United States
Environmental Protection
Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
October 1999
San Jose, California
43% Municipal Solid Waste Reduction
(45% Residential Solid Waste Reduction; 42% Institutional/Commercial
Solid Waste Reduction)
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      Prior to implementation of the Recycle Plus Program
 in 1993  part of San Jose's Integrated Waste Management
 (IWM)  Program  residents set out unlimited trash for a
 flat monthly fee and recycled only five material categories.
 Now they can set out more types of recyclables (including
 mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, mixed plastics, scrap
 metals, and textiles), multi-family dwellings (MFDs) are
 offered recycling and yard debris collection services, and
 recycling contractors are paid per household and per ton
 recycled. 1  As a result, from 1992 to 1996, the single-family
 household participation rate  increased from 66% to 83% and
 the single-family waste reduction level increased from 33%
 to 55%.  In FY97, San Jose diverted 45% of its residential
 waste and 42% of its commercial waste.  Overall diversion
 was 43% (34% was recycled and 9% was composted).

 Keys to High Waste  Reduction
      Key elements of the IWM Program are weekly residential
 curbside collection of 19 categories of recyclables (available to
 all MFDs too),2 pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) fees for single-
 family household trash pick-up, weekly year-round residential
  yard trimmings collection, and financial
  incentives for businesses to recycle and
  reduce waste. To encourage participation,
 the  city provides three yellow stacking
   bins to single-family households and
   sets of three 96-gallon recycling carts to
   MFDs. PAYT trash fees are an
   economic incentive to divert materials
   from the trash through recycling and
    composting. Yard trimmings account
     for about two-thirds of material
     recovered. The city's unique "loose-
      in-the-street" collection system
       allows residents to set out more yard
       debris than would fit in a typical
        cart.  (MFDs also have curbside
        yard trimmings pick-up.)  In order
                                    POPULATION: 849,363
                                      (1996), 873,300
                                    HOUSEHOLDS: 259,365
                                      (1993), 269,340(1996);
                                      188,900 single-family
                                      households, 80,440 multi-
                                      family units
                                    BUSINESSES: 27,000
                Tons Per Year MSW          NA    1,315,436
                   Tons Per Year RSW      283,000      433,576
                   Tons Per Year ICW	NA      881,860
                Percent MSW Diverted       NA        43%
                   Percent RSW Diverted      33%        45%
                   Percent ICW Diverted       NA        42%
                Average Ibs./HH/day
                Net Program Costs/H HI   $206.85     $187.03
                   Disposal Services       $142.78       $81.95
                   Diversion Services       $64.07      $105.09

                Key: MSW = municipal solid waste RSW = residential solid waste
                    ICW = institutional and commercial waste
                    NA = not available
                Notes: 1992 dollars adjusted to 1996 dollars using the GDP
                1 Figures reflect residential sector only. FY93 tonnage data represents
                   180,000 single-family dwellings only; multi-family dwellings
                   were included in commercial service at that time. In FY97,
                   269,340 single-family dwellings and multi-family dwellings were
                                               Source: institute for Local Self-Reliance, 1999.
    This profile is part of the fact sheet Cutting the Waste Stream in Half: Community Record-Setters Show How (EPA-530-F-99-017).

               to encourage waste reduction among
               businesses, San Jose charges trash haulers
               serving businesses fees of more than $3 per
               cubic yard for trash; in contrast, recycling
               collection firms pay no fees for commercial
               recyclables hauled.

                   The financial elements of the IWM
               Program are varied and complex. There are
               numerous funding sources, multiple programs
               serving a variety of customers, and oversight
               of more then 25 residential and commercial
               contracts. All of the  city's  fees encourage
               maximum waste reduction.  Its recycling
               contractors, for instance, receive additional
               payments for  each ton they actually market to
               an end  user. As a result, recycling costs were
               $206  per ton  in FY97, more than twice as
               high as per ton trash or yard trimmings
               management costs.3  However, the net cost of
               single-family residential waste services has
               remained relatively stable ($207 per household
  newspaper, magazines and catalogs, corrugated cardboard
  mixed paper (including mail, colored and white paper, envelopes, bags, egg
   cartons, paperboard, and phone books)
  glass containers
 juice and milk cartons
  plastic bottles/jugs and polystyrene packaging
  scrap metals (e.g., aluminum foil and plates, small metal appliances, hub
   caps, metal pots)
  used motor oil
  grass clippings, leaves,
   brush, and other yard
   and garden debris
  holiday trees
  bulky goods (collected for
   a small fee)
  the city operates no public
   drop-off facilities
         Recyclables set out at
          curbs/tie in San Jose
      g  5.0
                     FY93       FY97

              | Trash    ^ Recycling     | Composting

     Source: Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 1999.

in FY93 compared to $210 in FY97). The
city spends less per household for the
provision of trash services to MFDs compared
to single-family dwellings so that net program
costs per  household for all 270,000 San Jose
households averaged  $187 in FY97.

Tips for Replication
       Set up a cost structure that encourages
recycling and waste reduction (for households,
for businesses, and for contractors).
       Know customers and implement a
program that balances needs of city and
       Create a relationship with haulers that is
conducive to continuous improvement.
       Pilot programs and collect data (put
reporting requirements in contracts).
ifhe contractor serving MFDs is paid per ton only not per
^Residents in multi-family dwellings can recycle the same
  materials at curbside as  residents in single-family  dwellings
  with the exception of used oil.
3fhe city has since renegotiated its contracts with its haulers to
  reduce recycling costs.

    Ellen Ryan
    Program Manager
    City of San Jose Environmental Services Department
    Integrated Waste Management Program
    777 North First Street, Suite 450
    San Jose, California 95112
    PHONE: 408-277-5533
    FAX: 408-277-3606
    RESIDENTIAL WEB SITE: www.recycleplus.org
      www. sjrecycles. org/business/