:

Staff Report and Rate Adjustment Information Provided to City Council

Third Party Consultant Report on Rate Analysis

Collection Rates Effective July 1, 2020

Questions about your trash bill?  Contact GreenWaste Recovery at (831) 920-6707 or www.greenwaste.com to set up, modify or hold collection service. 


More regional recycling services are available through the Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) that operates the Monterey Peninsula landfill in Marina.  Programs include: 


Household Hazardous Waste Information

It is illegal to dispose of hazardous waste in the trash, storm drains, or sewer. Hazardous and other prohibited materials can be received at the MRWMD Household Hazardous Waste Facility, from residents and small businesses (CESQGs).

This brochure provides details on hazardous materials accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility:

Household Hazardous Waste Brochure

Mandatory Trash Collection Requirements

The Carmel-by-the-Sea municipal code requires all residential properties and commercial businesses to subscribe to weekly garbage collection services. 

Mandatory Recycling Requirements

The Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law (AB 341) became effective on July 1, 2012 and requires all businesses that produce four cubic yards or more of garbage per week to recycle. 

Mandatory Organics Recycling

California Assembly Bill 1826 (AB1826) was signed into law in 2014, mandating organics recycling for businesses in California. By 2019, all businesses producing 4 cubic yards or more of garbage per week are required to subscribe to organic material (food scraps) collection service. By 2020, all businesses in California producing 2 cubic yards or more of garbage per week are required to subscribe to organic material collection service. 

Contact GreenWaste Recovery at (831) 920-6707 or www.greenwaste.com to set up food waste collection service.