- Departments & Divisions
- Environmental Services
- Sustainability Programs
- Recycling, Garbage and Organics
- Composting & Green Waste Resources
Composting & Green Waste Resources
Composting valuable organic materials such as food, garden and grass clippings, brush, untreated wood, and food-soiled paper can build healthy soils, keeps materials out of the landfill, conserves water and energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps grow our local economy!
Click the tabs below for information about composting and green waste in Arcata.
Organics Waste Reduction
- Use these food waste prevention tips for residents.
- Compost at home. See our Backyard Composting Made Easy brochure for more information on backyard composting.
- Learn to compost and grasscycle by checking out videos and books from the Arcata Library.
- View the SB 1383 Organics Requirements page for information and frequently asked questions about organics recycling.
If you have a backyard, patio, balcony, or any small outside space, you can purchase a composting bin, or build one yourself!
The City of Arcata sells the Soil Saver, an 11.5 cubic foot (28"x28"x32") capacity home composting vessel for $35. This high-quality backyard composter is made of black 100% recycled heavy-duty weather-resistant material that won’t crack, rust or rot. The Soil Saver can be purchased at the City of Arcata Environmental Services Department. You must live within city limits and present water receipt/bill or rental contract/ receipt. Renters must obtain approval from their landlords or property owners prior to purchase.
Some people living in an apartment complex or any other shared/communal area may sometimes not have any outside space to compost. If you are in this situation, we highly encourage you to work with your neighbors and talk to your landlord/property manager to implement a communal composting in a shared space.
Visit our SB 1383 Organics Requirements page for information about organics recycling
Curbside Green Waste Pick Up
Prevent yard waste from going to the landfill by taking advantage of the curbside Yard Waste Pickup service from Recology Arcata. Get details and sign up for services today.
Green Waste Drop-off
2023 Update (as of May 18th, 2023)
Steve Morris Logging took over the green waste drop-off and composting agreement with Humboldt Waste Management Authority as of April 1 when they bought the Wes Green Company. The new business is now only accepting drop-off green waste at their Glendale location (1500 Glendale Drive) where they have a certified scale. Recology Arcata customers who live within city limits can take Greenwaste and unpainted lumber to the Glendale location for drop-off. Please ensure no dirt or sod is mixed in with your green waste drop-off as these materials cannot be accepted or composted.
City staff continues to work with HWMA to advocate for a green waste drop-off location within city limits. Until such a new arrangement can be identified, all Recology Arcata customers will need to drop off their green waste at the Glendale location.
Currently, $144,000 of the City’s franchise fee revenue funds no-cost greenwaste drop-off for Arcata residents. The City will need to reduce the amount of no-cost drop-offs to residents from 24 cubic yards per year to 11 cubic yards (or 1.1 tons) per year to ensure the program is adequately funded. Updates to the amount of free green waste drop-off per Recology Arcata account are anticipated to occur July 1, 2023.
Presently, customers can currently bring in 24 1-yard loads (or fewer larger loads) every calendar year. Drop-off volumes of less than one full cubic yard will be “rounded-up” and counted as the use of one cubic yard/drop-off use on the customer’s account. Once a customer’s account reaches 24 cubic yards in one calendar year, the standard fee of $11.00 per cubic yard will apply until the annual allotment resets on January 1, 2024.
To establish a green waste drop-off account, present a photo I.D. and a copy of a current Recology Arcata bill. Once an account is established you only need to bring your photo I.D. to drop green waste. When registering, an account customer may list ONLY two user-names per account. Non-listed users will not be permitted to drop off green waste at “no charge.” Please note: Should you choose to add a landscaper or landscaping business as an authorized user, green-waste material delivered under your account may contain material commingled from other customers and reduce your overall annual “no charge” allotment.
The greenwaste recycling facility is currently located at 1500 Glendale Drive. For additional information on its services, call 707- 822-8537. Access the Google map for a mapping details to the facility.
If you have questions regarding the green waste drop-off program please call the Environmental Services Department at 707-822-8184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.