Placer Recycles

You toss. We sort.

In Placer County, we’re proud of our One Big Bin program which is made possible by our two Materials Recovery Facilities, known as MRF’s. The county’s mixed waste collection system allows you to put trash and recycling into your garbage can together – we sort out the recyclable items at our Eastern and Western MRF’s. This ensures 100% of our residents and businesses are recycling and reduces the number of trucks on the road – watch the videos below to see how it works!

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Recycle an old mattress? Yes!  

Did you know that more than 75% of a mattress can be recycled into other products? Recycling the springs, foam filler, fibers and wood keep these materials out of the landfill - and give them new life!

In partnership with the Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program, there are two locations in Placer County that provide FREE mattress and box spring drop-off for residential customers: 

                • Recology Auburn Placer
                  Auburn Transfer Station
                  12305 Shale Ridge, Road Auburn
                  Daily 8 am to 4:45 pm
                • Western Placer Waste Management Authority Materials Recovery Facility
                  3195 Athens Avenue, Lincoln
                  Monday – Friday from 7 am to 5 pm
                  Weekends 8 am to 5 pm

Call Recology at (530) 885-3735 or visit to learn more.  

Be a Battery Saver!

Batteries are everywhere, not just loose, now they’re built into things like cell phones, kids’ toys, RC cars and vape pens too. These should never be put in the trash. Built in, or loose, batteries cause fires in our waste facilities, disrupting recycling, endangering our workers and the environment and putting garbage truck drivers at risk too. Luckily, it is easy to be a Battery Saver! 

  • Check with your Garbage Hauler to see if free pickup is available.
  • Visit the retailer that sells them – many accept old products for recycling. Or,
  • Drop them off at a Recycling Center near you.

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) - Keep out!

There are a few things that should not be placed in your garbage - HHW like paint, light bulbs, electronic waste, batteries and items labeled “danger”, “caution” or “poison”. If you have HHW that needs to be disposed of, there are several locations where you can do so on a regular basis - see below for pick-up options in eastern or western parts of Placer County or click here to find a year-round drop-off location near you! 

Give the rake a break...

Do you ever notice the lack of weeds in the forest? Leaves and pine needles make an excellent mulch and provide a variety of benefits - they: 

  • decrease weed growth by blocking the sun
  • insulate plant roots from cold weather 
  • return nutrients to the soil as they break down
  • create wildlife habitat 

Also, a thin layer spread over the lawn before your last mow of the season will give these same benefits to your grass! 

Leaves and pine needles have a place in the landscape, but not in the defensible space zone. Excess leaves and pine needles should be removed from roofs and raked out of the 30-foot defensible space zone around structures.  

Organic 'trash' into treasure!

Turn your organic ‘trash’ into treasure! Food scraps, cardboard, paper, and green waste can all be turned into gardener’s gold - aka compost. Compost provides nutrients to plants and increases the water-holding capacity of soil! 

Learn more about composting at home from the Placer County Master Gardeners.  

And, did you know that organic wastes can create methane - a potent greenhouse gas - when they decompose in a landfill? Green waste received at the Western Placer Waste Management Authority and the Eastern Regional MRF is chipped for use as mulch or compost.   

Save the Food!

According to the US EPA, 31% of US food goes uneaten every year – ending up in our landfills where is creates methane as it decomposes. Simple food waste prevention tips will save you money and help the planet!

  • prepare your menu,
  • shop according to the number and age of guests,
  • have a plan to seal & store leftovers,
  • properly dispose of waste to keep wildlife out,
  • enjoy!

Want to make your own impact? Here are some crafty ideas for you to give a second life to common “single use” items at home: 

  1. Upcycle old jars into rustic flower vases or candle holders. 
  2. Cut off the bottoms of plastic water and soda bottles and use as seedling planters. 
  3. Use newspapers to clean your windows or tear them into strips for gift bag filler. 
  4. Turn old CD’s into creative wall art.

Eye Spy

Did you know that sorting all waste with One Big Bin also creates opportunities to identify markets for materials you may not know are recyclable? Items like doorknobs, bicycles, skis and bowling balls can be recovered and diverted away from the landfill; a unique opportunity provided by the simple fact that human eyes are on all materials sent through the MRFs. 

Recycling is about more than bottles, cans & boxes!

Green waste that decomposes in landfills creates methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. In 2020, Placer County used your green waste, whether it was dropped off separately, collected from a green waste bin, or recovered from your garbage at one of the MRFs, to create over 20,000 tons of compost! So go ahead - you toss it, we’ll sort it and then we’ll transform your green waste into a rich compost that can be used to add nutrients to soil. Want to take a more hands-on approach? Learn how to compost at home here.

Paper-less - what can you do?

Trash talkers love the three R’s – reduce, reuse & recycle. Paper-less habits are easy to adopt, here are some ideas you can use at home:

  • Use a whiteboard or chalkboard for the family to-do list. 
  • Brown bagged lunches are out, pack a reusable bag instead. 
  • Ditch paper towel use in the kitchen in favor of dish towels.
  • Opt out of junk mail - call the number on the mail to unsubscribe.

You can make a difference at the office too!

  • Avoid pointless printing! Consider emailing agendas to meeting participants instead of printing copies that end up left on the table as trash.
  • Ditch the notepad – bring your laptop to meetings, a quick “save-as” on the emailed agenda makes notetaking a breeze.
  • Skip the hardcopy – send digital copies of work products to colleagues instead.
  • When you can’t avoid printing, consider paper-saving tricks like using a slightly smaller font to maximize the words per page, reducing margin sizes or printing double sided. 

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