June 18, 2019 – Palo Alto Matters
Pursuant to Palo Alto’s Zero Waste Plan, City Council adopted new rules on June 10 to regulate the use of disposable food ware, including restricting the use of plastic straws, cutlery, beverage stirrers, etc., reducing printed receipts at food service establishments and limiting the retail use of plastic produce and meat bags, including at grocery stores and farmers markets. In addition, council approved new rules regarding management of deconstruction and construction materials to maximize the salvage for reuse, increase diversion of recyclable materials, and reduce the amount of landfilled waste.
On June 24 council will turn its attention to refuse disposal and collection with new rules related to the storage, sorting, collection and removal of refuse to make waste sorting more effective and facilitate monitoring. Some proposed changes include requiring commercial facilities to use clear bags for garbage, blue-tinted clear bags for recycling, and green-tinted clear, compostable bags for compost. All users (including residential) will be required to break down cardboard boxes, and containers may only stay in the public right-of-way for 24 hours before or after being serviced.