Waste & Recycling

What happens to ‘trash’ in Sonoma County?

Some of it goes to the landfill, some is trucked out of the County, and some of it ends up in our waterways and roadsides. All trash requires energy to make and distribute and often emits greenhouse gases while decomposing. Sonoma Group supports zero waste, composting, plastic bans and increased recycling as tools to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.
National Sierra Club Zero Waste Policy

Reduce waste to zero

Zero Waste is defined as a process and philosophy that involves a redesign of products and a redesign of consumption, so that all material goods can be reused or recycled – or not needed at all. Currently, over 25 jurisdictions in California have Zero Waste Plans or Resolutions and an additional 12 California communities are working toward creating a plan.

By commissioning this work, Santa Rosa has joined a short list of innovators working to proactively address the global challenge of how to sustainably manage the waste generated as a by-product of our individual and collective consumption. Santa Rosa is in the process of developing a zero waste resolution. Sebastopol has already adopted a zero waste resolution formulated by Zero Waste North Bay.
Quick link to Model Resolution.

The two ordinances below are being considered by all jurisdictions in Sonoma County for adoption in 2020. Please send messages of support to the County Board of Supervisors and your City Council.

Zero Waste Resolution

Disposable Food Service Ware and Polystyrene Foam Ban Model Ordinance


Useful Links

Recology Sonoma-Marin
Sorting Guides and Resources
What goes in the Compost Pail?

Zero Waste Sonoma
Prevent food waste

Compost for our gardens

Since the composting facility at the County landfill closed in 2015, our yard and food waste has been trucked out of the county to other composting facilities and not much of it comes back. Negotiations about opening a new facility ended in mid-2021.

Until we have our own composting site, buy compost made (partly)from Sonoma County yard waste and food scraps from the Redwood Landfill near Novato at the Earth Care Landscaping Center

Re-learn how to recycle

China stopped accepting most recycling from the U.S in 2018. Now, many things that you’re putting into your recycling bin are going to the landfill. Learn the new rules!