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Reuse Zone Expands to Divert Waste of Gently Used Products

Reuse Zone Expands to Divert Waste of Gently Used Products

The City of Palo Alto’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program is celebrating the expansion and reopening of its HHW Reuse Zone with Mayor Eric Filseth leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 7 at 10 a.m. The HHW Reuse Zone is located at 2501 Embarcadero Way, where Palo Alto houses both the HHW Station and Regional Water Quality Control Plant. The reopening celebration is open to the public and light refreshments will be served. 

The HHW Reuse Zone consists of good quality, gently used household products that have been donated by the public. Items such as paint, motor oil, and cleaning products are dropped off at the HHW Station and screened by staff to make sure it can then be placed in the Reuse Zone. 

Last year the HHW Station was able to divert over 5,000 pounds of materials with just a small pair of storage cabinets. The expanded HHW Reuse Zone now includes a larger shed to increase storage capacity for reusable materials, and a bright, eye catching colorful design.

“Reuse is better than recycling” says Elise Sbarbori, Manager of Environmental Control Programs in Palo Alto. “Many of the items brought into the HHW Station for disposal are in good condition and typically come from a small home project that doesn’t require the whole can of paint, or a move where someone must clear out their cleaning supplies. Before discarding or even recycling these items they should be used to completion, which is the best use of the products and the resources it takes to create them.”

Clean Harbors, the contracted operator of the HHW Station, is responsible for filling the storage shed with all the usable household products that are dropped-off each week. The new storage shed was designed in-house by employees and custom built by Ideal Environmental. Gigantic Idea Studio created the eye-catching design to not only gain attention, but to create a welcoming place for the public to visit.

“By expanding the existing reuse program and encouraging the public to participate, we hope household items that would otherwise be discarded are used for their intended purpose,” says Phil Bobel, Assistant Director of Public Works. “The City has a high participation rate in its HHW Program. We want to increase participation and bring more awareness to waste minimization and the proper disposal of hazardous wastes.”

The HHW Reuse Zone is open to the public during regular HHW Station Hours, Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. and on the first Friday of each month from 3-5 p.m. Visitors picking up reused products can take up to 5 items per visit.


Last Updated: November 3, 2019