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Residents: How is the new food waste recyling program going?

Original post made by Making Great Dirt, Another Mountain View Neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2017

Now that we're a few weeks in, I'm just curious about how the new food scraps recycling is going for people. Do you find it helpful with the weekly pick-ups? We have been composting on our own for years but wondering how
others are finding this new process. Simple and easy? Too difficult? What could make it better?

Comments (53)

47 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2017 at 10:54 am

In 2 words, IT STINKS! I was already careful to minimize waste before this program came along. The main problem is that with the heat of the summer, we are having to put out the food scraps every day because of the smell. Eggs, fish and onions don't do well when sitting around for days in 100 plus degree heat.

I'm also amazed that the city is using the same biodegradable plastic bags that I suggested for supermarkets (and that they told me would not work) when they banned the plastic bags back in 2012.

Also, we received one tiny bin for a household that has 5 adults. The City loves to talk about how they do things in Europe, well the bins and bags are much larger there, and they get picked up 3x a week!

What would help is if the city stopped forcing people to do things that take up more time, effort, and money out of their already extremely busy days and limited budgets. Most people already do the right thing and it is unfair to add to their burdens for the few that don't.

However, since that is not a realistic expectation, I would say that the city needs to supply bins that are at least 4x larger overall and bags to match. The bins should also be odor-proof when closed/sealed.



Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


28 people like this
Posted by As I see it
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2017 at 1:23 pm

So here's my opinion: I hate to haul that huge bin out and happily only have to do it 2 x per month. I also hate the separating of the paper and containers, but I do it. It takes a lot longer to take out the trash, but I think the reuse is good. Again, I hate the moving around the larger paper and container bin and am happy I only have to take it out 2 x per week.
Now they are asking me to jump though yet another hoop when it comes to garbage, and are asking me to heft the big container to the curb each week.
My reward for the extra work and diligence done by ME on MY TIME? A price increase.
Sorry but I threw away that little scrap bin they sent me...right into the container recycling bin.

As a contractor, if some pre-work is done by my customers (Sorting, demo, and such), I reduce their rate. I might be interested in doing extra garbage work on my end so the company does not have to, but not for free. I expect a reduced rate. MY time is actually worth something, yes, even the little snippets of it that all add up in our busy daily lives.

I plan on continuing to put the big bin out 2 x per week. Don't look for a bunch of food scraps in it though. Maybe a pizza box now and then. Otherwise, at our house, this program does not exist. We're simply ignoring it.


12 people like this
Posted by Binned Out
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm


We place our bins out front the evening before pickup. We live downtown. In the morning or bins have been scavenged for recyclables or moved to the sidewalk or tipped over in the street, or stuffed with other waste. Please do not hire anyone else to inspect our waste. It was fine 23 hours prior to placing it on the street. Sound good, but the costs continue to skyrocket.
When the city grants permanent street permits out front, we'll have to move our 4 bins somewhere on the street. 4 bins per household is silly, and no, I do not want to add my food waste to the gigantic yard waste bin.


42 people like this
Posted by No Problems
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 26, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Don't understand what the others are yammering about. Instead of putting food waste in our garbage can, we put it in with yard waste. It's going to smell the same in either can.

The new pail size has been fine for us.

@Neil, if you need a bigger one, just get one. You expect the city to know how big a pail each household will need?


7 people like this
Posted by Recycle the plastic bin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2017 at 4:17 pm

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


I plan on throwing the container away in the plastics recycling bin next time it goes out. It would be a wonderful statement to those who are watching to have hundreds of them show up on the recycling line ;) I encourage people to do just that if you want to let them know how you feel.


7 people like this
Posted by Sort of participant
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 27, 2017 at 10:06 am

I guess we're participating a little. We put our pizza box in the big bin last night. Not bothering with the rest tho. The bin still goes out every other week. I put the food scrap bin in the trash same day it arrived but I kept the free dog poop bags. Actually, I guess I'm paying for them with the raised rates. Hmmm :/


6 people like this
Posted by BD
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm

I think in a month or two we'll be able to get a smaller trash bin and lower our rates. Until then, we'll keep working on making new habits. It's been interesting for me to see how much food we throw out, because we empty that kitchen pail often. The "real trash" now is mostly plastic wrappers, Kleenex, and bags.

@No Problems - I don't understand why putting food in a different trash bin makes it smell worse than it used to, but it definitely does. We expected it to be no big deal, but the garage is really stinky now, and we barely have room for the new compost bin.


20 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm

"Now that we're a few weeks in"

Actually about two years in, for part of the city, so you can get experienced feedback from those residents who started July 2015. What happened recently is the program expanded to the rest of the city. (From the City website, here's the 2016 City report mailed out about the then-ongoing pilot program, with some practicalities: Web Link )

Users experience a learning curve. Some nearby towns have been doing versions of this longer. Practical tips from Palo Alto's publicity program apply to ours too, I don't know why the towns don't share these information campaigns more (like they coordinated their pilot programs). Palo Alto has a whole series of practical tips, featuring a character "Zak Zero" (as in, zero-waste), I even see them as color advertisements in the Daily Post. Palo Alto's tips are here, scroll down the page: Web Link

Once you get used to the novelty (and the practicalities), food scraps separation does greatly shrink the amount of trash going into the general trash bin. (That was the whole motivation, MV's earlier studies found that most of the general trash waste could be diverted to other uses, and the food scraps recycling makes money.) Some people can downsize their trash bin and pay a lower rate. A tip I found useful in the Palo Alto advice page (last link) is "Placing the food scraps on top of leaves or plant trimmings keeps the [yard-waste] cart clean."

Was surprised to read a comment from someone still relying on a garbage disposal (in 2017!) Not only do those just pass food waste to the sewer system where it still must be filtered out, but I learned long ago from someone in the consumer-appliance industry that kitchen-sink garbage disposals were viewed by that industry as basically a scam to exploit gullible consumers -- a manufactured need. They got the public to buy something they didn't really need (you can accomplish the same results, better, without one), and they're costly to repair and replace. Nice business for dealers and plumbers, that's all.


3 people like this
Posted by Meh
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2017 at 5:11 pm

I'm good. Thanks though.


21 people like this
Posted by Developer
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Make sure to recycle your food scraps so there is plenty of room in the landfills for demolished buildings.


9 people like this
Posted by Jon
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 28, 2017 at 10:38 pm


It's going to have unintended results.

This, while good intentioned, will cause many people to just throw all food into the garbage disposal.

Even for the liberal tree hugging folks we tend to be around here, this has gone way too far from a "time required to implement" point of view.

Nice goals, poorly implemented.


10 people like this
Posted by NotUsingLittlePail
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 29, 2017 at 11:43 am

I don't have a lot of "food scraps" -- like maybe the tail end of a rotten onion, some chicken bones, the bad parts of a celery stalk, and occasionally an egg shell (yeah, singular -- don't have them frequently).

It'd be ridiculous to haul out that giant yard-trimmings bin to dispose of "half a bad onion," so I'm continuing to use the (minimum sized) black garbage bin for all my trash.

Is that cool with everyone, or am I going to get fined by some trash inspector?








37 people like this
Posted by dollarbin
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm

dollarbin is a registered user.

I love it. It's nice to have a better option for my food waste and it's minimal effort. I have more space in my regular garbage bin to start throwing away a bunch of other stuff I have lying around, and perhaps down the line I will downsize to a cheaper bin and save some money.

The negative comments have me scratching my head, I hear better arguments from my 4-year-old explaining why he shouldn't have to brush his teeth. The program is essentially optional, your regular trash pickup is the same as before so you can keep feeding the landfill to your heart's delight. Commenter Meh actually has the right idea, if it's not right for you, move on. If cost is your issue, how much do you think it's going to cost when we've used up local landfill space and have to truck our waste farther to more expensive facilities?

Jim Neal's argument reminds me of the old joke, "the food here is terrible...and such small portions".


10 people like this
Posted by Joke program
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2017 at 6:09 am

Not participating. Dumb dumb dumb. I guess that makes some people all sore as I read the passive attempts at insults in those posts.


1 person likes this
Posted by Nora S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm

The first week they didn't pick up the food waste I'd placed in the yard waste bin, so by the second week the bin was disgusting! In other words, I think it's a good idea but the devil is in the implementation.


3 people like this
Posted by Gardener Friendly
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 31, 2017 at 8:31 am

I told him he could fill the yard waste bin each week if he wanted or needed. I had to break apart the little plastic can they sent so it fits in the recycling bin better, but other than that, it's simply business as usual at our house.


29 people like this
Posted by Akuakai
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 31, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Wow, lots of negative here. We have been composting in our back yard for years: except we don't put meats/dairy in our compost as it attracts raccoons, etc. Note, our compost pail is about the size of the one the city gave us - and yes we generally empty it every other day.

With the new compost rules, we throw all meat, dairy and other soiled paper in the yard waste bin, then haul it out to the curt once a week. All other compost goes in our compost area in the back yard. If I have really stinky waste (crab, fish, etc) I bag it and throw it in our chest freezer, then transfer it to the yard waste bin the day of pick up.

Our trash can is now only 1/2 full on a weekly basis.

So, overall - I love it!!!!!


Like this comment
Posted by Unexpected benefits
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 1, 2017 at 8:50 am

I already have the smallest trash bin available so I don't see any way to have my rates go down. If they want people to participate they need to make it of some value to them. With the extra I now have to pay, I'm finding additional trash for my trash bin. Stuff like garden/wood/construction waste that I would normally hold onto for one major pickup, I find I can now slip a little each week into my bin which helps keep the yard cleaner + I get more value from my trash dollar paid. I'm not actively participating in the program, but I'm hoping the free for all this creates will continue to help me in unexpected ways.


18 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 1, 2017 at 10:28 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@No Problems - Even though my name is spelled out, you still managed to get it wrong, so I can't help but wonder if you really read the comments that people made or just started hurling insults? What people are "yammering" about, is the SMELL. No one was talking about putting the food waste in the garbage instead of the yard waste bin. We are talking about the smell inside the house.

And yes, I do expect the city to know how big a bin is needed. The bins in Italy are large enough, and rarely smell even on very hot days. A little research before rolling out programs goes a long way.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


9 people like this
Posted by @Jim Neal
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 1, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Thanks for yammering again. It provides much amusement!

Perhaps you could try emptying your inside composting pail when it starts to stink? Doesn't seem like a larger one would help you much!

Just saying!


10 people like this
Posted by @@Jim Neal
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 1, 2017 at 4:54 pm

What's up with the rude behavior?


Like this comment
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Since many of you are commenting on Palo Alto, I would like to mention that as I now have to use the compost can for things like banana peels, corn husks, etc. I find that I have ants all over the composting can which never happened when I wrapped them in plastic bags in the garbage. I have very little compostable waste as I don't waste food, use washable plates, cups, etc. and cloth napkins, cleaning cloths as well as rarely having take out food like pizza boxes, so unless we have been busy clearing the yard there is very little in the huge green can. I was very worried about raccoons getting into the cans also as the automatic garbage truck arms destroy the lids of the cans and they don't fit well.

Anyway, the ants seem to like the corn husks more than anything else and find them almost the same day they are put outside. I will not put meat type waste as I don't want to attract rats either.


16 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 2, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I have gotten used to people launching into personal attacks and being insulting and rude when they dislike my opinion, but are unable to respond on the merits of the issue. I am now sure that at least some people aren't bothering to read other's opinions, because I clearly stated "we are having to put out the food scraps every day". Unless it is being suggested that we should empty the bin on an hourly basis?

We have started noticing ants also as they are attracted to pretty much anything that contains liquids (including water) on hot days especially. We also don't have much in the way of take-out food, but try to eat a well rounded diet. Things like banana peels or fruit husks are also drawing fruit flies, so we have to put those out immediately.

Most likely, we'll put a green bin just outside the door and just put the scraps directly into it, then cover the scraps with yard waste on the weekends.

@BD - The reason the smell is worse is that all the bio products are concentrated, uncovered in one place, and it is a much smaller space, therefore there is nothing to absorb the liquids and/or gases that are produced which results in more pungent odors. It is much the same as if you had a cat and gave it a litter box that was six square inches as opposed to six square feet.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


16 people like this
Posted by Probably74
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 2, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Personally, I'm enjoying the new system. It's funny to see my hand pause above the trash can in the kitchen and then realize that what I'm about to drop really goes in the compost bin on the other counter. I'm serious! I love that my brain is retraining itself. Aside from the personal amusement, I'm stunned at how little actual trash I have each week now. The recycling hasn't changed but the trash has dropped by 2/3rds easily.


15 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 3, 2017 at 3:04 pm

No problem, whatsoever. It took us about a week to get used to *not* tossing compostables into the regular garbage can, but other than that, no problems at all with odors.


4 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 3, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Darin is a registered user.

For weekly service, it hasn't been a big deal for us. Instead of a small trash bin that is filled only partially, we now have a small trash bin and a small compostable bin that are filled only partially.

The main difference is that the small compostable bin will probably encourage me to do a little yardwork more frequently, rather than doing a lot of yardwork rarely. Or not.


28 people like this
Posted by Graham parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm

I love it. I was already using a backyard compost bin, but my kids and I generate more food waste than I could compost in that bin. Now I can compost virtually everything and it is so easy. I have hardly any trash anymore. I leave my home every day anyway, so it is no effort to have to carry the free kitchen bin to the yard waste bin when it needs to be emptied. And if I decide I want a larger kitchen compost bin, I will buy one for myself, because I am an adult and that is what adults do. I am also a parent to two children and I care far more about the fate of the planet that they will be inheriting than I do about whether or not the city pays me to compost. I compost and recycle because it is the sustainable and ethical thing to do, and I want to model good environmental citizenship to my children.


9 people like this
Posted by Not too excited about it
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2017 at 9:17 am

Food waste biodegrades no matter where it is put so in terms of the environmental aspect, food waste is not an issue. We are and have always been fine to put it in the disposal or in the trash. We're likely using much more energy in the composting program than people realize if you look at the additional pickups and energy used to process something that biodegrades no mater what you to to it. The difference is the compost gets to be sold by the garbage company, so they need your work to make their profit. Oh and there will be a rate increase as well because those trucks are going to use a lot more fuel and electrical costs to run the new site will be steep and ongoing.

I encourage people to do what they want though. Just obey all the laws and keep off the backs of those doing just that.


16 people like this
Posted by CuestaFamily
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

I'm also a bit surprised by the tone of the negative responses. We have been looking forward to the program starting in our neighborhood since we create more trash than we would like due to having young kids, and we were eager to reduce our contribution to landfills. We have used the counter top pail with bags and empty it every night into the yard trimming box with no problems at all so far. Other than having a hard time remembering first thing in the morning to dump the coffee grinds from the previous day into the bin, it's been remarkably easy. We did request a yard trimming bin since we are in a townhouse which does not ordinarily have them. We have seen a significant decrease in the amount of trash in our regular bin. I think it's great! A relatively painless way to send less trash to the landfill.


13 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Park Neighbor
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

We're not really tree hugging, dirt worshipper but we really like the program. It took a little shift in paradigm but it works well for us. Rachael Ray (Food Network) suggests using a "Garbage Bowl" instead of a bucket. We use a garbage bowl (medium sized stainless steel mixing bowl) and empty it every night after dinner and wash it. We don't have the stink inside the house, we stopped using the garbage disposer in the sink, and we reduced the amount we're sending to the landfill (by A LOT!). Is it as convenient? No but I feel a lot better about my relationship with the environment! Just doing our part.


3 people like this
Posted by Filtered
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm

I think it's split. Most I've talked to are either totally ignoring it, or gleefully singing the praises like some to the comments above. Great, another polarizing issue. hahaha. I'm not changing the way anything now, but I'm sure there will be a pizzabox in my garden waste from time to time. I guess that counts ;)


1 person likes this
Posted by Member
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 4, 2017 at 2:40 pm

We are, unfortunately, unable to participate as we live in a townhouse and the program is only open to single family homes. I hope it expands to us soon!


Like this comment
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 4, 2017 at 3:29 pm

@Jim Neal: the biggest "merit of the issue" in my response is the opportunity to simply disagree with and tsk tsk tsk at your silly self important opinions and arrogant fashion of expressing them.
BTW where is your insightful better idea solution? Nada!

For me, the plan works just fine. I can cope with change even though you can't. TaDA!!!!


2 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 4, 2017 at 6:28 pm

We compost or use a garbage disposal on all of our "garbage", so this doesn't affect us. Out of curiosity, I looked down our block on our non-recycle trash day and guess how many brown dumpsters were out? Just one out of 20+ houses. What a wonderful "success" this program is! It's all just an expensive public relations game by the MV "City Council". They need another excuse to add another extremely expensive program to claim that they are being "environmentally responsible". What total BS. Why not work on traffic problems instead of cooking the books on their false "recycling" claims?


2 people like this
Posted by Abigail
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 4, 2017 at 7:11 pm

For those of you using your garbage disposal, you should know that waste goes into the landfill in the end. Diverting it to compost is a better option than the disposal.

Web Link

That said, I also live in a townhouse and look forward to them expanding the program to multi-family dwellings.


6 people like this
Posted by Nora S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 4, 2017 at 11:27 pm

My understanding of the reasoning behind food-waste composting is that it reduces the production of greenhouse gases. I believe that food waste, if dumped in a landfill, decomposes slowly, releasing large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. On the other hand, if food waste is composted, it, I don't know -- fixes the carbon in the soil or something? Thus avoiding the production of greenhouse gases? Sounds kinda important. Gee whiz I sure wish there were a journalist around here somewheres to make sense of such complicated technical obstrusenesses.


4 people like this
Posted by Science and Fact
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 4, 2017 at 11:52 pm

@NORA I so agree with you!! Would be nice to see factual scientific information. A previous poster said basically that food is biodegradable (hmmm, that pretty much makes common sense right? Foods bio-degrade.) And the poster also said that we're likely putting much more energy in the program than what it's claiming to achieve. Again, looking more and more like common sense.

Sheeples.


1 person likes this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2017 at 7:52 am

Once again I would like to chime in.

When we first moved here, our garbage collection was one truck collecting everything passing along our street. Collection time was fairly minimal and I don't remember delays in traffic caused by the trucks. We now have 3 separate trucks which pass both ways along the street as each truck slowly lifts one can at a time from only one side of the street. On a given collection day, trucks cause traffic delays as vehicles wait for trucks to move on from blocking driveways and the need to overtake the many trucks. If this is supposed to be more environmentally friendly in respect to the amount of energy used, it is beyond me.


11 people like this
Posted by just_jay
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 5, 2017 at 8:16 am

just_jay is a registered user.

LOVE IT! I had no idea how much our trash would reduce. We used to fill up the trash bin every week, and we were tempted to upgrade to the larger bin. Now I've got spare capacity.


8 people like this
Posted by Extra space for more trash
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2017 at 10:04 am

We can REALLY load up our trash now with all the junk we seem to regularly accumulate. I'm not sure the intention was more trash going to the dump each week, but for us, this is really cool. No more waiting to have garage sales. We just put as much extra as we can in the non-recycle bin each week and voila! I'm definitely getting the most from the price increase.


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Posted by No problem
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 5, 2017 at 10:27 am

No problems. We just ignored the new rules and didn't change anything


2 people like this
Posted by rainbow38
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 5, 2017 at 11:58 am

I'm now disabled and unable to move my small trash bin much less the large garden and other recycling bin. I eat mostly frozen vegetables and fruits so there are no trimmings to dispose of and I reuse the plastic bags they come in. I buy fewer canned foods so I don't have to deal with recycling cans. My garbage disposal was removed which saves lots of water. I returned the small food recycling container to Recology.

Recology runs a mixed recycling program on Moffett Field - paper, cardboard, all plastic including bags, glass and metal go into white or clear plastic bags. Other trash including food goes into dark plastic bags; batteries are recycled separately. This is a simple way to get more things recycled by more peopls.


2 people like this
Posted by Margaret S.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

I put the little bin out and they took it. Will I get a replacement?


8 people like this
Posted by Denise
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 7, 2017 at 2:21 pm

I will admit I wasn't too excited about this new program. Turns out it is very simple to do. No odd odors and less work than I thought. May get a smaller trash can and save some money. Picked up weekly like trash. Win win!


3 people like this
Posted by CourtneyB
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 7, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Well, OK, the bin they sent was ridiculous. I'm still trying to figure out why anyone even makes a compost pail with a lid that doesn't stay open by itself. And with no filter to keep the smell down. But being an enterprising sort, and not really expecting the city to be catering to what I need, I went to Amazon, bought a nifty little black metal compost pail with a metal lid that has a replaceable charcoal filter. The can doesn't absorb smells and is easy to keep clean. The filter can be washed and needs to be replaced about every 6 months.

The bags the city gave are pretty wimpy, and break easily so I went to Amazon and...Voila!...they had better bags. Heavier, and all sizes, up to 33 gallon. Amazing Amazon. Now I don't have to worry about messing up the inside of my yard waste container, which rarely has any yard waste in it to cushion the blow. Another strategy I've used is to take a 13 gal bag, and put the 3 gal bags into it during the week, then place the 13 gal bag in the yard waste container when I put it out for collection.

It's kind of a pain, I admit, and I'm still fine tuning the details, and yes, it takes more work, but I feel better about doing this than throwing it into the garbage. Anyone with any doubts should check out John Oliver's program on food waste on Last Week Tonight. The downside of not composting are pretty horrific, land-fill wise.


4 people like this
Posted by Or
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2017 at 3:16 pm

"The downside of not composting are pretty horrific, land-fill wise. "

The solution to this problem is not in composting all the stuff we waste, but to not overbuy in the first place, so you'll stop wasting food. If you have that much food you're throwing away each week....well, just think about that. Don't become the $ stream for the garbage company buy over buying what you do not need each week.


1 person likes this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2017 at 4:21 pm

I agree with Or, post above.

Our family rarely throws food out. We eat healthy most of the time and use leftovers the next day. We rarely have take out containers, pizza boxes or any other bulky waste that is acceptable for composting. Our few banana peels, potato peels, etc. do not amount to much. The largest type of vegetable matter we throw out are corn husks. We never use paper plates, cups, plastic silverware, paper napkins or paper kitchen towels. As a result our trash is tiny and so is the amount of compostable waste. Our recycling is filled most weeks, but the other two cans are barely 1/4 full. We are a family of four almost adults.

I personally can't see how much difference it makes when it takes two trucks to come by my house to take away such tiny amounts that use so much energy to haul it away. The energy spent on collecting the 3 cans must be enormous.

BTW, I would prefer to pay for each collection rather than a monthly fee. I feel I could save money. I would like to have vacation holds also. Unfortunately, these types of savings are not offered. Instead we have to continue to pay the raised prices for reduced service and get nothing back for being efficient in our trash production.


3 people like this
Posted by No real impact
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 8, 2017 at 9:34 am

Though it takes two weeks to fill it with yard waste, I like how you can count on the yard waste bin being picked up each week. Now I can take it to the curb on the week that they don't pick up the recycling so I'm not having to wrestle 3 bins on any one day.


4 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm

It is another City Hall Stupid idea; a total waste of everybody's time and collective dollars ..........The basket was useful to carry soap & brushes while cleaning out the shower. To use it for smelly food waste is a non starter.


4 people like this
Posted by member
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 9, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Didn't like the look of the bin on my newly remodeled kitchen counters, so stuck it in the pantry where it got zero use. Saw a posting on Nextdoor website showing a picture of the small bin stuck inside a standard kitchen garbage bin & I replicated the idea and put ours onto/into our kitchen recycle garbage bin (which sits in a a pull-out cabinet adjacent to our regular kitchen trash bin). Placing it just inside and to the side of the recycle bin allows recyclables to still be put in.
Voila! We actually use it now to dump kitchen scraps since it doesn't take any extra steps (other than emptying it when it gets full). Doesn't smell any different than if we'd put it in the adjacent kitchen trash bin.

Not a big deal to haul out the yard trimmings bin every week along with the regular trash bin -- surprising how much less regular trash there is now. Just don't tell us that this new program is going to somehow cost us more and raise rates! Am still hopping mad about how the city has handled water: requiring water usage cutbacks, followed by increased rates, followed by the City permanently selling "excess" water rights to E Palo Alto for a paltry sum. Did anyone ever consider cutting rates now that there was excess water to preserve our rights, especially given the City's growth plans? If composting turns into the city making a profit off of selling gardening dirt, how about cutting back on the garbage rates?


8 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Maher - My solution was to follow the model used in Italy, but I guess you didn't bother to read that part or ignored it so you could get in your petty insults.

Also, many people have talked about composting in their own yards, but you have to remember that not everyone in Mountain View owns a house, has a yard, or even has more than 3 rooms to live in.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


3 people like this
Posted by Lydia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Our neighborhood was part of the pilot program and we like it. I'm glad it's citywide now. Using the compost program has cut our trash load in half. Since compost goes into the yard waste bin and is collected weekly, it is super easy and convenient.


2 people like this
Posted by Shoreline West Resident
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 10, 2017 at 4:04 pm

I have to say I love the idea but it does take more time than before. I wish we got something out of it like a reduced rate. How is the City of Mountain View benefiting from this effort of all of the residents?


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