Waste management soon to charge fees for contaminated recyclables and overfilled bins

March 28, 2023


On March 1, 2023, Waste Management of Alameda County (WMAC) initiated a new monitoring program to prevent overfilled containers and reduce contamination in Hayward customers' recycling and organics. Waste Management will enforce container capacity and sorting requirements using cameras installed on WMAC trucks, and repeat violators may be subject to surcharges.

Truck-mounted cameras have been used by Waste Management for years to improve safety. However, cameras will now serve the added function of helping verify the proper sorting of materials, which plays a critical role in limiting the volume of recyclables sent to landfills due to contamination.  

One of the most heavily monitored contaminants will be plastic bags. Plastic bags are not recyclable, and frequently clog sorting equipment and create delays in sorting lines as workers untangle and remove them. When placing your recyclables out for collection, dump them out of plastic bags and directly into your cart or bin. 

From March 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023, customers will receive courtesy notices if a severe amount of non-recyclable or non-organic material is identified in their containers, or if one of their containers is considerably overfilled. Beginning July 1, 2023, customers will receive two warning letters before being charged a contamination or overage fee. The fee schedule is listed below. 

Contamination and Overage Fee Schedule (beginning July 1, 2023) 

  Contamination fee (after 2 warnings)  Overage fee (after 2 warnings) 
 Carts  $25 $10
 Bins $75 $75 Trash bins;  $35 Recycling Bins 


Details about Hayward’s local sorting rules can be found here. When in doubt about what goes where, contact the City at