What Goes Where Tools


Knowing what materials can go into your recycle and compost containers can be confusing.

This page gives you the tools you need to know what materials can be recycled and composted - signs and stickers, sorting guides, how-to videos, and information about technical assistance.

For more information you can view our FAQ’s and you can email us at zerowaste@cityofpaloalto.org or call us at (650) 496-5910.



Signs and Stickers

""Sign-Maker Tool - Make your own custom signs

""Recycle Poster(PDF, 2MB)

""Compost Poster(PDF, 1MB)

""Landfill Poster(PDF, 1002KB)

""Paper Towel Sign(PDF, 159KB)

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Recycle, Compost, Landfill Stickers - contact GreenWaste of Palo Alto to get stickers.


Sorting Guides


What Goes Where Sorting Guide(PDF, 471KB) - a short list of what goes in your blue, green, and black containers.


Detailed Materials Guide.jpg


Detailed Materials Guide - a detailed list of what goes in your blue, green, and black containers.


RESource-logo-animated.gif RE:Source Guide - an online guide for reuse, repair, recycling, and safe disposal.



Single-Family Residential Services Guide


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Multi-Family Residential Services Guide


Commercial Services Guide



How-to Videos


Video-Waste Sorting Schools.JPGWaste Sorting In Palo Alto Schools - while this video was made for schools, the information works for everyone in Palo Alto 



Waste Sorting In Palo Alto Businesses- a Palo Alto business gets a visitor from the future in this fun What Goes Where sorting video. 




Green Cart.jpgWhat goes in my green cart?

""Food composting



Blue Cart.jpgWhat goes in my blue cart?

""Should I rinse recyclables?


Recycling Plastics - What is accepted?


""Recycling Film Plastics



Video-MultiMaterial.JPGProducts made from multiple materials


Technical Assistance

Recycling and composting is required in Palo Alto. If you need assistance starting or improving your recycling and/or composting program, please contact GreenWaste.

GreenWaste can help you with the following:

  • Establish service levels, conduct site visits and waste audits
  • Provide on-site training, posters, stickers, and other materials
  • Plan for special events 

For more information about the Recycling and Composting Ordinance and tips from other Palo Alto businesses for recycling and composting success, visit our Recycling and Composting Ordinance webpage.


Zero Waste Facilitators

Zero Waste Facilitators can help you comply with the City’s Recycling and Composting Ordinance. They may also be able to help you lower your refuse costs. Visit our Zero Waste Facilitators page to learn more.


Container Vendors


Container vendor list - A list of vendors that sell recycle and compost containers