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Changes to Garbage and Recycling - Help Shape Our Future

Palo Alto has experienced a major decrease in waste disposal (a good thing), but a significant shortfall in funding for our Refuse Fund (a bad thing). There are four key drivers shaping the future of how we deal with waste in our community.

  • Palo Alto Has Ambitious Environmental Goals – Our community is striving for goals that not only require us to change the way we do things on a personal level, but also to change our basic systems such as the types of services provided and long-term contractual agreements.
  • Refuse Rates Don’t Cover the Costs of All the Services They Provide - They may be called ‘refuse’ rates but they cover many services other than garbage, such as street sweeping, household hazardous waste, recycling and more.
  • Change is Happening – We are operating under an out-dated system that charges only for garbage collection and disposal, the very thing we are trying to minimize, to provide a spectrum of services; we need to create a new system that secures funding for the services we desire while complying with California law.
  • Creating a Solution Together – With the community’s help, we will explore various options and develop a long-term solution to the challenges we face.

Learn more at about these issues and what's happening next at

Last Updated: June 29, 2011