Single-Family Residential

Single-family residences are standalone homes or multi-unit dwellings with less than three (3) units that receive weekly collection and processing service of materials collected from blue, green, and black carts.

Holiday Schedule

Collection does NOT occur on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in Nov.) or Christmas Day (December 25). If an observed holiday falls on a regular collection day, collection for the remainder of the week will be delayed by one day.

Sorting Guidance

RE:Source Logo

Use the RE:Source search tool to find out where to reuse, recycle, and properly dispose of just about everything.

Single-family residents in Palo Alto receive weekly curbside collection services for garbage, recycle, and compost. All materials must be ready for collection no later than 6:00AM on your normal collection day.

GARBAGE/LANDFILL: Please place all garbage/landfill materials in your BLACK cart. Standard service is (1) 32 gallon cart. If you need additional capacity, you may also obtain a 64 or 96 gallon cart. The minimum service is a 20 gallon cart.

RECYCLE: Please place all recyclable materials in your BLUE cart​. Standard service is (1) 64-gallon cart. Service is also available in 32 or 96 gallon carts.

COMPOST: Please place all compostable materials in your GREEN cart. Standard service is (1) 96 gallon compost cart. Service is also available in 20, 32, or 64 gallon carts.

Extra Services

BULKY ITEM COLLECTION: Residents may request the collection of bulky items (beyond those included in the Clean Up Day program) on their regular service day for a fee. To schedule this service, call Customer Service at least one week in advance.

EXTRA MATERIALS: Please increase service if you regularly have extra materials. Occasional (once or twice per year) extra materials can be collected as follows:

  • GARBAGE: Extra garbage can be collected for an additional fee. Contact Customer Service to schedule.
  • RECYCLABLE MATERIALS: Place in a paper bag, cardboard box, or 2’ x 3’ bundles next to your recyclables cart(s) or set out on a Clean Up Day.
  • YARD TRIMMINGS: Place in a paper bag, cardboard box, or 2’ x 4’ bundles next to your compostables cart(s) or set out on a Clean Up Day.

E-WASTE COLLECTION: Small electronic waste can be placed in your blue recycle cart(s). Televisions and computer monitors are not accepted. Large or bulky electronic waste can be collected as part of the Clean Up Day program or on a regular service day for a fee. To schedule this service, call Customer Service at least one week in advance.

HOLIDAY TREE COLLECTION: For the four weeks following Christmas day, holiday trees will be collected curbside. Trees must be undecorated, unflocked, cut to four-foot lengths with stands removed, and placed curbside next to your green compostables cart(s).

PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS PROGRAM: Back/side yard service will be provided to customers with physical limitations at no additional charge. To request this service, contact Customer Service or complete the physical limitations program application.

Billing & Rates

Residents are billed for refuse collection services by City of Palo Alto Utilities on a monthly basis. To pay your City Utility bill online, visit My Utilities Account.



Single-family residents in Palo Alto receive two pre-scheduled Clean Up Days annually for the collection of bulky items, clothing, excess recyclables and yard trimmings, and other items.. For full details and the Clean Up Day lookup tool, please visit our dedicated Clean Up Day webpage. A brief summary of the service follows:

  • A wide variety of materials can be collected and must be set out following program guidelines to ensure collection.
  • During the Clean Up Day, limited household hazardous waste (HHW), including batteries and motor oil, can be collected.
  • A postcard is sent to every resident notifying them their Clean Up Day is approaching

Unwanted or unused toxic household items such as paint, chemicals, pesticides, batteries, propane tanks, etc. can be disposed of at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Station in Palo Alto.

Please visit the Palo Alto Hazardous Waste Program website or contact Zero Waste Palo Alto at (650) 496-5910 for more information.

Additionally, residents may place the following household hazardous waste items curbside during a pre-scheduled Clean Up Day:


USED MOTOR OIL AND FILTERS:  Residents may set out used motor oil (in plastic containers with a screw on lid only) and filters (in sealed plastic bags only) during a pre-scheduled Clean Up Day or take these items to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Station.


HOUSEHOLD BATTERIES: Residents may set out household batteries (in a sealed, clear, and tear resistant bag) during a pre-scheduled Clean Up Day or take them to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Station.