Q: Where can I find out more information about the community's progress toward Zero Waste?
A: The City of Palo Alto Zero Waste Program has a progress report page on their website. The Zero Waste Program can be reached at (650) 496-5910 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What is a mini-can?
A: The mini-can is the smallest garbage service level available to those residing in single-family homes or small apartment complexes (four or fewer units). A mini-can is 20 gallons.
Q: Who do I contact to switch to the mini-can for garbage, or inquire about my garbage, recycling or yard trimmings services?
A: Contact GreenWaste of Palo Alto Customer Service at (650) 493-4894.
Q: Why do the current 32 gallon and mini-can (20 gallon) garbage carts look the same
A: The carts for both are the same size; however, if you have the mini-can service, GreenWaste places an insert inside the 32 gallon cart so the volume the cart holds is reduced to 20 gallons.
Q: Can I use a 20 gallon garbage can instead of a garbage cart from GreenWaste?
A: Yes. If you prefer to purchase a 20 gallon garbage can instead of receiving a 20 gallon wheeled cart from GreenWaste, that is an option. Contact GreenWaste Customer Service at (650) 493-4894 for details.
Q: Are there circumstances where I must use my own 20 gallon garbage can if I change to the mini-can?
A: Yes. If you have back/side yard garbage collection or you participate in the Physical Limitations Program, you must provide your own 20 gallon mini-can. GreenWaste does not provide a wheeled garbage cart in that service scenario. Contact GreenWaste Customer Service at
(650) 493-4894 for details.
Q: Most of the time our household makes 20 gallons (mini-can) or less garbage each week, but sometimes we have extra. What do we do?
A: On the occasions you need to place extra garbage out for collection, contact GreenWaste Customer Service at (650) 493-4894 so they know to expect it. You can place extra garbage out for a fee ($10.60, rate effective until 9/30/11) and your account will be billed.
Q: My neighborhood is interested in the mini-can challenge. Who do I contact?
A: Contact the Palo Alto Green Teams, email@example.com
Q: What are the monthly garbage rates?
A: Below is a list of the various rates for mini-, 1-, 2-, and 3-can services. A detailed list of refuse rates is listed on the City of Palo Alto website (rates effective until 9/30/11).
|Mini-can, 20 gal.
Q: Most of what is left in our garbage is food scraps. What more can we do to change to a mini-can?
A: You may want to consider worm or backyard composting. Worm composting is no muss, no fuss and requires little space and works well with food scraps. The City offers reduced-cost bins for backyard composting. The City of Palo Alto Zero Waste Program offers free workshops for both types of composting. Contact the Zero Waste Program at (650) 496-5910 for details.
Q: If I switch to a mini-can, the City will receive less revenue. What will the long term effect be on my rates?
A: The current garbage rates are effective through September 30, 2011. The City is in the process of modifying its rate structure model to address years of declining revenue. Currently, the rates are based on the size of garbage service only, with recycling and yard trimmings being provided at no additional cost. Less garbage has meant less revenue for the City; however, the reality is that there are costs associated with recycling and yard trimmings collection and processing services, too. In addition, the closing of the Palo Alto Landfill and a long-term contract entered into years ago with another local landfill, has contributed to a revenue shortfall. The new rates that the City is developing will likely be structured in a way that you pay for each service used, not just garbage. For more information, contact the City of Palo Alto Zero Waste Program at (650) 496-5910.