GreenWaste of Palo Alto and the City of Palo Alto Shift to Domestic Markets for Recyclables

Mixed Paper and Mixed Rigid Plastic generated by Palo Alto residents and businesses will now be sent to domestic markets for recycling

December 16, 2022, PALO ALTO, CA – Palo Alto City Council has approved an industry-leading shift for GreenWaste of Palo Alto, LLC (GreenWaste) and its affiliated GreenWaste Material Processing Facility (MRF) to send 100% of Mixed Paper (MP) and Mixed Rigid Plastic (MRP) to domestic markets to be recycled into new products.

This comes after over 4 years of dedicated work by GreenWaste and City staff to better understand and track the life cycle of Palo Alto’s recyclables. As it does in all its endeavors, GreenWaste has been and will continue to work together with the City of Palo Alto to meet and exceed our communities’ environmental and social goals.

Palo Alto’s recyclable materials are collected by GreenWaste and delivered to their state-of-the-art MRF in San Jose, CA. Once at the MRF, materials are sorted by type, bailed, and then sold to recycling brokers and/or secondary processors. Historically, MP and MRP have been marketed to international brokers and processors.

GreenWaste Materials Recovery Facility in San Jose, CA.

GreenWaste Materials Recovery Facility in San Jose, CA.

Domestic processing capacity and availability across North America is very limited; however, GreenWaste was able to work with a domestic pulp and paper mill in Louisiana and a plastics processing facility in Southern California to reserve capacity for City of Palo Alto generated MP and MRP, respectively. GreenWaste continues to work with domestic facilities to have guaranteed and consistent outlets for its recycling materials on a timely basis, as, in addition to market fluctuations, it is restricted by certain constraints, including onsite storage time and potential for degradation of recycling materials

In April 2022, GreenWaste and the City of Palo Alto, launched a 3-month pilot program to send MP and MRP to these markets with the goal of better understanding the feasibility and costs associated with recycling these materials within the U.S. Under the new agreement approved by the City of Palo Alto’s City Council and GreenWaste, it is anticipated that 100% of Palo Alto’s MP and MRP will be sent to domestic markets.

These domestic markets will provide greater tracking and assurances into the life cycle of these recyclables.

“GreenWaste is proud to work hand-in-hand with City of Palo Alto staff to create the most sustainably viable recycling solutions for Palo Alto, its residents, and businesses” said Eric Cissna, General Manager of GreenWaste of Palo Alto. “This amendment is the culmination of more than four years of work and will ensure that 100% of Palo Alto’s Mixed Paper and Mixed Rigid Plastic will be recycled domestically. We look forward to this continued partnership and hope this change will encourage increased capacity for domestic recycling within California and across the U.S.”

GreenWaste will continue to focus on sustainability transparency, invest in driving sustainability, add innovative recycling equipment, and increase responsible diversion rates, types of materials recycled, and recycled product quality. GreenWaste diverts materials that most companies do not, including CDs, candles, polypropylene, plastic films, and aseptic containers. GreenWaste also focuses on increased quality of recycling materials to allow the highest and best use of the materials, which has the effect of expanding its domestic markets and making its diversion rates responsible and transparent.

About GreenWaste of Palo Alto
GreenWaste of Palo Alto is the City of Palo Alto’s contracted waste and recycling hauler. GreenWaste has served the City of Palo Alto since 2009 and is part of the broader GreenWaste companies. For more information about GreenWaste of Palo Alto, go to:

About GreenWaste
GreenWaste’s mission is to focus on innovation, people, and a commitment to be green to revolutionize how we transform the world’s waste. GreenWaste specializes in the collection and processing of residential and commercial solid waste, recyclable materials, organic materials and construction and demolition debris. Since its predecessor’s inception in 1991, GreenWaste has been an innovation pioneer in the recycling industry.  For more information about GreenWaste, go to:

About City of Palo Alto’s Sustainability and Zero Waste
The City of Palo Alto has a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% and to divert 95% of waste generated from landfills by the year 2030. As part of the City’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan the City aims to minimize waste from City operations through the improvement of existing programs. For more information about Palo Alto’s sustainability programs, go to:

For more information about Palo Alto’s Zero Waste program, go to:

Media Contact

GreenWaste of Palo Alto | Fredrick Ghai |

City of Palo Alto | Paula Borges |