Frequently Asked Questions

Clearlake Waste Solutions FAQ

What is Universal Service?

Universal solid waste collection is the standard in most cities and counties. In 2017 the city of Clearlake approved ordinance 198-2017 requiring all property owners to subscribe to solid waste service in their name.

For rental properties, can service be started in the tenant’s name?

No. Service is required to be established and maintained under the property owner that is listed with the county tax assessor’s office.

What are your hours of operation?

Our customer service office is open from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 3515 Taylor Drive, Ukiah, CA, 95482. Please call us at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 during normal business hours.

Which holidays do you observe?

In the city of Clearlake, no collections are made on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day or New Years Day.

During those weeks, if your regular collection day falls on a holiday, collection is delayed by one day. For example, Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday. That week, Thursday customers will be collected on Friday, and Friday customers will be collected on Saturday. Normal collection resumes the following week.

I just started service. When do I get a bill?

Residential customers are billed quarterly. Bills are due and payable within 45 days from date of invoice. Commercial and multifamily customers are billed directly monthly. Bills are due and payable within 45 days from date of invoice. Payments may be made by check, cash or credit card.

What payment methods do you accept?

There are different options for making bill payments:

  • Checks or money orders can be mailed to P.O. Box 60, Ukiah, CA, 95482. Please indicate your account number on your check or money order
  • Payments may be made using a credit card by calling our office at 707-234-6400.
  • Payments by check, cash or money order can be delivered in person to Clearlake City Hall, 14050 Olympic Drive, Clearlake, CA, 95422 (Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). See payment dropbox in lobby.
  • Payments can be made online: Click Here

Can I pay my bill online?

Yes! Clearlake Waste Solutions’ customers can pay their bill online here.

If I go on vacation, can I suspend my account?

You may suspend service during a vacation by contacting the customer service office at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 during normal business hours.

Residential customers may suspend service due to vacation or other reasons in one-week increments and will be billed pro-rata for actual services received.

I have a vacation rental so I don’t always need weekly service. What are my options?

Garbage service inside the City of Clearlake is universal and property owners are required to subscribe to service unless an approved exemption has been issued by the city.

Are discounts available for senior citizens?

Not at the present time.

How can I get a smaller or larger cart?

Please call customer service at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 to request a different size cart. Our customer service representatives will advise you of the different sizes and rates. You will be asked to leave your cart out after your collection day for an exchange. Carts must be empty in order to be exchanged.

What is the weight limit on my carts?

Carts must not exceed 75 lbs. Carts exceeding this weight limit will damage the automated “arm’ on the collection truck.

When should I set out my carts?

Collection starts very early, so customers are encouraged to place carts out for collection the night before scheduled service.

Where should I set out my carts?

Carts should be placed at the curb or roadway edge by 4:00 am on collection day. Please keep carts away from mailboxes and cars and allow a clearance of at least 15’ above the carts

How should I arrange my carts?

Please allow 3’ of space between carts and make sure the arrows on the carts face the street or road.

What time will you empty my carts?

Times vary by location. As a general rule, collection starts very early. Carts need to be out for collection by 4:00 a.m. Customers are encouraged to place carts out for collection the night before scheduled service.

What do I do if my cart wasn’t picked up?

Call us immediately at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 if your garbage is not picked up by the end of your regularly scheduled day. Please remember that collection times can vary from week to week due to such things as equipment issues, traffic or new routing. Also, an additional trip charge may apply if your carts were not set out in the appropriate place at the appropriate time.

Why does the driver pick up two different carts of materials at the same time?

In many locations, we use a “split-body” truck that allows us to pick up two materials at one stop. A toggle switch in the cab of the truck activates a flap that directs materials to a certain compartment, which keeps material separate and free of contamination.

This “split-body” collection system is an innovative approach to material collection that reduces truck traffic and noise in neighborhoods. Also, by eliminating one collection pass, there is less wear-and-tear on roads and less emissions.

What items go in my blue cart?

Please put the following empty, clean and dry materials in your blue cart:

  • Newspaper
  • Household paper
  • Magazines
  • Cardboard
  • Food and beverage glass
  • Metal cans
  • Plastic food and beverage containers

Please see our CWS Recycling Guide to learn more.

What items go in my green cart?

Please put the following materials in your green cart:

  • Lawn clippings
  • Leaves
  • Plant material
  • Branches under 4″ in diameter
  • Small unpainted wood pieces

Please see our CWS Green Waste Guide.

How much am I paying for residential recycling and green waste collection?

There is no additional charge for standard recycling and green waste collection. All service fees are included in the garbage service fee. There is a fee charged if customers want additional recycling and/or green waste carts beyond the standard service.

Is there an advantage to ‘single-stream’ recycling?

Yes! “Single-Stream” recycling means that residential and commercial customers can place all recyclables together in one cart or bin. Customers do not need to separate materials which is an added convenience. Single-Stream recycling has been proven to increase recycling volumes and help communities divert materials from a landfill.

Why is it important to keep single-stream recyclables clean and free of contamination?

When recyclables are processed at the Material Recovery Facility, they pass over screens and conveyors that are designed to sort materials. Contaminants such as food waste and garbage plug screens and rollers. Other contaminants can cause physical damage to hoses and belts. In both cases, contaminants cause the sorting system to shut down.

Is there a benefit to customers in keeping recycling clean?

Yes! Recyclables are sorted, baled and sold to processors who make new consumer products from them. The sale of recyclables results in revenues for the company that collects them. These revenues help offset some of the costs of collecting all of the carts and bins. Contaminated recyclables cannot be sold, so any loss of revenue to the collection companies ultimately results in higher garbage fees.

I received a tag on my cart. What does that mean?

Tags are placed on carts in response to levels of contamination. If you received an “Oops!” contamination card, it indicates that there is material in the cart that doesn’t belong there. Tagging can be avoided by putting the right stuff in the right cart. Accounts that are tagged multiple times are subject to fines and service disruption.

If you have any questions about what goes in each cart, please see the CWS Recycling Guide  and CWS Green Waste Guide – or give us a call at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400.

Can I bag my recycling and put it in the blue cart?

No. Material must be placed in your recycling cart loose, not bagged, with the exception of shredded paper which must be in a clear plastic bag only. Plastic bags end up being shredded and contaminating the

Can I bag my green waste and put it in the green cart?

No. Green waste goes directly to a shredder for making compost. Plastic bags would end up being shredded and contaminate the compost.

Can I recycle clothes and used toys?

Not in the recycling cart. However, many thrift stores and charitable organizations such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army and local Hospice facilities accept these items. Customers are encouraged to contact these organizations. Reusing these materials is superior to throwing them away.

How do I recycle special items like paint or oil?

Latex and oil-based paint can be dropped off at Lake County Transfer Station and Recycling Center free of charge. Paint must be in original container with label. Leaking, unlabeled and empty containers will not be accepted. Small Quantity Generators please call us at (707) 234-6400 for more information and to make an appointment.

Residents who change their own motor oil can bring used motor oil and oil filters to the Lake County Transfer Station and Recycling Center located at the 230 Soda Bay Road in Lakeport.

For a list of material accepted at the Lake County Transfer Station and Recycling Center, click here. For more information about oil recycling and drop-off locations, visit

How do I recycle home electronics (e-Waste) such as televisions and computers?

Drop-off locations are listed under each of our company descriptions located on this web site. Additionally, Goodwill Industries accepts certain electronic units.

Where does this e-Waste go?

Materials are delivered to a certified processor where units are disassembled into different components (metal, glass, plastic, etc.). These materials then go to manufacturing facilities to be made into new products. We use an electronics recycler that does not export any materials overseas. It is all recycled domestically.

How do I schedule a bulky item pickup?

Residents can have one (1) bulky item collected twice per year at no charge. Additional bulky items can be picked up for a fee.

Bulky items typically include a piece of furniture or an appliance. A charge for freon removal may be applied for refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.

Please call 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 to arrange your bulky item pickup.

How do I rent a temporary clean- up bin for my kitchen remodel or massive spring clean?

Please call us at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 to arrange for delivery of clean-up bin to your home. Small bins (3 cubic yards) are available for “light” projects and larger debris boxes (15-20-30 cubic yards) are available for extensive projects such as remodels, construction or landscape tear-outs.

Discounts are given if clean recyclables such as green waste, wood waste, cardboard, glass or concrete are placed in the bin or box.
See Bin Agreement

Do you offer recycling at special events such as community fairs and celebrations?

Yes! Contact us at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 at least 30 days in advance of the event. Each situation is unique and we will help assess how recycling can be handled at your event.

The lid or wheel on my cart is damaged. Can I get a new one?

Yes! Just call customer service at 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400. There is no charge for replacing a cart with a malfunctioning lid or wheel that was damaged during the collection process.

However, there is a charge for replacing a cart which was damaged by a customer’s misuse of the cart such as placing hot ashes in them, placing sharp metal objects in them, driving into them, or standing on top of them.

If service was stopped for non-payment, can it be restored?

Yes! When service is stopped for nonpayment, the total outstanding bill plus late fees must be paid in full. A reinstatement fee could also apply.

Is there a fee for not returning my carts after I move or discontinue service?

Yes! A fee will be applied to your last bill if a cart is not returned.

How soon can I get my bin or roll-off delivered or emptied?

If you have already established service with us, we require a 24-hour notice to put the request in for the following day. If you have not had service with us prior, you will need to visit our office or call 888-718-4888 or 707-234-6400 to establish an account before we can deliver a container.

Do you have bins that lock?

Yes! Commercial locking bins are available for a minimal fee. Please allow up to 2 weeks for the bin to be ready since they are made to order.

Can I put my cart on the other side of the street with my neighbor’s cart?

Please place your cart out in front of your own property by the edge of the driveway or curb unless you are notified to do otherwise.