Trash Cart Size Based on Household Size
Where to Set Out
How to Recycle (Split-Cart)
Compost (food scraps and yard trimmings)
Extra Collection & Bulky Goods
The type of residential service, individual carts or shared containers, is based on the number of dwelling units on a parcel. Properties with 1-4 dwelling units per parcel have Curbside Service (individual carts). This service may also be available for properties with 5-8 dwelling units as approved by the City. Properties with or 9 or more dwelling units have shared service (where the trash and recycling containers are shared by all residents on the property). Containers are collected on a schedule, which may vary depending on whether the property is on Curbside Service or Shared Service.
For Curbside Service, collection is weekly for trash and compost carts, and every other week for recycling. Food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings may be placed in the compost cart, which is collected weekly. The Collection Schedule provides more information about when carts are collected on your street whether you have Curbside Service or Shared Service.
To protect public health and sanitation, the City Code requires every property to have sufficient trash service for the amount of waste generated as determined by the City. As such, the trash cart size is determined by your household size (occupancy, not by "the cheapest rate"). It is important to remember that the "trash rate" is actually a bundled rate that includes collection and processing of recycling and composting, street sweeping, clean up appointments, confidential paper shredding, household hazardous waste drop off, landfill maintenance, utility billing, and other services.
Choose a trash cart size that is large enough for the household size below, which includes a little extra capacity for holidays, family celebrations, non-recyclable online shipment packaging, and household projects throughout the year. The goal is to reduce waste, but preserve enough capacity for extra trash (and avoid having to buy extra trash stickers).
Trash cart size assumes the household is already recycling and composting fully and correctly. See What Goes Where.
|Trash Cart Size||Dimensions||Household Size 1||Household Size 2|
|Mini-Can/Insert =||20"Wx24"Dx33"H approx.||1 adult||2 Seniors|
|32 gallon =||19.25"Wx24.25"Dx38.5"H||2 adults and 2 children||2-3 adults|
|64 gallon =||24.25"Wx31.75"Dx41.75"H||2 adults and 3 children||3-4 adults|
|96 gallon =||29.75"Wx35.25"Dx43.25"H||2 adults and 3+ children||5-6 adults|
Recycling carts are available in 64- and 96-gallon sizes.
Compost carts (yard trimmings) are available in 24-, 64- and 96-gallon sizes.
Cart dimensions are similar to trash. See more information below.
Trash Rates are based on the size of the trash cart, and is a bundled rate that includes collection and processing of recycling and composting, street sweeping, clean up appointments, confidential paper shredding, household hazardous waste drop off, landfill maintenance, utility billing, and other services. Multi-Family properties (5-8 units per parcel) have the option of Residential (trash carts) or Apartment Service (trash dumpsters). Apartments using trash dumpsters pay a lower rate than individual carts because of cost-efficiency of picking up one container for multiple homes (including shared recycling carts). Apartment clean up appointments are arranged by the property manager through their own maintenance crew or Recology (special collection fees apply).
Contact the City's Utility Billing Service at (650) 903-6317 to order or change residential service.
On collection day, follow these instructions for setting out trash, recycling, and compost carts:
Homes use a 64- or 96-gallon recycling cart which is "split" into two sections: one side for newspaper and mixed paper (grey lid), and the other side for bottles and cans (blue lid). The split-cart is collected with a fully-automated truck using a mechanical arm to empty carts. The truck is also split inside to keep paper and containers separated until unloaded at the SMaRT Station.
If you always have more recycling than will fit in the cart, please order a second or larger split-cart from Recology at (650) 967-3034.
Split-carts are available in 64- and 96-gallon sizes. For dimensions, see table above under trash cart sizes.
See What Goes Where for items accepted in the curbside recycling program. These items have enough market value to justify the costs of collection and processing as determined by our recycling processor, the SMaRT Station. Other recyclables may still be accepted at the SMaRT Station Drop-Off Center. Items will are added to the list as markets develop and become sustainable, check What Goes Where list for the most current list of accepted items. Note that SMaRT no longer accepts plastic bags for recycling. Please return your plastic bags directly to the grocery store and be sure to pick up an inexpensive reusable bag from the store for future shopping trips.
Information on what's accepted or not in the compost cart can be found at Yard Trimmings.
Food Scraps Program is for residents on curbside services (individual trash carts, split-recycling cart, and compost cart). A pilot for large multi-family complexes and apartments is currently in progress. Visit our Food Scraps page for more information or contact Recology at (650) 967-3034.
Call Recology at (650) 967-3034 or email ContactUsRMV@recology.com for repairs for a cart or bin.
Can I rinse out my carts during a water shortage?
Yes, using water for health and sanitary reasons is allowed to clean your trash, recycling or yard cart. The best practice is to lightly rinse the cart on the private sidewalk leading up to your front door and next to your landscaping. That will make it easier to sweep up any bits of paper or other residue after the sidewalk dries; and water will run off into your landscaping (instead of into the gutter or street which flows into storm drains and the San Francisco Bay). For other water regulations information, please visit this link. Contact Recology at (650) 967-3034 to ask if cart cleaning services might also be available (fee may apply).
For bulky goods like furniture, appliances or large amounts of yard waste, contact Recology Mountain View for curbside service or you may take these unusable items to the SMaRT Station for a fee. For more information, click on Clean Up Programs or SMaRT Station. For bulky goods that may contain hazardous wastes, such as refrigerators, computers and televisions, see E-Waste. For bulky goods which are still in good condition and can be used by others, see Environmental Events.
For residents with curbside service (individual carts), collection of the split-recycling cart is every other week. Recycling leaders can get a lawn sign from the City designed to remind your neighbors about recycling day or to answer recycling questions. If you are interested in being a Recycling Leader for your block, please call the City's Recycling & Zero Waste Program at (650) 903-6311 to order a sign.