All sectors of our community – residents, schools, businesses and nonprofits – have taken action to help. We’re all reducing our impact on the environment and paving the way for a Zero Waste future. This section provides information to keep you up to date on our community’s progress and perhaps even help you find more ways to join in the effort.
In 2016 our:
Our numbers have improved a bit from 2015. Keep up the good work!
Although participation in our recycling and composting programs is crucial to reducing our waste, it’s even better to prevent waste from being created in the first place. Reduce your waste by purchasing in bulk, reusing and repairing items, or eliminating junk mail through opt-out lists. Find more information on ways to reduce your waste and your impact on our environment here.
For years we have used Diversion Rate (i.e., material diverted from landfills) as our metric to know how we are doing on our waste reduction and resource conservation goals. However, the state has moved away from this metric and is now using Pounds of Solid Waste per Person per Day. We’re showing both on this page as we transition to the new metric.
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We’ve chosen mini-cans to measure our residential progress because Zero Waste efforts include waste prevention, reuse and recycling. As we increase our efforts on all these fronts we will throw fewer and fewer resources in the garbage. Mini-cans are the smallest garbage cans offered, holding only 20 gallons. Subscription to the smallest garbage service level is an indication of how well we are fairing on reducing, reusing and recycling.
Can your neighborhood ‘go green’ (have 50% of the households subscribe to mini-can service)? It’s not as hard as you might think. According to the 2005 Palo Alto Waste Composition Study, approximately 43% of what the community throws in the garbage is recyclable! Paper alone comprises 14% (11, 200 tons). Many residents may be able to change their service level now, just by putting their waste items in the proper cart. Our What Goes Where Tools webpage can help you learn more about our recycling and composting programs and figure out ‘What Goes Where.’
Switching to a mini can will not only reduce the amount of garbage you send to the landfill, you’ll also save money! If you would like to change your service level, contact GreenWaste of Palo Alto by emailing PAcustomerservice@greenwaste.com or by calling (650) 493-4894.