GreenTown Los Altos

Waste Reduction Initiative

Waste Reduction Initiative

We are literally trashing the planet! If all the countries in the world consumed as much “stuff” as we do, we would need more than 4 Earths to sustain our lifestyle. Yikes!

What are we doing about it?

GreenTown’s Waste Reduction team educates residents and businesses first on how to reduce waste! Then we help them understand where to throw the waste that is generated to maximize recycling and composting. We do this through talks at the Los Altos Library, educational articles, outreach at the Farmers Market and technical assistance to schools, businesses and organizations throughout Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. And we work closely and in partnership with our local recycling and composting companies.

For many years, much of the recyclable material from our area was sold to China for recycling. In Jan. 2018, China implemented a policy that rejected “foreign garbage”, putting in place stringent quality requirements on imported recyclable materials that are virtually impossible for U.S. recyclers to meet. Since then, U.S. recyclers have been scrambling to find new markets, in India, Vietnam, and elsewhere, for stockpiling recyclable materials. Stay tuned to our blog to keep informed.


Current Initiatives:

Skip the Straw
Choose to Reuse

Links to recent educational talks/pieces:

What can you do?

      1. Just Say No.

Refuse more stuff and extra packaging. Do you really need it? Watch the Story of Stuff to get you thinking about the impacts of our overconsumption. This never gets old.

      1. Reuse, Repair and Share.
      • BYO Reusable Bottles, Bags, Cups, etc. Those throw-away milk/juice boxes and bags (e.g., Horizon, Capri Sun) are easy, but the landfill is their final resting place and for a VERY long time. Get a reusable bottle instead. It’s the same drill with your daily coffee. I love this insulated coffee mug. Save a cup a day!
      • Skip the Straw. Learn more about GreenTown’s campaign here.
      • Start a “Repair Cafe” in your neighborhood! Or visit Mountain View’s Repair Cafe website to find out when their next repair cafe is taking place. We would love to see one of these in Los Altos!  Any takers?
      • Share! Got tools you’re willing to lend? A playpen? A ladder. Let people know on or the Neighborhood Sharing Network.
      1. Recycle and Compost What You Can’t Reuse.

Bookmark or print out your waste hauler’s recycling/composting list. Put it in a handy place so you know what goes where!

      1. Donate.

If you’re clearing “stuff” out and want to give it away try or local nonprofit organizations, such as the Ecumenical Hunger Program. If it’s a bike, give it a second life at GreenTown’s Recycle Bike Drive (held annually in May, contact, the Bicycle Exchange (on workdays) or Good Karma Bicycles.


Let’s make Earth Day every day!

Questions? Email


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