Zero Waste & Recycling

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The Recycling & Zero Waste Division manages the City’s solid waste programs. This includes developing and implementing residential/commercial waste reduction, composting, and recycling programs and managing waste disposal and SMaRT Station contracts.

City staff are currently working on a Zero Waste Plan to support the City’s Zero Waste Policy that was adopted in 2018 and establishes a Citywide goal to divert 90 percent of waste from the landfill by 2030. The preparation of the Plan is being done in advance of updating the City’s current collection, processing and disposal agreements, all of which expire at the end of 2021. The Plan will identify future programs and actions the City can take to reach its Zero Waste goals.



Food Scraps Program (Include the Food)

Residents subscribed to curbside service can put food scraps in with yard trimmings in the compost cart (collected weekly). The City is currently running a pilot program with multi-family dwellings to test feasibility and establish costs and rates for the service.

Why Compost? Keeping food scraps and food-soiled paper out of the landfill reduces greenhouse gas emissions and gives these valuable resources a second useful life as compost for landscape growers.

A waste characterization study of Mountain View’s waste stream was conducted to prepare the Draft Zero Waste Plan. The study found that a significant percentage of the single-family trash stream was compostable material that should have gone in the compost cart. The results of the study below show the percentage of materials in the single-family trash and the top five materials found.

Pie chart of single family trash cart contents. Could be composted: food (32% of trash cart) and compostable paper (13%). Recyclables: 15%. Problem materials (i.e. pet waste, diapers, etc.): 17%. Potentially recoverable: 19%.

Figure 1: Single-Family Trash Cart Contents

What can we do better? Make sure you include the food! All food scraps can go into the compost cart. Food scraps include meat and bones, dairy, bread, fruits and vegetables, peels, pits, cobs, coffee grounds, food-soiled paper, paper towels, napkins, paper cups, paper egg cartons and pizzeria boxes (no frozen or refrigerated food boxes). When placed in the compost cart (formerly called yard trimmings), the combination of yard trimmings, food scraps and food-soiled papers is called compost.

Learn more about food scraps collection here. For more information on Recycling and Zero Waste in Mountain View, check out the annual Resource newsletter here.

The Recycling & Zero Waste Division manages the City’s solid waste programs. This includes developing and implementing residential/commercial waste reduction, composting, and recycling programs and managing waste disposal and SMaRT Station contracts.

City staff are currently working on a Zero Waste Plan to support the City’s Zero Waste Policy that was adopted in 2018 and establishes a Citywide goal to divert 90 percent of waste from the landfill by 2030. The preparation of the Plan is being done in advance of updating the City’s current collection, processing and disposal agreements, all of which expire at the end of 2021. The Plan will identify future programs and actions the City can take to reach its Zero Waste goals.



Food Scraps Program (Include the Food)

Residents subscribed to curbside service can put food scraps in with yard trimmings in the compost cart (collected weekly). The City is currently running a pilot program with multi-family dwellings to test feasibility and establish costs and rates for the service.

Why Compost? Keeping food scraps and food-soiled paper out of the landfill reduces greenhouse gas emissions and gives these valuable resources a second useful life as compost for landscape growers.

A waste characterization study of Mountain View’s waste stream was conducted to prepare the Draft Zero Waste Plan. The study found that a significant percentage of the single-family trash stream was compostable material that should have gone in the compost cart. The results of the study below show the percentage of materials in the single-family trash and the top five materials found.

Pie chart of single family trash cart contents. Could be composted: food (32% of trash cart) and compostable paper (13%). Recyclables: 15%. Problem materials (i.e. pet waste, diapers, etc.): 17%. Potentially recoverable: 19%.

Figure 1: Single-Family Trash Cart Contents

What can we do better? Make sure you include the food! All food scraps can go into the compost cart. Food scraps include meat and bones, dairy, bread, fruits and vegetables, peels, pits, cobs, coffee grounds, food-soiled paper, paper towels, napkins, paper cups, paper egg cartons and pizzeria boxes (no frozen or refrigerated food boxes). When placed in the compost cart (formerly called yard trimmings), the combination of yard trimmings, food scraps and food-soiled papers is called compost.

Learn more about food scraps collection here. For more information on Recycling and Zero Waste in Mountain View, check out the annual Resource newsletter here.

  • Zero Waste Plan

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    9 months ago

    City Council approved the Zero Waste Plan at their October 29, 2019 meeting. The Plan describes actions the City can take to meet a 90% diversion from landfill goal by 2030. It will serve as a guide for the preparation of new collection, processing, and landfill service agreements to replace the City’s current agreements, which expire in 2021.

    Development of the Plan involved input and valuable feedback obtained from stakeholder interviews, a public workshop, and a City Council study session. There are 39 initiatives outlined in the final Plan, ranging from short- to long-term through 2030. You can read the full plan here.

    Some short-term initiatives that will be implemented in the next few years include: a Foodware Packaging Reduction plan to reduce disposable foodware packaging, food scraps composting for multi-family residents, increased technical assistance to schools to improve diversion, and measures to reduce food waste and increase edible food donation. Stay tuned for updates from the Recycling & Zero Waste division as new initiatives are implemented Citywide.