Piedmont's Recycling, Organics & Garbage Guide

The following page provides answers to questions about recycling, organic waste, food scrap recycling, garbage collection, bulky waste collection, household hazardous waste disposal, and other service information. Additional information can also be found in the complete guide (PDF). 

July 1, 2018 Service Update

Following 14 months of meetings, outreach, and negotiation, the City of Piedmont has reached an agreement for a new contract with Republic Services. Most services will remain the same, however there are some items you should be aware of and be prepared for.

Price Increases

Beginning on July 1, 2019, prices for all services will increase. Single family residential prices are based on the size of the garbage cart. Each residential account includes unlimited recycling and organics carts. Carts used for on-premises (backyard) services are limited to a maximum size of 35 gallons. Additional garbage carts are available for an additional cost.

Curbside Collection

  • 20 Gallon Garbage Cart - $82.64 per month
  • 35 Gallon Garbage Cart - $87.57 per month
  • 65 Gallon Garbage Cart - $120.63 per month
  • 95 Gallon Garbage Cart - $135.10 per month

On-Premises (Backyard) Collection

  • 20 Gallon Garbage Cart - $126.45 per month
  • 35 Gallon Garbage Cart - $131.38 per month

How to Save on Your Garbage Bill

  • Reduce your garbage subscription levels by recycling and composting more and using a smaller garbage cart.
  • Switch to curbside services. On-premises (backyard) service is approximately $42 more per month.
  • Use the annual prepayment discount. 1 year advanced payment results in the 12th month being free.
  • Physically disabled customers with no able-bodied household members are eligible to receive on-premises service at curbside rates. An application must be completed and submitted with a doctor's note or a copy of a valid California Disability Parking Placard. See below for details.

On-Premises Disability Discount

The Exemption from Curbside Placement of Garbage, Organics, and Recycling Carts policy was approved by City Council on December 4, 2017. The policy allows for single-family residential households consisting only of residents who are physically unable to move their trash and recycling carts to the curb each week to receive on-premises collection service of their waste, recycling, and organics carts at curbside rates.

The account holder must complete the Exemption from Curbside Placement Application (PDF) to the fullest extent and must provide a copy of a doctor's certification or a current California Disability Parking Placard with the application. The account holder must verify that there are no able-bodied household members capable of moving the carts to the curb.

Recycling Collection

The collection of recyclable materials is unlimited and provided at no additional cost to single-family residential properties. Recyclable materials go in the blue wheeled carts. For a complete list of recyclable materials accepted in the blue carts, please refer to the guide at the top of this page. In Piedmont, the collection service for recyclables from residences, schools and businesses is provided by Richmond Sanitary Service, (800) 320-8077. Residential collection services include multi-family dwellings. To start service, request new or additional carts or other recycling service matters, please call Richmond Sanitary Service.

StopWaste.Org is the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board operating as one public agency. Their Recycling Wizard provides answers on where to recycle common and unusual items in Alameda County. You can also visit their website for more information on:

  • Recycling (what and where)
  • Food Scrap Recycling
  • Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening;
  • Home Composting
  • Green Building
  • Climate Change
  • Other waste reduction and diversion programs.

Ready, Set, Recycle!

Every resident is eligible for the Countywide Ready, Set, Recycle Contest which rewards you for recycling! Visit ReadySetRecycle.org for more information. This program is run by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, also known as Stopwaste. When you pledge to put all food scraps and soiled paper in your organics cart, you could be eligible to win your choice of four $25 prizes.

Mandatory Recycling and Composting Law

The California Integrated Waste Management Board promotes a Zero Waste California in partnership with local government, industry, and the public.

As of July 1, 2012, under an Ordinance adopted by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) and State Law, businesses generating four cubic yards of waste or more a week or any multi-family dwelling of five or more units must have recycling services. Click for more information on the ACWMA Ordinance. Click for more information on the State Law. You may also call the ACWMA's Mandatory Recycling Information line at (510) 891-6575

As of July 1, 2014 all businesses and multi-family dwellings of five units or more must have both recycling and organics services. Remember, under Piedmont's agreement with Richmond Sanitary Services, recycling and organics services are free to Piedmont residents and businesses.

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Organics Collection

The collection of organics is unlimited and provided at no additional cost. Organic materials, which includes yard debris, food scraps and food-soiled paper, go in the green wheeled carts. For a complete list of organic materials accepted in the green carts, please refer to the guide at the top of this page. In Piedmont, the collection service for organics from residences, schools and businesses is provided by Richmond Sanitary Service, (800) 320-8077. Residential collection services include multi-family dwellings. To start service, request a kitchen pail, request new or additional carts or other recycling service matters, please call Richmond Sanitary Service.

Please note that regardless of service levels, any organics overage bags must be placed at the curb for pickup. StopWaste.Org provides additional information on Food Scrap Recycling, Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening, and Home Composting.

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Garbage Collection

Garbage goes into the black wheeled cart. Do not place recyclables, organics or hazardous waste in your black cart. Garbage collection service in Piedmont is provided by Richmond Sanitary Service, (800) 320-8077. Please call them with your service questions. Please remember that you can save money by recycling more and using a smaller garbage container.

Cleaning out your garage or attic? Collection of bulky items is also provided by Richmond Sanitary Service, (800) 320-8077. Please call them to schedule a collection.

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Bulky Waste Collection

Cleaning out your garage or attic? Bulky waste clean-up is an included service for Single-family Residential Service subscribers up to the annual limit of 2 collections per year of up to 6 cubic yards each (total annual limit of 12 cubic yards). Bulky Waste collection is provided on an on-call basis by Richmond Sanitary Service. Please call them at (800) 320-8077 to schedule a collection and refer to the service guide at the top of this page for more information on accepted items.

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Household Hazardous Waste

DO NOT place hazardous waste in any of your carts, black, blue or green!

Dispose of household hazardous waste safely, conveniently - and for free - at an Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste facility! Household hazardous waste, including:

  • Fluorescent Light Bulbs (Compact fluorescent lamps may be collected with your regular recycling services when properly prepared for handling.)
  • Batteries
  • Household Chemicals (cleansers, pesticides, fertilizers)
  • Medical Waste (mercury thermometers, needles and syringes)
  • Paint, Thinner, Stain and Varnish
  • Auto Products (motor oil & filters, old fuel, batteries)

Household hazardous waste must be taken to an Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Please call (800) 606-6606 for proper disposal. Household batteries can also be brought to the Piedmont Fire Station for recycling or placed in a sealed zip-lock plastic bag atop the lid of the blue Recyclables cart on your regular collection day.

Motor Oil and Filter Recycling

DO NOT place used oil or filters in your garbage or recycling carts. DO NOT empty used oil into the storm drain. Motor oil poured onto the ground or into storm drains, or tossed into trash cans (even in a sealed container) can contaminate and pollute the soil, groundwater, streams, rivers and bay. Recycling your used motor oil reduces this pollution threat.

Have your vehicle's oil and filter changed at a professional oil-change service provider. If you change your vehicle's oil and filter yourself, please take it to a Certified Used Oil Collection Center. Locate used oil recycling centers in your area by using the California Integrated Waste Management Board's tool to search by city, county, or ZIP code. You can also call the Earth's 911 hotline (1-800-CLEANUP).

Medical Sharps Disposal

Please review this brochure (PDF) from the California Integrated Waste Management Board for more information on how and where to properly dispose of needles and syringes.

Unwanted Medicines

Unwanted medicines can be safely disposed over in the drug take-back kiosk located in the Piedmont Police Department lobby. Remove any contact information from the original packaging and place the container or zip locked medicines in the kiosk.

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Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling

Construction and Demolition (C&D) Projects governed by the California Green Building Standards Code or having a building permit valuation greater than or equal to $50,000 are required to divert at least 65% of the debris generated by the project from going to a landfill. This includes all construction, demolition and/or renovation projects within the City. Although not required, the City encourages projects which do not meet the above criteria to recycle at least 65% of the debris generated.

The City's franchised waste hauler, Richmond Sanitary Service, (800) 320-8077, has the exclusive right to haul debris from construction and demolition projects within Piedmont. Richmond Sanitary Service will work with the project applicant to ensure that at least 50% of the debris generated is recycled.

View additional forms and information for recycling C&D debris in Piedmont.

Please remember that Green Building Practices reduce the amount of debris generated at construction and demolition projects. To learn more about Green Building, please visit the website of StopWaste.Org.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I just moved to Piedmont. How do I start garbage and recycling services?
A. Only property owners may establish residential garbage services in Piedmont. If you own your home, contact Richmond Sanitary Service at (800) 320-8077 to start weekly garbage, recycling, and organics collection service. If you are renting, contact your landlord or property manager to start weekly garbage, recycling, and organics collection service.

Q. Must I have and pay for garbage service?
A. According to section 9.03.010 of the City Code, residents must maintain a subscription for regular solid waste collection service or obtain a self-hauling pursuant to a permit issued under section 9.03.060.

Q. How may I save money under the new collection agreement going into place on July 1, 2018?
A. There are four ways to reduce the cost of garbage collection service.

  • Service rates are based upon the size of your garbage cart. Collection service for recyclables and organics is unlimited in volume and provided at no additional cost. By recycling more and generating less garbage, you may be able to switch to a smaller garbage cart to save money. But be sure to choose the right container for your garbage needs. Charges will be assessed for overflowing garbage, garbage set out beyond your service level, or allowing garbage to accumulate on your property. Recycling carts and organics carts contaminated with garbage will not be serviced. Call Richmond Sanitary Service at (800) 320-8077 to order additional or larger carts for recyclables and organics.
  • On-premises (backyard) collection service costs more than curbside service. Switching to curbside service saves approximately $42 per month. With curbside collection, the customer is responsible for placing the wheeled carts at the curb on their regular collection service day and returning the carts to their storage location promptly after collection. With curbside collection, carts are not limited in size as they are with on-premises collection.
  • An Annual Pre-Payment Discount allows single family customers to voluntarily pay for one (1) year of service with the twelfth (12th) month of service provided at no charge. That is 12 months of service for the cost of 11 months of service.
  • Physically disabled residential customers with no able-bodied household members are eligible to receive on-premises (backyard) collection at curbside rates. The maximum cart size available to on-premises collection is 35 gallons. In order to receive the discount, the account holder must fill out the application for exemption to curbside placement of carts, provide a doctor's certification that the customer is unable to move the carts to the curb or provide a copy of a valid California Disability Placard, and verify that there are no able-bodied household members that are capable of moving the carts to the curb.

Q. Where should I place my carts for collection?
A. Customers with on-premises (backyard) collection service should keep all their carts in an accessible location out of view from the street in the side or rear yard. The blue recycling cart should be kept next to the black and green carts and does not need to be taken to the curb.

Customers who have opted to have Curbside collection service should place all their carts within three feet of the curb for collection no earlier than 6:00 p.m. on the day prior to the scheduled collection day, and must remove all carts from the curb no later than 12:00 midnight on the scheduled collection day. Customers may not place carts in a public street, or public sidewalk, but may place carts in the right-of-way parking strip. To help reduce scavenging, please place the carts out before 7:00 a.m.

Should you need a trash enclosure to screen your bins please see the Trash Enclosure Information Brochure (PDF).

Q. Who do I call about missed collection of garbage/recycling/organics service?
A. Call Richmond Sanitary Service at their toll free number, (800) 320-8077.

Q. What are the hours of collection?
A.
Service hours are Monday to Friday beginning at 7:00 a.m. and ending no later than 6:00 p.m.

Q. I just completed a yard clean-up. How do I dispose of all the yard debris that does not fit in my green Organics cart?
A.
On those periodic occasions when a single-family customer has additional green waste in excess of what can be placed in the green Organics cart, they may call Richmond Sanitary Service at (800) 320-8077 to request overage bags in which to place the additional plant debris. Organics collection is unlimited in volume and is provided at no additional cost. If a customer regularly finds that they have more yard debris than will fit in the green Organics cart, they can call Richmond Sanitary Service to request an additional green cart. More information on Organics collection can be found in the guide at the top of this page.

Q. Why should I recycle food scraps?
A.
Food scraps and food soiled paper are the largest single item in our waste stream - making up approximately 35% of what we throw away in Alameda County. Food scraps are a resource, not a waste. By participating in the food scrap recycling program, food scraps and food soiled paper are sent to a composting facility. Instead of taking up space in the landfill, your food scraps become compost - a valuable resource used by landscapers and farmers. The result is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier environment. To learn more open the guide at the top of the page or visit the http://stopfoodwaste.org website.

Q. How do I recycle food scraps?
A.
Collect food scraps and food-soiled paper in the green kitchen pail. Empty the pail contents into the large green Organics cart for collection. DO NOT place the kitchen pail outside for collection. Refer to the service guide at the top of this page for additional information and hints on Food Scrap Recycling. You can also visit StopFoodWaste.org to learn more.

Q. I need a replacement cart because mine is damaged or missing. Who do I call?
A. Call Richmond Sanitary Service (RSS) at their toll free number, (800) 320-8077. RSS will also provide additional recyclables and organics carts at no extra cost.

Q. What is my collection schedule during holidays?
A. There is no garbage, organics, or recycling collection on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. During weeks when these holidays fall on a weekday, pickup is one day later for the rest of the week, including Saturday. For example, if your regular service day is Tuesday you will get service on Wednesday, or if your regular service day is Friday you will get service on Saturday. Garbage, recycling, and organics collection schedules are not affected by any other holidays.

Q. What do I do with batteries and cell phones?
A.
DO NOT place any batteries or cell phones in any of your wheeled carts. You can properly dispose and recycle household batteries and cell phones in one of three ways:

You can place your household batteries and cell phones in a sealed plastic bag on top of the blue Recyclables cart on your regular service day.

You can bring your household batteries to the Piedmont Fire Station for recycling.

Batteries, both household and automobile, can be taken to an Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Call (800) 606-6606 for more information.

Q. How do I recycle paint?
A. Latex and oil-based paint needs to be taken to an Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Call (800) 606-6606 or visit the paints page at StopWaste.Org to learn more. 

Q. What do I do with syringes and hypodermic needles?
A. They cannot be recycled or thrown in the garbage and must be disposed of properly. Please visit the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste website or call (800) 606-6606 for proper disposal instructions.

Q. I'm interested in home composting . Where can I get more information?
A.
Home composting information can be found on the StopWaste.Org website.

Q. I have some unusual items to recycle . Where can I get more information about what to do with them?
A. Visit StopWaste.Org or call its toll-free hotline, (877) 786-7927.

Q. Who should I call about the disposal of household hazardous waste?
A.
Call the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program at (800) 606-6606.

Q. What should I do if I see someone other than the recycling company taking recyclables from my blue Recyclables cart?
A.
Get a description of the person and/or the make and model of the vehicle and call the police non-emergency number, (510) 420-3000.

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