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South Lake Refuse
& Recycling Services

Commercial & Multifamily Compost Program

South Lake Refuse & Recycling provides a green cart for the weekly roadside collection of compostable materials like yard waste, clean wood waste and vegetable garden & fruit tree waste.

Food waste/scrap compost collection coming soon. As of January 1, 2022, a new California law (SB 1383) requires the sorting of recyclables and organic waste including paper, cardboard, yard waste, food scraps, and food soiled paper from the garbage. However, Lake County is a rural community and has been given two more years to fully implement a food waste compost program.

GREEN COMPOST Cart(s) & Green Waste only Bins

Compost (Green) carts are only available in the 96-gallon size. Bins are only available for green waste and are offered on a per case basis.  Send us a request.

Visit our Commercial Service Information page to review the container options and set out rules for commercial customers.

Why does adding food, food soiled paper and yard waste to my green compost cart matter?

When organic materials end up in landfills, they generate methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. South Lake’s compost facility, Quackenbush, instead turns this valuable material into organic compost. When compost is used in landscape and agriculture it builds soil nutrients, conserves water, and reduces the need for fertilizers.

Please do not include any plastics in the compost carts besides the BPI certified bags for kitchen waste.

What Belongs in COMPOST

  • Put only yard waste, clean wood waste, vegetable garden waste, and fruit tree waste into your green cart.
  • Please DO NOT place recyclables or garbage in the green cart and DO NOT place any plastics of any kind even if they say “Compostable.” 
  • Do not overfill; make sure that the lid closes securely when placed at the curb for collection. Please remember that any materials extending beyond the rim of any cart will be subject to an extra charge or your cart not being picked up.

These materials can be placed in the yard waste/food scraps cart.

Yard Waste

Vegetable Garden & Fruit Tree Waste

Clean Wood Waste

All wood must be free of any metal or plastic. Please cut into pieces no larger than 6 inches x 3 feet.
Image: what organics belong in compost

What Doesn’t Belong in Compost

These materials should not be placed in the yard waste/food scraps cart.

BPI Certified Bags

BPI Certified Logo

If you choose to collect food scraps with compostable bags, they must meet Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) standards and show the BPI symbol.

Bags can be purchased at:

  • Walmart in Clearlake
  • Safeway in Lakeport
  • Online at Amazon, Target, Walmart, Safeway and more!


We know that it can be difficult to determine what materials are compostable. All materials in the green carts or compost bins go to the Upper Valley Composting Facility where they are made into a nutrient rich soil amendment, compost. Contamination is very hard to remove once it is in the compost container.

Common Compost Contaminants

  • Plastic bags and packaging (should go into trash)
  • Garbage bags (only garbage goes into garbage bags, do not bag your recyclables)
  • Paper lined with plastic and or metals
  • Pet & Human waste

What Can I Do to Help Prevent Contamination?

  • Review the list of what materials CAN be composted.
  • Unfortunately, when in doubt, it’s better to throw it out (in the garbage) than to risk contaminating your compost container.

How We Manage Compost Contamination at South Lake Refuse & Recycling

Compost carts/bins WILL NOT be emptied if contaminated with trash or non-compostable materials. If the driver notices contamination, he/she may not be able to empty your container. If this happens, a Non-Collection Notice will be left on your cart letting you know why the cart was not collected. You will also get an OOPS TAG which will tell you what contamination was found so will know the next time. You will be given the opportunity to clean up the container so it can be emptied on your next service say. Or you may opt to request a special pickup (for a fee) after removing the contaminants from the container.

Missed Collection

We make every effort to emptying your container(s) on your service day, but on occasion, we may miss you. We apologize if this happens.

  • If our driver skips collection, please call our office within two business days so we can return at no cost to you.
  • If your miss is discovered after office hours, you can leave us a message through our contact form.
  • We are all human and may accidently forgot to set-out our containers for collection. If this happens, please call our office hours and let us know. We can offer a one-time courtesy fee waiver and allow you to set out an extra bag the next pick-up day equal to your missed collection without charge. If you cannot wait until the next week to set-out extra garbage, we can go back and empty the cart(s) for an additional $25 per cart and $75 per bin.
  •  There are other instances when your container(s) may not be emptied. This may be because the container was not out, or it was blocked by something that prevented us from safely emptying it, or the container had prohibited items. If this was the case, we will leave you a notice with instructions on how to correct the problem (such as the cart was not out, the container was blocked, or the contents of the container had prohibited materials). We can return to empty the container for an additional fee per container.

Contact South Lake Refuse & Recycling

Need Compost?

Quakenbush Resource Recovery Park offers compost made from the organic material we collect.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

Dispose of materials like batteries, paints and household cleaners properly at a collection event for residents in Lake County.

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