Environmental and Recycling Services
The City of Norwalk provides quality services for residents and business owners, including refuse hauling and numerous recycling programs. Recycling conserves valuable resources and helps to create a healthy environment for our community and future generations. Reduce the amount trash you create. Reuse all items possible. Recycle cans, bottles, newspaper, grass clippings, and other household items.
Current Programs and Events - FREE for Residents
- Used Oil and Oil Filter Recycling -Information (English and Spanish) [PDF]
- Bulky Item Pickup - Flyer [PDF]
- Sharps Disposal Containers - Flyer [PDF]
- Household Battery Recycling -Information (English and Spanish) [PDF]
- Metal, Plastic, E-Waste Recycling and Document Shredding - Los Angeles County Sanitation District
Refuse Disposal Services
Trash, have you wondered where it all ends up? Each year, over three million tons of solid waste is disposed of right here in our backyard and this landfill space is running out fast.
Concern over our fragile environment and the ongoing solid waste disposal problem reached the state legislature in the late 1980's. This concern was deep enough to prompt the State government to pass laws aimed at finding solutions to our mounting trash problem. The State passed AB 939 in 1989, requiring all of California's cities and counties to create ways to divert large amounts of solid waste from landfills. AB 939 requires cities to reduce waste by 50% by the year 2000, which is why Norwalk implemented the 3-container system to separate waste into recyclables and non-recyclables.
In 2011, California State Assembly Bill 341 (AB341) was passed, establishing a State goal to reduce, recycle, or compost no less than 75% of waste generated by the year 2020. Norwalk residents are asked to participate fully in the program by recycling all products that are recyclable.
After a lengthy evaluation process, Norwalk City Council selected Athens Services as its new service provider in April of 2018. Athens, founded in 1957, will serve as Norwalk’s single solid waste hauler beginning August 1, 2018.
The new agreement, approved by Council in early May, includes rate reductions for residential customers. Standard residential collection service rates will be $16.75, a reduction of over 19%. Beginning with August service, rates for senior citizens will decrease 57% to $4.19. Residents living in single family homes will have the ability to pre-arrange collection of up to five oversized items such as furniture and electronics once a week, with multi-family dwellings able to call in these “bulky item pickups” 12 times a year.
Among the enhancements offered by Athens are $5,000 in scholarships for Norwalk students pursuing college or university education and a 10% discount for Norwalk residents serving on active military duty, and residents who are Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters assigned to Norwalk.
Connecting with Athens
For questions or to request service, please contact Athens Services at (800) 333-0191.
Visit Athens Services at their NEW Norwalk Office:
12440 Firestone Blvd, Suite 1017
Norwalk, CA 90650
Click here to visit the Athens Website.
Click here [PDF] to locate your trash day.
Click here [PDF] for Senior Citizen Trash Service Discount Application form.
Residential Curbside Recycling Programs
An important part of the City's programs is the regular curbside collection of recyclables. Each single family home should have a blue container bin for their recyclable items. This program, which accepts many products such as; glass and plastic bottles, aluminum and steel cans, and newspapers and junk mail, etc., has been successful, but much more needs to be done if Norwalk is to meet the State's 75% diversion mandate. A complete listing of recyclable products can be found on the Athens Services website by clicking here.
Additional recycling containers are available at no charge by contacting Athens Services.
The City of Norwalk is aware of the scavenging problem that exists in our community and the Public Safety Department continually responds to reports filed by residents. The only way that Norwalk will be able to deter people from scavenging is with help from the community. Please call Public Safety at (562) 929-5732 to report scavengers. Also, try putting the most frequently taken recyclables at the bottom of the container and put your containers out in the morning instead of the night before.*
* Make sure you know when your trash collector comes so you do not miss being collected if you put it out in the morning.
Recycling Program for Multi-Family and Commercial Buildings
The passage of AB 341 requires the implementation of a mandatory commercial recycling program. Effective July 1, 2012, this requirement applies to all businesses that generate more than 4 cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week and multi-family residential dwellings of 5 units or more.
Waste collected from commercial accounts (both businesses and multi-family units) in Norwalk already goes through a sorting facility where 70 kinds of reusable materials are removed from the waste stream. This process is called mixed waste processing and does not require participants to change the way trash is handled. The sorting facility, called a "MRF", or Materials Recovery Facility, processes the waste and diverts significant amounts away from our landfills. This is one of the acceptable ways to comply with the AB 341 legislation.
However, if your business or multi-family complex wants to further increase recycling efforts, you can certainly do so. For more information, you can review the letter that was mailed to businesses and multi-family apartment complexes by clicking here [PDF].
To educate employees and/or tenants, you can find information on the Athens website by clicking here.
For more information about the State's 75% waste diversion goal, please visit www.calrecycle.gov
AB 1826 - Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling
Effective on January 1, 2016, California Assembly Bill (AB) 1826, mandatory commercial organics recycling, requires jurisdictions to have a commercial organics recycling program in place. The law phases in the requirements on businesses, including multi-family residential dwellings that consist of five (5) or more units, over time based on the amount and type of waste the business produces on a weekly basis, with full implementation realized in 2019:
- First Tier: Commencing in April 2016, the first tier of affected businesses includes those that generate eight (8) or more cubic yards of organic materials per week.
- Second Tier: In January 2017, the affected businesses are expanded to include those that generate four (4) or more cubic yards of organic materials per week.
- Third Tier: In January 2019, the affected businesses are further expanded to include those that generate four (4) or more cubic yards of solid waste per week.
In addition, jurisdictions are required to include information on compliance with this law in their annual report to CalRecycle per AB939.
Does Your Business Qualify?
For a better understanding of the waste your business produces and if your business falls within the thresholds of the AB1826 standards, please contact Athens Services at 888-336-6100 or visit Athens Services.
For more information on AB1826, please visit the website for the California Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery (CalRecycle).
Residential Greenwaste Recycling
If you live in a single family home, your yard clippings, grass and other plant material are reused as part of the residential greenwaste collection program. Each single family home is issued a greenwaste collection container, which is collected on the same day as your regular trash service. The greenwaste program collects all forms of clippings, leaves, and plant material. However, no fruits or vegetables may be included in the greenwaste bins. Large branches can be bundled and collected by appointment as part of the free special item pick up program.
Additional Greenwaste containers are available from your solid waste collector. There is no charge for the second container.
After this greenwaste is collected, it can be reused either as compost or as alternative daily cover and will save valuable landfill space.
Tree limbs, large appliances, pieces of furniture, e-waste, and other bulky items will be picked-up on trash day if prior arrangements have been made with the trash haulers. This service is provided free of charge to single family homes on a weekly basis, up to five items per collection. To arrange a collection, residents must call Athens Services at least one day prior to their regular collection day. Bulky item pickup services is also provided to multiple unit complexes. Please contact your disposal company for additional information.
The South Coast AQMD offers a year-round Electric Lawn Mower Rebate program for residents of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Residents can purchase a new, cordless electric lawn mower, scrap their old gas mower and receive a rebate check based on the purchase price of their new mower. Help improve air quality by participating in the electric Lawnmower Rebate Program.
The on-line application is available at www.aqmd.gov/lawnmower.
- After-purchase rebates are $150, $200 or $250, depending on the purchase price of the new electric lawnmower.
- Over 20 electric lawn mower models available for residential use.
- Purchases can be made in-store or on-line
- Over 20 certified scrapping locations available in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties
- For more information please call 888-425-6247 (Tuesday-Friday). Se habla español.
- Help improve air quality
CalMAX Recycling Program
CalMAX is a free service designed to help businesses find markets for materials that have traditionally been discarded. Businesses, schools, and non-profits can utilize CalMax to search for available and wanted materials.
The CalMAX program helps businesses, industries, and institutions save resources and money.
CalMAX conserves energy, resources, and landfill space by helping businesses and organizations find alternatives to the disposal of valuable materials or wastes.
Since 1992, more than 650,000 tons of materials have been diverted from landfills, and over $5.5 million has been saved through CalMAX.
Click here for more information on CalMAX, or to search the CalMAX database of available materials.
Household Hazardous Waste & E-Waste Disposal
It is illegal to dispose of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) in the regular trash, as it is toxic and will pollute the environment. The HHW may be driven to a County of Los Angeles FREE HHW Round Up event which is held almost every Saturday at various locations throughout Los Angeles County.
A Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Collection Event is a one-day, drive-through collection event where residents can drive to a specific location to drop off their hazardous waste. These events are FREE, open to the public, and usually held on a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. No appointment is needed. To locate the next closest collection event, call 888-CLEAN-LA (888-238-0172), or visit www.CleanLA.com.
Examples of Household Hazardous Waste
Brake fluid, paint, paint thinner, turpentine, cleaners with acid or lye, pesticides or herbicides, household batteries or car batteries, pool chemicals, motor oil, oil filters. For additional items, click here.
Preparing Household Hazardous Waste for a Collection Event
- Bring the items in a sturdy box, preferably in their original labeled containers. Label materials that are not in their original containers. Be prepared to leave your containers. Put your box of household hazardous waste in the trunk of your car. Remove all other items from the trunk.
- Put like chemicals together. Separate unlike chemicals.
- Generally, there is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds per vehicle.
- Make sure containers are not leaking and lids are tightly sealed.
- At the collection site, trained personnel will ask you to remain in your car while they remove the household hazardous waste from your trunk.
The term "e-waste" is applied to consumer electronic equipment that is no longer wanted. Since electronics may contain lead, copper, and other heavy metals or potentially toxic substances, it is critical that any e-waste be disposed of properly. You can reduce e-waste by buying only what you need, reuse electronics that still work, and recycle electronics at the end of their useful lifecycle.
CRTs: Computer monitors, television sets, TV/VCR combos, or anything else with a Cathode Ray Tube. Computers: CPUs, mice, keyboards, printers, scanners, or any other computer peripheral. Personal Electronics: Cell phones, radios, alarm clocks, hair dryers, etc.
City E-waste and Document Shredding Events
The City organizes E-waste and Document Shredding events. These events are typically scheduled on a specified Saturday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. during the months of January and October of each year. The event is FREE. Residents drive their vehicles to the location designated and conveniently drop off their e-waste and watch their documents get shredded on-site. To find out when is the next scheduled City e-waste and shredding event, please call City Hall at 562-929-5964.
If you are a business with e-waste, please contact the County of Los Angeles at 1(800)98-TOXIC for a list of business e-waste recycling solutions. Information is also available online at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Environmental Programs Division website, under the Smart Business Recycler Locator.
Paint Recycling Program
Need to get rid of some leftover paint? Now, residents can conveniently and properly dispose of leftover paint by taking it to the following location during regular business hours:
Dunn-Edwards Paints - 12125 Imperial Hwy Suite B - (562) 864-7162
Limited quantities and products are accepted. For more information about paint recycling, recycling locations, or a list of accepted products, please visit www.paintcare.org
Used Motor Oil & Filter Recycling
To promote the proper disposal of motor oil and filters, the City typically hosts at least 2 used motor oil filter exchange events each year, where residents can bring in their used oil filter and get a new one for FREE. They are typically held at one of the Certified Used Oil Collection Centers on a Saturday.
For any Norwalk resident that changes their motor oil on their personal vehicles, the City also offers temporary storage oil containers. Residents can use these containers to safely transport the motor oil to one of the Certified Used Oil Collection Centers for disposal, for pick-up through the curbside collection program, or at a County Roundup event. All of these programs are FREE and help keep used oil from contaminating our environment.
Certified Collection Centers:
- Auto Zone - 13927 S. Pioneer Blvd. - (562) 863-8794
- McKenna Porsche - 10830 Firestone Blvd. - (562) 345-7115
- McKenna VW Audi Porsche BMW - 10850 Firestone Blvd. - (562) 868-3233
- Norwalk Toyota - 11404 Imperial Hwy. - (562) 677-1350
- O'Reilly's Auto Parts - 12233 Norwalk Blvd. - (562) 406-2466
- O'Reilly's Auto Parts - 11559 Rosecrans Avenue - (562) 465-0131
Please call before visiting any Collection Center for hours of operation and amount accepted. Residents can also have their motor oil and filters picked up from their home FREE of charge. To schedule a curbside pick-up, please call (800) 449-7587.
Household Battery Recycling Program
Recycle household batteries, including AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt, button, and spent rechargeables at one of our City locations during regular business hours: City Hall, Arts & Sports Complex, Senior Center and Social Services Center.
Medical Waste Disposal
Home Generated Medical Waste Disposal
The improper handling and/or disposal of home-generated medical waste can pose serious health risks to the generator and everyone in the community. Medical Waste or "sharps" are objects such as needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp objects used for medical purposes.
These items should be placed in either a purchased medical sharps container (from a pharmacy or health care provider) or a heavy-plastic or metal container. The container should be puncture-proof with a tight-fitting lid, and the lid should be taped after sealed.
Household containers, such as heavy-plastic detergent bottles may be used if the following precautions are observed:
- Use heavy-duty tape, such as electrical or duct tape, to secure the lid to the container.
- Write the words "Used Syringes" on the container with a black permanent marker.
- Do not use a clear container.
- Do not over-stuff the container with medical sharps (fill it only about 3/4 full). This can increase pressure on the lid and cause a release of the medical sharps.
Residents can properly drop off their "sharps" free of charge at:
- Norwalk Sheriff's Station, 12335 Civic Center Drive
While waiting for a full container, keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Always wash your hands after handling or touching medical waste.
Thank you for helping preserve the quality of life in Norwalk by following the recommended guidelines for disposal of home generated medical waste.
At this time, the City is not accepting used vehicles for donation. However, there are many non-profit organizations that accept vehicle donations. Please contact them directly.