Around Town | March 4, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 4, 2011

Around Town

CAN-DO SPIRIT ... Palo Alto residents are passionate about the environment, but by at least one measure, those who live in the Palo Verde and Charleston Terrace (Adobe Meadow, Meadow Park and Charleston Gardens) neighborhoods are the greenest of them all. The adjacent south Palo Alto neighborhoods boast the highest percentage of households using 20-gallon mini-cans to dispose of their trash instead of the traditional 32-gallon variety. Palo Verde leads the city with 37 percent of its refuse customers using the smaller cans, while Charleston Terrace is right behind it with 36 percent. The results were presented and mapped out by Zero Waste Palo Alto, a city program that seeks to reduce the percentage of local trash going to landfills. The map, which can be viewed at, uses colors to highlight the neighborhoods with the highest percentage of mini-can customers, as well as those that haven't come around. Also scoring well were Barron Park (30 percent), Evergreen Park and College Terrace (27 percent in each). On the other end of the scale were Downtown North (a comparatively feeble 13 percent), Green Acres (15 percent), University South and Duveneck/St. Francis (18 percent each). Local environmentalist David Coale, who lives in College Terrace, cited the map at the Wednesday night meting of the Utilities Advisory Commission and told the commission that he wants to see his part of town win the race to become the first "green" neighborhood — defined by Zero Waste as one in which more than 50 percent of the households use mini-cans. City officials say the goal isn't as hard to achieve as it may seem. According to the Zero Waste website, about 43 percent of the items Palo Altans throw away are actually recyclable.

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