Recycling & Garbage
The city contracts with Recology South Valley for solid waste, recycling, and street sweeping services. Please use the following link to find more information, including garbage collection schedules:
City of Gilroy/Recology Franchise Agreement
- Organic Waste Disposal Reduction
- Household Hazardous Waste
- E-Waste & Universal Waste
- Composting Information
One of California’s recent initiatives focuses on keeping organic materials out of landfills and using them in beneficial ways, such as using them to create compost, fertilizers, and biofuels. According to CalRecycle, “About half of California’s waste stream is organic material like yard trimmings, food waste, and lumber.” State law now requires residents and businesses to compost organic materials. This can be done in a variety of ways, including using the green compost bin provided by Recology to collect organic waste for composting.
For more information on composting and recycling organic materials, visit https://calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/. Or call 408-842-3358 to speak with a Waste Zero Specialist about Recology’s programs, educational materials, and staff training.
Mandatory Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance for Businesses
California law, including SB 1383 and AB 1826, requires all businesses to separate organic waste from the trash and to participate in organic waste recycling programs. Your business must comply with organic waste recycling laws.
California disposed approximately 39 million tons of waste in landfills in 2018, of which approximately one-third was compostable organic materials (e.g., food waste, landscape waste, etc.). Landfilled organic waste emits methane gas which is a super pollutant that contributes to climate change. In order to address this significant waste stream and reduce methane gas in the atmosphere, state law requires businesses to work with their local waste hauler (Recology) to arrange for the separate collection of organic materials like food scraps, food-contaminated paper, and yard trimmings. All commercial businesses, including Multi-Family Residential Dwellings with five (5) units or more, are required to subscribe to organic waste collection services for all organic waste generated.
For questions regarding the Mandatory Organic Waste Disposal Reduction Ordinance, please contact Tanya Carothers at email@example.com.
Household Hazardous Waste Program
The City of Gilroy participates in the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) disposal program. All residents in the city can set up an appointment with the county to dispose of HHW for free. Please visit the county website for this program to set up an appointment online or call 408-299-7300.
It is illegal for California residents to throw most consumer electronics, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs or other mercury-containing products in the garbage. All of these materials are considered a type of Hazardous Waste. Because these materials are so universally disposed of by both households and industry alike, they are called Universal Waste. The idea behind the Universal Waste rules is to reduce the lead, mercury, copper, and other metals that can leach out when electronic devices are crushed in landfills - polluting groundwater, streams, and wildlife.
Examples of Universal Waste
Rechargeable, alkaline, NiCad, Lithium, silver button, and mercury batteries.
Fluorescent Tubes, Bulbs & Other Mercury-Containing Lamps
These tubes and bulbs contain mercury vapor that may be released into the environment when they are broken.
Thermostats & Thermometers
There is mercury inside the old-style thermostats, but not inside the newer electronic type of thermostats. Mercury thermometers also need to be kept out of the garbage.
Electronics such as:
- Cell phones
- Compact disc players
- Microwave ovens
- Stereo equipment
- Televisions and computer monitors
These devices often contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper, and chromium.
Other mercury-containing devices such as:
- Electrical switches and relays
- Mercury added novelties
- Mercury gauges
- Pilot light sensors
What To Do With Universal Wastes
Alkaline Household batteries can be put into zip lock type bags and placed on top of or next to your recycle bin at the curb. All other batteries need to be brought to the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program at 408-299-7300.
The following locations will accept some or all kinds of electronic waste. Please call them before going to find out any restrictions as well as hours of operation:
- Trinie Martin Recycling Inc, at:
6310 Chestnut St.
Gilroy, CA 95020
- Best Buy will accept nearly all electronics and large appliances at no charge at:
7011 Camino Arroyo
Gilroy, CA 95020
Exceptions may apply; visit their website.
- Metech International LLC will also accept waste from Gilroy Residents at:
6200 Engel Way
Gilroy, CA 95020
Ph: 408-848-3050, ext. 12
- The San Martin Transfer Station accepts computer monitors and TVs for recycling. Call 408-842-3358 for more information.
- Many local organizations also hold 1-day e-waste events as fundraisers.
All Other Universal Wastes
If there is not a location listed that is convenient, you can always utilize the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program. This is an appointment-only service for all residents of Santa Clara County. Call 408-299-7300 to get an appointment.
Composting is nature's process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. Backyard composting is an acceleration of the same process nature uses. By composting your organic waste you are returning nutrients back into the soil in order for the cycle of life to continue.
Santa Clara County Master Composters are available to give free composting workshops for schools and private or community groups in the day or evening. For more information, or to register for a class, contact the ROTLINE by phone at 408-918-4640, fax at 408-298-0876, or via email.
Check the Santa Clara County website for more information.