Trash Collection Services

UWS truck

 Universal Waste Systems Inc. (UWS) 
is now serving Los Alamitos Residents and Businesses

Los Alamitos residents and businesses began receiving waste hauling services from the City's new solid waster service provider on January 1, 2022. UWS provides waste hauling services to customers in California, Arizona and New Mexico, with six operating facilities, transfer stations and over 500 employees that service Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Riverside County. The Los Alamitos City Council unanimously approved the new waste hauling franchise agreement with UWS on December 6, 2021.



Los Alamitos residents and businesses have among the lowest trash recycling rates in Orange County, and are the only commercial firms not required to receive and pay an additional charge for an organic waste container in the County.

During the time of negotiations, UWS pledged a two (2) year rate freeze, which means that residents and businesses would not see any changes to their billing until January 1, 2024. In addition to the rate freeze, the new agreement expands the scope of services that UWS is providing for the community to address significant new increases in state mandates and regulations regarding disposal of various types of waste.

While the agreement with UWS provides for annual cost-of-living adjustments to rates each July, there is an established maximum increase amount of 5% to ensure rates remain low. This means that despite the finding of a 7.4% increase per the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all Urban Consumers, the stipulations in the agreement limit the increase to no more than 5%. This condition will remain in effect for the duration of this agreement, which means that it will be applicable to future rate adjustments. 

To view a detailed list of current rates, please click here
For questions about your billing, please contact the UWS Customer Service Team at (562) 941-4900. 

SB 1383 Workshop

The City of Los Alamitos will be hosting a workshop to discuss California Senate Bill (SB) 1383, its requirements, and how it will impact Los Alamitos residents and the business community.

  • Tuesday, February 15th at 6 p.m. - Video

Residential Service

Depending on your address, residential trash pickup will either be on a Thursday or Friday.

Effective Friday, March 4, 2022 a percentage of Los Alamitos residents will have their trash pickup on Fridays. Please view addresses that will be affected here.

Features and Benefits of the New Contract 

The new agreement puts the City on the cutting edge of modern and best practices for franchise agreements. It provides for numerous community benefits:

For Residential Customers

- Contract holds rates down to current levels for two years 
- Collection program provided for solid waste, recyclables, green waste and organic waste  
- Bulky item services including two (2) free pick-ups per year (up to 4 items), per residence
- Free holiday tree collection
- Free residential sharps collection (provides for the safe disposal of needles for residents managing health  issues) 
- Free quarterly household hazardous waste collection 
- Discounted pricing for senior citizens and cost for roll-out services

Why Do We Need A New Contract? 

In response to a national crisis in landfill capacity, and broad acceptance of the strategy known as reduced, reuse recycle - environmentally sound landfilling and transformation as the desired approach to solid waste management, California passed Assembly Bill 939 and 1989. This legislation mandated an integrated framework for program implementation, solid waste planning, and solid waste facility and landfill compliance. 

Since then, California cities have had to respond effectively to increasingly rigorous solid waste management strategies, diversion goals, and regulatory requirements. 

The program complexities, with which the City of Los Alamitos must comply, have increased exponentially within the last 25 years. Reflecting the realities of this complex service delivery environment is the fact that the new contract with UWS for solid waste services is 116 pages long.

Why Now? 

The City of Los Alamitos' existing trash hauling franchise agreement expired on December 31, 2021. In anticipation of its expiration, the City Council convened months in advance, to consider its options for addressing the expiration of this contract. Council Members ultimately decided that the best approach would be the direct negotiation of a new franchise agreement with prospective haulers. Those negotiations took place during the second half of 2021. The negotiations resulted in a proposed contract for solid waste handing services with waste hauler UWS. The proposed franchise agreement was considered by the Los Alamitos City Council at two properly noticed special meetings held on October 11, 2021 and December 6, 2021. 

Additional Information 

Welcome Packet from UWS: The information presented in this pamphlet should answer any questions you may have. To view, click here

More About the Disposal of Trash 

FAQs trash containers

Recyclables only

Mixed Solid Waste and Organics Green Waste


Senate Bill (SB) 1383

In September 2016, Governor Edmund Brown Jr. set methane emissions reduction targets for California (SB 1383 Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The target must: (1) reduce organic waste disposal 75% by 2024, and (2) rescue for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed surplus food by 2025. 


To learn more about the State of California mandates pertaining to organics recycling and how it affects residents and businesses of Los Alamitos click here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

What are the hours of operation in residential areas? 
Hours of operation are limited to: 7am to 6pm with no Sunday collection 
What are the observed holidays? 
New Year's Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 
Will trash collection occur on observed holidays? 
There will be no trash services on observed holidays however, trash will be collected the day AFTER the normal collection day for the remainder of the week. For example, Thursday's trash will be collected on Friday. The regular schedule will then resume the following Monday. 
How can I request additional bins? 
Please contact the UWS customer service team at (800) 631-7016
When are holiday trees collected? 
Holiday trees are collected annually, for a period of three weeks following Christmas Day 
At what time should my bins be placed at the curb? 
Carts should be set out for service by 6am on your collection day
If I am a senior citizen, who do I contact to establish a senior citizen rate? 
Please contact the UWS customer service team at (800) 631-7016
How do I know if my home was affected by the service day change? 
Only certain residential streets were moved to a Friday collection day. Click here to review the list of homes now receiving trash collection service on Friday 
What if I am in need of renting a large roll-off bin? 
Please contact the UWS customer service team at (800) 631-7016
What are some examples of items that go into the green waste bin? 
Branches, brush, flower cuttings, flowers, garden trimmings, grass, hay, house plants, lawn clippings, leaves, pruning, shrubbery, straws, weeds and yard waste. 
What are some examples of items that do not go into the green waste bin? 
Aluminum, animal carcasses/feces, cigarette butts, clothing, diapers, glass, hazardous waste, kitty litter, landscape timbers, plastic bags, plastic containers, plastic straws, rocks, soil, styrofoam, trash, tree stumps and treated lumber.
What are some examples of items that go into the gray (organics) waste bin? 
Bamboo, bagged pet waste and litter, broken glass, broken dishes, cactus, carboard: wax and plastic-coated, ceramic, cereal liners, chip bags, dirty or soiled paper, disposable diapers, egg cartons: styrofoam, empty moto oil and antifreeze containers, food & vegetable waste, frozen food boxes, garden hoses, juice cartons and boxes, milk cartons, plastic bags, tissue paper (kleenex, etc.), toys (plastic), take-out containers.
What are some examples of items that do not go into the gray (organics) waste bin? 
Lightbulbs, batteries, paint and solvents, clothing, electronics, syringes, chemicals, television, computers and monitors, microwaves, unused or expired prescription drugs. 
What are some examples of items that go into the blue (recyclable) waste bin? 
aluminum trays and plates, brown paper bags, cans (metal food and drink), catalog, cereal boxes (without liners), cigarette packages, computer paper, laundry detergent boxes, envelopes, egg cartons: paper, gift wrap (non-metallic), glass bottles, jars with lids, junk mail, magazines, newspapers, and flyers, empty paint cans, paper towel tubes, clean pizza boxes, plastic containers, empty prescription bottles and shoe boxes.
What are some examples of items that do not go into the blue (recycling) waste bin? 
lightbulbs, batteries, electronics, food waste, fruit/vegetable scraps, liquids, plants, leaves, dirt, clothes hangers, aerosol cans and mirrors. 
Should recyclables be clean before going in the blue (recycling) waste bin? 
Yes, containers with liquid or food can spoil recyclables in a collection truck as gunk on plastic makes it less likely to get recycled. Be sure to empty the containers (shake or wipe liquid/food out, no need to rinse), and let them dry right side up before placing in your blue (recycling) bin. 
What if I have space constraints challenges at my property? 
Certain businesses and multi-family complexes of five units or more may qualify for waivers from these mandatory programs' however, only those who requested and received a wavier from the City are exempt from mandatory participation. If a waiver is not approved by the City, your business or property will be required to participate in the mandated services.

To submit an application for a waiver, please complete the following application and submit to the Development Services Department for review: 
SB 1383 Solid Waste & Recycling Regulation - Waiver Request Form

Additional Resources:

About Universal Waste Systems (UWS) - Click here to learn more about UWS

CalRecycle  - Click here to learn more about CalRecycle 

CalRecycle, I Recycle Smart Campaign - Click here to learn more about the I Recycle Smart Campaign 

Food Finders - Click here to learn more about Food Finders

OC Landfill - Click here to learn more about OC Waste & Recycling

Universal Waste Systems (UWS) - Los Alamitos Webpage - Click here to visit the UWS website with City specific information