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Orangevale Sun

Meet Gabby Garbage

Jan 24, 2024 11:30AM ● By Sacramento County News Release

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Did you know that the items you toss in your garbage cart go to the landfill where it is buried forever?

That's right! The landfill is a gigantic pit t​o contain whatever we randomly toss into our garbage cart, but it is not limitless. Whatever goes in the landfill never comes out and takes hundreds of years to decompose, and some items may never completely break down.

Sacramento County Department of Waste Management & Recycling and the SacGreenTeam want it to be safe and easy for the community to get rid of garbage, but also want to help you to be thoughtful about waste.

Go to to meet Gabby Garbage!

As a SacGreenTeam curbside collection customer and civil engineer at the landfill, Gabby Garbage understands the need to make garbage collection easy and convenient, but she also knows the environmental challenges of landfills. Our landfills should be the land of last resort for items you no longer want.

Gabby Garbage encourages everyone to rethink garbage. Whenever possible, consider repurposing, recycling, and donating items before tossing them in the 
garbage cart. Here’s what you can do to minimize waste and properly sort items for the recycling cart and the organics cart. Use the following advice from Gabby Garbage:


-Waste less food — plan meals, store food for max freshness, and transform leftovers or produce into soups, casseroles, stir-fries, sauces, baked goods, smoothies, etc.

-Buy just what you need — when you buy less you waste less.


-Choose reusable products — save resources and money by using fewer single-use products.

-Repurpose items — if you aren't using an item, think of how it can be used another way.


-Donate — useful items can be donated to people in need, shelters, or thrift stores.

-Sort smart and recycle right. Put empty and dry recyclables loose (no bagged recyclables) in your recycling cart, and put food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings in your organics cart so it can be turned into beneficial compost.


-Clean smarter — use natural products like vinegar and baking soda that clean multiple surfaces to reduce the number of cleaning product containers.

-Buy smarter — choose items that are accepted in the curbside recycling cart, locally-sourced, made from recycled materials with the least packaging or packaging that can be recycled.

After considering these options, be like Gabby Garbage and put the right items in the garbage cart:

Household garbage; Plastic bags, utensils, film plastics; Coated paper and cartons; Chip bags and candy wrappers; Styrofoam™; Compostable plastic; Hoses, cords, clothes hangers; Old clothing, shoes, blankets; Pet waste; Diapers

These items should never be placed in your Garbage cart:

No organics; No recyclables; No liquids; No e-waste; No rocks, dirt, bricks, sod; No hot ashes, coals, fireworks; No hazardous waste (Find a household hazardous waste drop-off location near you.)

Here are additional ways to reduce waste and properly sort items:

-Organics collection — Collect and place your organic material (food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings) in the organics cart. Set out your organics cart weekly.

-Recycling — Don't contaminate your recycling cart. Make sure recyclables are empty and dry before putting them loose in the cart.

-Bulky waste pickups — Schedule a bulky waste pickup appointment for items that are no longer usable and too large for the garbage cart.

-Oil and oil filter curbside collection — Used motor oil, used oil filters, and used cooking oil can be recycled. Place used motor oil, filters, and cooking oil at the curb at least 3 feet from other curbside carts and 6 feet from stationary objects by 6 a.m., on the same day as your regular curbside collection day.

Visit Gabby Garbage at to learn more!

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