Yard Trimmings, Food Waste & Composting

Composting is the law as of January 1, 2022

Please remember to place yard waste, food scraps and food-soiled paper towels and napkins in your green organics cart. Composting this material instead of sending it to the landfill helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and it can also be used to create a nutrient-rich compost. 

Composting is Now the Law

Compostables (Organic Waste)

  • Non-recyclable, food contaminated paper (ex: pizza boxes)
  • Paper towels
  • Soiled napkins
  • Plate scrapings
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Dairy, Meat, Bones
  • Yard trimmings

All of these materials are recyclable and should not be placed in the garbage. They should be placed in your green organics cart or as detailed below. If you are unsure whether or not an item can go in your compost bin, use Recology’s "What Bin" tool.

Yard Trimmings
Yard trimmings can be collected in:

  • 96 gallon organics carts available at no charge from Recology South Valley, 408-842-3358
  • Regular 32-gallon garbage cans
  • Bundles no larger than 3’ x 3’. Individual branches must be less than 3’ in length and 6" in diameter. Please tie with twine or other compostable material.
  • You may place up to 7 additional cans or bundles out each recycling day

Food Waste Storage Containers
The city will provide 2 under-the-sink containers to assist residents in storing their food wastes before taking them out to the yard trimmings cart. Call 408-310-4169 for more information.


  • DO NOT put compostables in plastic bags. Plastic does not compost. Yard trimmings that are put in plastic bags will not be collected.
  • Yard trimmings will not be collected as regular trash. Recology South Valley has been instructed not to collect garbage that contains yard trimmings.
Compost Workshops
The Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission of Santa Clara County offers free Compost Basics workshops in Morgan Hill in the Spring and Fall. Join others in learning how to turn your grass, leaves, and kitchen scraps into a rich soil amendment - all in your own backyard. Each class lasts about 2 hours and there is no charge to attend. For more information about home composting, please call the Home Composting Hotline at 408-918-4640 or visit the County's site that details composting resources and many other programs.

Bay-Friendly Gardening
The Bay-Friendly Gardening program was developed to encourage residents to make environmentally friendly gardening choices. It is not a particular style, but an approach that works with nature to reduce waste and protect the watersheds of San Francisco Bay. Santa Clara County and other members of the Bay-Friendly Coalition have joined forces to implement a sustainable approach to the design, construction and maintenance of landscapes and gardens, by coordinating a Bay Area wide Bay-Friendly brand and suite of programs originally developed by StopWaste.org in Alameda County.