Real Estate

Home Front: new rules for composting, recycling


SORTING THINGS OUT ... To reduce the environmental impact of waste, as of April 1, new rules for composting and recycling will go into effect in Palo Alto. The ordinance will affect commercial customers who generate at least 8 cubic yards of garbage per week, residents in multifamily buildings with five or more units and shared service, and food-service establishments. In order to comply with the ordinance, people must follow these four steps: to subscribe to the recycling, composting and garbage services; to set up the color-coded containers in convenient locations; to train and educate those who need to know; and sort waste into proper containers. Black carts or tan bins are for bona fide trash, destined for landfill; blue bins are for recyclable items (i.e. plastic, glass, metal and paper); and green bins are for compost (e.g. yard trimmings, food scraps and soiled paper). Penalties have been put into place for non-compliance: If a cart is contaminated with the wrong category of waste, the trash hauler will place a tag on the cart but still collect the waste; a second violation will bring a waste company representative to the site for waste-sorting training; a third would elicit warning a letter from the city; and fines may be charged as of the fourth violation. Info:

GOING NATIVE ... Organized by the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society in association with UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, the annual Going Native Garden Tour will be held on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10 , from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The community-based tour is offered free of charge and showcases gardens that feature California native plants. These Bay Area gardens also demonstrate reduced water, chemical and pesticide use, and on tour day select nurseries will provide native plant sales. The gardens are located throughout the Peninsula, with the northwest portion -- including five Palo Alto gardens -- open on Saturday, April 9, and the southeast portion open on Sunday, April 10. Info:

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