Put In Trash Container

Items for Your Trash Container

What can I put in the trash?

This interactive guide shows items that can be placed inside your trash container. Please reference our other guides to learn about other items that you need to dispose of. 

Food Scraps

Food Scraps

Trash

The best option is to compost food scraps if you are able to. If not, please place them in the trash. Avoid putting food scraps down the garbage disposal or in the recycling container.

Plastic Bags

Plastic Bags

Trash

Plastic bags and other film plastics (plastic that easily crumples in your hand) are easily contaminated with food and liquid, so they need to go in the trash. Please do NOT use a plastic bag to contain your recyclables!

Snack Wrappers

Snack Wrappers

Trash

Snack wrappers are a type of film plastic (plastic that easily crumples in your hand) that are easily contaminated with food and liquid, so they need to go in the trash. Examples include candy, cookie, and chip wrappers.

Plastic Food Cups

Plastic Food Cups/Lids

Trash

These low-grade food plastics have a long history of being contaminated with food and liquid, so they are undesirable for recyclers, regardless of size. If you can't avoid using this packaging altogether, then try to reuse them before throwing them away. Examples include yogurt, salsa, sour cream, and cream cheese.

Plastic Clam Shells

Plastic Clam Shells

Trash

These low-grade food plastics have a long history of being contaminated with food and liquid, so they are undesirable for recyclers. If you can't avoid using this packaging altogether, then try to reuse them before throwing them away.

Styrofoam

Styrofoam

Trash

Expanded Polystyrene foam, commonly referred to as Styrofoam, is extremely difficult to recycle from a curbside collection program because it is lightweight and easily breaks apart. Place Styrofoam in your trash unless you are able to drop it off at one of our recycling centers.

Cold Beverage Cups

Cold Beverage Cups

Trash

These low-grade plastics have a long history of being contaminated with liquid, so they are undesirable for recyclers, regardless of size. Reusable cups are the best option.

Plastic Labeled

Plastic Labeled "Compostable" or "Biodegradable"

Trash

Polylactic acid (PLA) plastics can only be composted at industrial composting facilities, which you do not have access to through curbside collection. Place these items in your trash.

Plastic Cup Lids

Plastic Cup Lids

Trash

These lids are too flimsy to be worthwhile for recyclers. Reusable cups are the best option.

Plastic Cutlery

Plastic Cutlery

Trash

This cutlery is too small and weak to be worthwhile for recyclers. Switch to reusables, and be sure to keep a reusable travel set for carry out orders on the go.

Empty Pill Bottles

Empty Pill Bottles

Trash

If the empty pill bottle is smaller than 6" is should be placed in the trash. If you wish to dispose of unwanted medication, please refer to this page for more information.

CD & DVD Cases

CD & DVD Cases

Trash

These plastic cases are not rigid enough for recyclers, and they are often comprised of mixed plastics. Try to donate CDs & DVDs, along with their cases, prior to disposing of them..

CDs or DVDs

CDs or DVDs

Trash

CDs and DVDs are comprised of layers of metal and plastic, which makes them impossible to recycle. Try to donate or repurpose dics for craft projects prior to disposing of them.

Tapes

Tapes

Trash

Tapes are comprised of different types of plastics, so they are nearly impossible to recycle.

Napkins & Paper Towels

Napkins & Paper Towels

Trash

These items are so thin, there is not enough paper pulp to be recycled. Try cloth napkins and towels instead, or napkins and towels made of recycled paper.

Diapers

Diapers

Trash

Please place diapers in the trash. Never attempt to flush diapers down the toilet.

Pet Waste

Pet Waste

Trash

Please place all pet waste in the trash, including cat litter.

Ice Cream Cartons

Ice Cream Cartons

Trash

It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of plastic and paper, rendering this item trash.

Milk, Soup, and Juice Cartons

Milk, Soup, and Juice Cartons

Trash

It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of plastic and paper, rendering this item trash.

Waxed Cardboard

Frozen Food Boxes & Other Waxed Cardboard

Trash

Frozen food boxes are lined with wax or a plastic polymer to help preserve and insulate foods. Waxed cardboard is often used to transport produce, seafood, and meat. It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of wax and cardboard, rendering this item trash

Padded Mailers

Padded Mailers

Trash

These envelopes are lined with bubble wrap. It is nearly impossible to separate the plastic and paper, rendering this item trash.

Pizza Boxes

Pizza Boxes

Trash

Pizza boxes have historically been contaminated with food and liquid, so they need to go in the trash.

Hot Beverage Cups

Hot Beverage Cups

Trash

It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of plastic and paper, rendering this item trash. Reusable cups are the best option.

Drinking Glasses

Drinking Glasses

Trash

Drinking glasses are "tempered", meaning they have been chemically treated. These chemicals prevent the glass from being recycled, so they must be placed in the trash.

Art Glass

Art Glass

Trash

The colors in artistic glass and sculptures is derived from metals. The metal and glass are nearly impossible to separate, rendering these items as trash.

Window Glass & Other Tempered Glass

Window Glass & Other Tempered Glass

Trash

Tempered glass has been chemically treated. These chemicals prevent the glass from being recycled, so it must be placed in the trash. Examples of tempered glass include windows, drinking glasses, and art glass.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Trash

Incandescent light bulbs contain wire filmanets that heat up and emit a glow. They do not contain hazardous materials, so you can place them in the trash.

LED Light Bulbs

LED Light Bulbs

Trash

While LEDs do contain some heavy metals, like lead and copper, they are not currently classified as hazardous waste in California. You can either place them in the trash, or drop them off at UCSB's Hazardous Waste Center.

Palm Fronds

Palm Fronds

Trash

Palms and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container. All contents of your container must fit inside with the lid closed.

Succulents

Succulents

Trash

Succulents and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container.

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise

Trash

Bird of Paradise and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container. All contents of your container must fit inside with the lid closed.

Agave

Agave

Trash

Agave and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container. All contents of your container must fit inside with the lid closed.

Cacti

Cacti

Trash

Cacti and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container.

Yucca

Yucca

Trash

Yucca and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container. All contents of your container must fit inside with the lid closed.

Castor Bean

Castor Bean

Trash

Castor Bean plants are poisonous, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container. All contents of your container must fit inside with the lid closed.

Bamboo

Bamboo

Trash

Bamboo and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container. All contents of your container must fit inside with the lid closed.

Pampas Grass

Pampas Grass

Trash

Pampas Grass and other fibrous plants are too strong for our green waste grinders, so they can not be collected with other green waste to be mulched. Please place these plants in your trash container. All contents of your container must fit inside with the lid closed.