Top 5 Items Banned from Your Green Waste Container

Have you ever wondered what happens to your green waste after it's collected? Well, at Athens Services, we process your green waste into nutrient-rich compost and mulch.

Top 5 Items Banned from Your Green Waste Container

Have you ever wondered what happens to your green waste after it’s collected? Well, at Athens Services, we process your green waste into nutrient-rich compost and mulch. But the truth is, not everything green or plant-based can be processed. Here is a closer look at the dos and don’ts of getting rid of green waste from your lawn or garden.

“Wait, What Goes in My Green Waste Container?”

Green waste includes grass clippings, leaves, brush, branches, tree trimmings, and other yard items.  Branches must be less than 4 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length to go in the green container. 

Athens Services accepts these items and processes them at our state-of-the-art composting facility, American Organics. The result is high-quality 100% organic compost or mulch. The compost additives support new growth in yards, gardens, and agriculture, while the mulch can promote water savings by retaining moisture in gardens.

But as we mentioned, not everything in your garden or yard can be composted. 

Top 5 Items to Leave Out

Athens Services has the most advanced green-waste sorting equipment in California. But coarse, wiry, and tough plants, such as desert plants or palm fronds, can get tangled in sorting equipment. Here are some common yard items that CAN’T go in your green waste bin:

  1. Drought-tolerant plants. This includes plants like succulents, cacti, and yucca. Put these in your black container.
  2. Palm fronds and bamboo. Again, these are too tough to be broken down into compost or mulch. Please throw these in your black container.
  3. Recyclables such as metals, plastics, glass, and cardboard
  4. Trash, dirt, and rocks
  5. So-called compostable or biodegradable plastics

If any of these items are mixed in with other organic waste in your green container, your entire green waste bin’s contents may end up in the landfill instead, and that can generate unnecessary greenhouse gases. So please, do your part to sort the correct material in the right container!

Learn More About How to Be a Hero in Your Own Backyard

Want to learn more? See our video “5 Items That Don’t Belong in Your Green Waste Container” at

For specific guidelines in your city, as well as information on collection and drop-off methods, go to athensservices.com/residential-services/choose-your-city/ and select your city from the drop-down menu.