Recycling, Solid Waste & Organics
The City of Eureka Community Services Department is responsible for environmental programs and waste management. Properly disposing of waste, recycling, and prevention of waste is vitally important to making Eureka a more sustainable home. We strive to offer a variety of programs and opportunities to ensure everyone can take waste reduction into their own hands.
The City of Eureka has mandatory universal collection of garbage and recycling in an effort to meet State waste reduction mandates, protect public health, and reduce illegal disposal. The program requires that all occupied properties both residential and commercial subscribe to curbside service through the city's contracted waste hauler.
The City of Eureka is also a member of the JPA HWMA which offers a variety of drop-off services for Eureka residents.
While Eureka has its own ordinances and waste programs, the State of California also has requirements that the City is responsible for implementing.
The city's current contracted waste hauler is Recology Humboldt County.
The City of Eureka requires mandatory curbside service for all residential, multi-family, and commercial properties
- Garbage (mandatory)
- Garbage collection is weekly with a minimum requirement of 20 gallons per residence or unit
- Banned from the garbage
- Batteries, tires, household hazardous waste, e-waste
- Never overfill your tote. If the lid cannot close, you need to upgrade to a larger size, or call Recology for an additional pickup for an extra charge
- Mixed Recycling (mandatory)
- Recycling collection is weekly. All Eureka residents who subscribe to garbage collection receive a 96-gallon mixed recycling tote at no cost.
- Commercial businesses can request cardboard only boxes
- Green Waste (voluntary)
- Green waste is an optional weekly service. Includes materials like plants, weeds, leaves, and branches. No food waste.
- Bulky Item Pickup Program
- All customers get 2 free bulky pickups per year.
- Accepted Bulky Items:
- Metal Items, including scrap metal
- Carpet and padding
- Small and large loose items (up to 2 cubic yards of small items should be boxed or bagged)
Call Recology at 707-442-5711 to schedule your free bulky item pickup today!
- Street Sweeping
- Collecting approximately 1.4 million pounds of debris per year!
- Every street in Eureka is cleaned with a street sweeper once a month. We ask that you please move your vehicle off the curb once a month to ensure the street sweeper can collect as much debris as possible. You can view the schedule here: https://www.recology.com/recology-humboldt-county/eureka/street-sweeping/
- If you are unable to move your vehicle, please sweep up any debris around your curb.
To set up, change, or inquire about service, please visit Recology online or call 707-442-5711.
Drop-Off at HWMA
The City of Eureka is a member of the Joint Power Association (JPA) Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA).
- Solid waste disposal
- Battery disposal
- Carpet recycling
- E-waste recycling
- Fluorescent bulb recycling
- Green waste recycling
- Mattress recycling
- Medical sharps disposal
- Used motor oil
- Household Hazardous waste disposal
Please visit HWMA for more details about these disposal programs and any associated costs.
Recycler's Exclusion Program
You may apply for an exclusion from mandatory curbside service if you legally recycle, compost and divert out of the landfill virtually all of your property's solid waste. This program is overseen by the City of Eureka Community Services Department.
We accept applications year-round for new participants or late applicants. Please note, if you are a recurring exemption and submit past the deadline, you may be responsible for Recology fees for the period of lapse in exemption.
California State Senate Bill 1383
California's Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy: Fighting Climate Change by Recycling Organic Waste
In September 2016, Governor Edmund Brown Jr. set methane emissions reduction targets for California (SB 1383 Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The targets must:
- Reduce organic waste disposal by 50% by 2020 and 75% by 2025.
- Rescue for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed surplus food by 2025.
Cities and counties are responsible for implementing this state mandate through the following requirements: ordinance, organics collection service, capacity planning, education and outreach, monitoring and enforcement, contamination monitoring, organic waste procurement, recycled paper procurement, edible food recovery, and reporting.
All seven cities and the county teamed up in early 2021 to begin planning for regional compliance recognizing that this mandate was much too big for each to implement alone and some of the requirements must be implemented regionally, such as organics collection and processing. HWMA facilitated an RFP in behalf of HWMA members and Fortuna and Trinidad, to hire a consultant to assist with compliance planning. An agreement was executed on November 12th 2021 to hire Edgar and Associates.
Major milestones Edgar and Associates is assisting with:
- Compliance Plan Roadmap: maps out all requirements, how, and when they will be met. This will become a master internal planning document for all jurisdictions.
- Organics processing and collection: how to implement curbside collection of organics, and where this material will go to be composted, including siting and recommending organics processing facilities in the county
- Edible Food Recovery: assessing current food rescue network capacity and current donation programs, planning for expanded food rescue and required monitoring and reporting.
Stay tuned for more information on this page. If you are a Eureka resident or business, feel free to contact us at 707.441.4206 with any questions.
We invite you to attend our quarterly Solid Waste Local Task Force (SWLTF) meetings if you are interested in this topic.
Solid Waste Local Task Force
The Solid Waste Local Task Force (SWLTF) mandated by the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB939), which requires each county to convene a task force to assist in the implementation of the integrated management of solid waste.
The purpose of said Solid Waste Local Task Force is to:
- Assist in coordinating the review, revision and implementation of county and city source reduction and recycling elements, household hazardous waste elements, and non-disposal facility elements
- Review the county-wide siting element
- Ensure a coordinated and cost-effective regional integrated system for the management of waste by
- Identifying new and ongoing solid waste management issues of county-wide or regional concern
- Assisting, advising, and facilitating the development of solid waste collection systems, processing facilities, and marketing arrangements that can serve more than one local jurisdiction within the region
- To the extent possible, facilitating resolution of conflicts and inconsistencies between or among city and county source reduction and recycling elements, household hazardous waste elements, and non-disposal facility elements
- Develop goals, policies and procedures which are consistent with the guidelines and regulations adopted by the CalRecycle to guide the development of the county-wide integrated waste management plan
- Review and comment, as required by the Local Enforcement Agency and CalRecycle, on proposed actions, programs and facilities which affect the management of solid waste and diverted materials in Humboldt County
- Provide a forum for the public discussion of solid waste management, waste reduction, and recycling issues
- Provide advice and other advisory tasks as requested by the jurisdictions of Humboldt County
The Solid Waste Local Taskforce meets quarterly the 4th Monday of every January, April, July, and October from 11 am-12:30 pm.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 23, 2023 in Council Chambers, Eureka City Hall, 531 K St., Eureka, CA 95501.
How to Participate: (choose one)
- In Person: Pursuant to Assembly Bill 361, public meetings will be conducted both in person and telephonically through Zoom. The Eureka City Council Chambers are open to the public.
- Join Zoom Meeting https://www.zoom.us/ and enter the following meeting information:
- Meeting ID: 858 2163 0972
- Passcode: 338681
- Call In: 1-408-638-0968
Edible Food Donation and Recovery
Food recovery means collecting edible food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to feed people in need. Feeding hungry people through food recovery is the best use for surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and a vital way for California to conserve resources and reduce waste thrown in landfills. Californians send 11.2 billion pounds of food to landfills each year, some of which was still fresh enough to have been recovered to feed people in need. While billions of meals go to waste, millions of Californians don’t have enough to eat.
To reduce food waste and help address food insecurity, SB 1383 requires that by 2025 California will recover 20 percent of edible food that would otherwise be sent to landfills, to feed people in need. The law directs the following:
- Jurisdictions must establish food recovery programs and strengthen their existing food recovery networks
- Food donors must arrange to recover the maximum amount of their edible food that would otherwise go to landfills
- Food recovery organizations and services that participate in SB 1383 must maintain records
Humboldt County Food Pantries and Food Recovery Organizations
Food for People works throughout Humboldt County to eliminate hunger and improve the health and well-being of our community through access to healthy and nutritious foods, community education and advocacy. Their website in Spanish can be found here Version OptionsRecycling, Solid Waste & OrganicsHeadlineEdible Food Donation and Recovery Humboldt County Food Pantries and Food Recovery Organizations. The following organizations in Eureka also provide supplemental groceries to households as well as accept donations of edible food. For a list of resources outside of Eureka, please visit the County of Humboldt's website.
|Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center||133 7th St.||Eureka||707.407.3833|
|College of the Redwoods Food Pantry **||Eureka||707.476.4616|
|Cooperation Humboldt||804 E St., #16||Eureka||707.599.2951|
|Eureka Choice Pantry||2112 Broadway||Eureka||707.407.0447|
|Eureka Rescue Mission - Men's Program (Meal)||110 2nd St.||Eureka||707.443.4551|
|Eureka Rescue Mission - Women & Children's Program (Meal)||107 3rd St.||Eureka||707.443.5016|
|Food For People Humboldt Senior Resource Center||1910 California St.||Eureka||Not available|
|Food For People (Senior Brown Bag)||307 W. 14th St.||Eureka||707.445.3166 x303|
|Humboldt Senior Resource Center / Dining Center||1910 California St.||Eureka||707.443.9747|
|Salvation Army||2123 Tydd St.||Eureka||707.442.6475|
|St. Vincent de Paul Society's Free Dining Facility **||35 3rd St.||Eureka||707.445.9588|
Eureka Waste Reduction Programs
- Residential Curbside Recycling Through this program, you may recycle most of your disposable household items right at your curb. Curbside Recycling Guidelines (PDF)
- Eureka Community Recycling Center The Center is located at the Eureka Transfer Station at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka. They will take most of your recyclable / reusable items, including all of those items collected under our curbside collection program, and they will pay you for all of your CRV redemption value containers. They also take your old used tires and white goods such as large appliances and e-waste such as old computers for a nominal processing fee. Please call them for more information at 707-442-2541.
- Hazardous Waste Collection Facility The Household Hazardous Waste collection facility is located at the Eureka Transfer Station (near the Recycling Center) at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka. They will take most of the hazardous wastes typically found in your home such as fluorescent light bulbs, paint containers, cleaning product containers, motor oil, and more. Please call them at 707-441-2005 for more information.
- Green Waste Recycling The Green Waste collection facility is located at the Eureka Transfer Station at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka. The cost of disposing of your green waste is roughly half the price of disposing of it in our landfill. Green waste includes grass, shrubs, branches, unpainted wood and pallets (not pressure treated), Christmas trees (no flocking or ornamentation please), and more. Please call the Humboldt Waste Management Authority at 707-268-8680 for more information.
- Old Town / Downtown / Henderson Center Recycling Bins Providing additional opportunities for public recycling is a principal component in our efforts to increase the City's waste diversion tonnage. In 2003, the City implemented a street-side program that placed approximately 30 recycling bins at 25 locations in Old Town, Downtown, Henderson Center, and the Sequoia Park and Zoo. The bins allow the recycling of glass, plastic, and aluminum containers. The recycling bins are located near existing City garbage cans, and are collected about 3 times per week, or as needed. The bins were purchased through a State grant provided by the CA Integrated Waste Management Board.
- Public Schools Education Program The City has a partnership with the Eureka City School District to facilitate a recycling educational program at Sequoia Park Zoo. The program allows trained educators to provide learning activities designed to promote recycling, reuse, and food waste reduction. The program also provides support and information to assist the schools in achieving their own ongoing, sustainable recycling program.
Benefits of Recycling
The State of California has emphasized and mandated recycling programs since 1989. Today, most people know that recycling plays an important role in managing the garbage generated in homes and businesses and that it reduces the need for landfills and incinerators. Many environmental and economic benefits are derived by supplying industry with recycled materials, rather than virgin resources extracted from forests and mines.
Using recycled instead of raw materials saves energy, conserves scarce natural resources, and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and other dangerous air and water pollutants. Recycling is far more than a local waste management strategy; it is also an important strategy for improving efficiencies and reducing environmental impacts inherent in industrial production.
Key benefits include:
- Prevents emissions of many air and water pollutants
- Supplies valuable raw materials to industry with less environmental impact and cost
- Stimulates local economic development and growth of green technologies
- Saves energy
- Reduces the need for new landfills
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Creates jobs
- Conserves resources for future generations
Also, recycling is a growth industry with many kinds of business opportunities, including collection, processing, manufacturing and inventing new technologies. Currently, Eureka benefits from several local small businesses and solid waste recycling firms serving the local recycling industry, creating jobs and improving our economy.
City Approved Hauler List
For-hire hauling in the City of Eureka can only be provided by the firm/s listed below.
1. Recology Humboldt County
Materials: Garbage, Recycling, Green Waste, Bulky Items (Appliances, Couches, etc.)
Services: Weekly curbside service, debris bins, special bulky item pickup
• Construction and Demolition Debris removed from premises by a licensed demolition or construction company using its own employees and equipment as an incidental part of the total service offered by that company rather than as a hauling service.
• Self-transported by the generator to a certified disposal facility including backhauling by a business
• Sale or donation of materials
• Green waste removed from premises by gardening, landscaping, or tree trimming company as incidental part of the total service offered by that company rather than as a hauling service.
- Exclusions. The program includes a process whereby citizens may show cause why they should not be required to subscribe to garbage and recycling collection service. Such reasons may include that the property is vacant or not located within the city limits, or that there are unique parcel-specific conditions that compel the property owner, tenant, or occupant to self haul their garbage, recyclables, and green waste to the Transfer Station. Such conditions may include residential properties with long, narrow, or steep driveways where the garbage company, in the opinion of the City Manager, is unable to properly and safely use its equipment.
- Market-Based Rates / Incentives to Recycle. The ordinance allows metered service which provides market-based incentives to reduce waste and increase waste diversion through the curbside recycling and green waste collection program. Metered service will ensure that residents, particularly those who recycle and compost the vast majority of their waste, have the opportunity to pay lower rates for smaller garbage carts, thus encouraging higher rates of waste diversion toward recycling and green waste carts.
- Recycler's Declaration. The ordinance does not wish to punish those devoted recyclers who are already diverting virtually all of their household waste. Therefore, the program may exclude those residents (owner or occupant) who legally recycle and/or compost virtually all of their refuse. All persons claiming this exclusion shall be asked to sign a legal Declaration or Affidavit once per year stating that they legally recycle and/or compost virtually all their refuse so that no unsanitary condition, a hazard to health, or public nuisance will arise upon the premises owned, managed or controlled by them if they are not provided with collection and disposal of refuse services by a collector. The Declaration will require a detailed report explaining how the diversion is accomplished for a wide variety of specific household wastes, including food waste, plastics, glass, fiber, metals, e-waste, hazardous wastes, and others. Currently, there is no fee proposed for administering the Declaration program.
- Discontinuance Upon Vacancy. Property owners required to subscribe to collection service under this ordinance could discontinue service for one or more months when their premises are vacant or the occupant is traveling out of town. The owner is required to submit written notice of such vacancy to the garbage company. Monthly garbage fees shall continue to accrue until such time as notice is received by the garbage company.
- Appeal Process. The ordinance allows the City Manager or a designated representative to endeavor to resolve all disputes concerning the administration or enforcement of program requirements. Any affected person who is dissatisfied with the determination of the City Manager may appeal the same to the City Council. No alleged violation shall be permitted, or be continued, during the time any appeal is pending.
- Enforcement. There is a cost to the city to sort out household garbage from recyclables and sort recyclables from the garbage. Thus, the ordinance enables the City to develop and implement an inspection program whereby the City may periodically inspect garbage and recycling bins, and have the ability to fine those households which are placing recyclable materials into their refuse containers, and/or are placing refuse and garbage into their recycling containers.
- Scavenging. Section 51.33A of the ordinance addresses scavenging by making it unlawful for any person (other than City's contracted collectors) to gather or collect recyclables (except as provided in the Chapter, i.e. temporary non-profit events, etc.). Under Chapter 10.99 of the Eureka Municipal Code, assuming such a violation would be charged as an infraction, the penalties/fine would be $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third offense and each subsequent offense of the same ordinance within one year.
- Failure to Subscribe. If the City Manager has reason to believe that any person required to subscribe for service has failed to subscribe, the Manager may cause written notice to be mailed to the Owner of the real property so affected directing the Owner to subscribe for such service within ten days after the date of the notice. Any such notice shall provide 10 days to subscribe for collection service or show cause why such person should not be required to subscribe. If service or cause is not established, the Manager will authorize such service and the billing charges to be assessed against the real property upon which the premises served are located. After notice and a public hearing, unpaid delinquent accounts shall become a lien on the property and be collected with property taxes.
- Delinquent Accounts. When a delinquent account is forwarded to the City by the garbage company, the city shall then, pursuant to the authority and notification processes contained in California Government Code § 38790.1, attempt to collect the delinquent fees in the manner described in California Government Code § 25831. Prior to forwarding a delinquent account to the City, a late fee shall be applied to delinquent accounts by the garbage company as an incentive to secure payment. The amount of the fee shall be determined by the garbage company and authorized by the Eureka City Council.
- Administration and Billing. Recology Humboldt County will continue to provide all billing and customer request services. For delinquencies, the city will assist Recology Humboldt County annually in securing authority to amend County property tax billing statements.
- Individual Waste Removal. Nothing in this Ordinance will prevent persons from carrying their own solid waste and recyclable materials to the Transfer Station for those weekend cleanup projects and other jobs private disposal sites for which a valid permit is in effect.