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Have you ever slipped a greasy pizza box into your blue bin because the grey one is already full?  Nobody noticed, right? Think again.  An audit of Turlock’s recyclables indicates the level of contamination found within the blue carts exceeds industry standards.  

“Unfortunately, customers are putting too much trash in the blue carts,” said Turlock Scavenger President Alan Marchant.  “This means that recyclables end up in the landfill instead.”

Turlock Scavenger currently provides residential pick-up service through a “three cart” waste collection system that provides for the collection of solid waste (black cart), commingled recyclables (blue cart), and organic waste (green cart).  All materials collected by Turlock Scavenger are processed through preliminary sorting with the blue cart recyclables outsourced to a facility for enhanced sorting and recycling. 

The blue cart, which is for commingled (non-sorted) recyclables, has greatly assisted the City’s efforts to comply with State of California mandate to reduce the amount of solid waste that ends up in landfills. Currently, the law requires all agencies, including the City of Turlock, to divert a minimum of 50 percent of its solid waste from California’s landfills. However, new regulations require the cities to increase diversion to 75 percent by 2020.

If the current level of contamination continues, it could present difficulties in continued compliance with State regulations. By not recycling correctly, the cost of solid waste operations goes up.  These increased costs can ultimately be reflected in higher garbage rates – so that greasy pizza box could cost you in the end.

Citizens are encouraged to “Recycle Clean — Keep Turlock Green” by not contaminating the recyclables in their blue cart. Recycling conserves resources, saves energy, and keeps valuable recycled materials out of our landfill.

Visit the City’s website at, Turlock Scavenger Company’s website at, or call the Municipal Services Department at (209) 668-5590 for more information.

Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.



Put recyclable items only in the blue cart. The blue cart is only for the following items: plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, metal cans, mixed paper and junk mail and flattened cardboard. Do not put plastic bags, food, diapers, electronics, batteries, needles, clothing or food-soiled paper in the blue cart.