Debris Box & Deconstruction

Debris Box and Deconstruction Hauling Services

GreenWaste of Palo Alto offers debris box services for construction projects, deconstruction, remodels, property clean outs, and more. Debris boxes are available in a variety of sizes for source separated and mixed materials.

Effective July 1, 2020, the City of Palo Alto’s Deconstruction & Construction Materials Management Ordinance will no longer allow demolition. Instead, it requires deconstruction, the careful disassembly of building components which prioritizes reuse and recycling.

Rate Categories

Mixed Material (A)

Source Separated (B)

Garbage, construction debris, miscellaneous debris, mixed concrete, brick, sod

Clean wood, metal, clean concrete, sheetrock, asphalt shingles, carpet, cardboard, dirt

Materials that are NOT Accepted

Concrete slurry or paste
Freon containing items
(e.g. refrigerators, freezers, AC units)

Food & Liquid
Hazardous waste
(e.g. batteries, paint, chemicals, oil)

Medical waste
Treated wood

20 CY Debris Box

20 CY Box

Our most popular box size, ideal for small remodels, deconstruction projects, property clean outs, and general debris removal.

16’ L x 8’ W x 5’.3” H

30 CY Debris Box

30 CY Box

Great for medium to large sized construction projects, clean ups, office cleanouts, home additions, deconstruction, and more.

21’ L x 8’ W x 4’.5” H

40 CY Debris Box

40 CY Box

The perfect size for large-scale or long term projects, such as major renovations, construction, deconstruction, and more.

21’ L x 8’ W x 7’.5” H

15 CY Debris Box

15 CY Box


Great for small remodels, home projects, bulky household items, and heavier materials such as concrete, brick, or dirt.

18’ L x 8’ W x 4’ H

7 CY Debris Box

7 CY Box


Best for heavy materials such as concrete, brick, or dirt.

14’ L x 8’ W x 2’ H

Debris Bin

2 or 4 CY Bin


Only available for light material types such as cardboard, carpet, metal, and wood.

2 CY bin: 81” L x 41.5” W x 51.5” H
4 CY bin: 81” L x 55.5” W x 66.5” H



A detailed breakdown of the material categories for debris boxes and deconstruction projects. 

Deconstruction Frequently Asked Questions


What is deconstruction?

Deconstruction is the systematic and careful dismantling of a structure, typically, in the opposite order it was constructed, to maximize the recovery of materials for reuse and recycling. For detailed information about the deconstruction requirements, visit and refer to Palo Alto Municipal Code 5.24.

What are the requirements?

The new deconstruction ordinance requires projects where structures are being completely removed to conduct a salvage survey designating the materials to be salvaged for reuse, deconstruct the structure, and source separate materials in different containers (i.e. debris boxes or bins) by material category for recycling. Reuse materials are required to be delivered directly to a City approved reuse organization by the deconstruction customer with certification provided to the City. For detailed information about the deconstruction requirements, visit

Source Separation

What needs to be source separated?

All deconstruction materials are required to be sorted onsite into specific categories.

  • Materials for reuse – These materials are designated as salvageable in the Salvage Survey. They are to be prepared and delivered to a City approved reuse facility by the deconstruction customer. Find a list of City approved reuse organizations at
  • Materials for maximized recycling – GreenWaste of Palo Alto provides containers and collection service for these materials to be separated into specific categories and delivered to one of the City approved materials recovery facilities listed in Green Halo.  Please review the Detailed Construction Materials Guide for more information about specific material categories.


What are the source separated categories?

The categories for source separation of material are: 

  • Clean concrete
  • Clean wood (e.g. unpainted wood/lumber, yard clippings/landscaping, etc.)
  • Sheetrock
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Carpet
  • Metal
  • Cardboard
  • Dirt


What size and type of debris boxes or bins do I need?

GreenWaste has a variety of debris box sizes available, including 7 CY, 15 CY, 20 CY, 30 CY, and 40 CY boxes. Additionally, smaller 2 CY and 4 CY bins are available upon request. Deconstruction customers will work with an assigned GreenWaste Environmental Outreach Coordinator (EOC) to determine the type, size, and service frequency of containers (debris boxes or bins) for their project.

For detailed container information please refer to the Debris Box webpage.

What if I don’t have room for multiple containers?

GreenWaste Environmental Outreach Coordinators will assist each site to find solutions to space constraints and other site-specific challenges. Different sized containers are available.

How often will my containers be serviced?

Debris boxes and bins are on-call services. Collection must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance by calling (650) 493-4894 or emailing


Where is deconstruction material processed?

GreenWaste hauls recyclable construction and miscellaneous materials to Zanker Recycling, a City approved Recycling Certification Institute certified facility. Single stream recycling, carpet, and garbage is hauled to the GreenWaste Material Recovery Campus in San Jose. 

How do I get information for my Green Halo account?

You may call or email Customer Service at (650) 493-4894 or to request a Tonnage and Diversion Report containing weight and diversion information emailed to you. You may view a sample diversion report HERE

How do I ensure my project meets requirements?

Sort all recyclable debris according to the detailed material categories. In many cases it may not be possible to meet the 80% minimum overall diversion rate unless correct onsite source separation is undertaken. For successful source separation:

  • Educate all contractors, sub-contractors, and employees about managing the debris on the project site and correct sorting of materials.
  • Organize your project site to accommodate reuse and recycling of debris.
  • Keep all Tonnage and Diversion Reports provided by GreenWaste for entry into Green Halo.
  • Communicate any questions or concerns to the GreenWaste Environmental Outreach Coordinator assisting your project or contact Customer Service.

Please visit Zanker Recycling to find up to date diversion rates.


What is considered contamination?

Contamination occurs when materials are sorted into the wrong container or improperly mixed. It is the responsibility of the deconstruction customer to ensure that only acceptable materials are placed into designated containers. Contamination will negatively affect your final diversion rates and may lead to additional fees. For help with proper sorting of materials contact Customer Service.

Will my container still be serviced if it is contaminated?

Debris boxes or bins containing hazardous material or medical waste will not be serviced. The deconstruction customer will retain responsibility for removing and properly disposing of these materials. 

Debris boxes or bins that are contaminated with improperly sorted material will be serviced and charged a contamination fee of $185.30. Contaminated loads require more extensive sorting at materials recovery facilities and may result in additional processing fees imposed by the facility if the material is reclassified as mixed or miscellaneous debris. 

For more information on rates, please refer to the Debris Box Rate Schedule (R-C: Section 5) or contact Customer Service.

Keep up with the latest happenings!

Twitter FacebookInstagram