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Public Area Recycling
example of public litter canPublic Area Litter and Recycling Cans
To help keep San José clean, reduce street and sidewalk litter, and support the City’s zero waste goals, over 850 public litter cans (PLCs) have been placed strategically throughout the City in and around high pedestrian areas. In 2013, the City began to replace older PLCs with a new model that is more attractive, graffiti resistant and easier to clean. All waste deposited in PLCs is sorted to recover the recyclables. In 2014, the diversion rate was 74%.

Recycling On-the-Go
The revitalized downtown area, bus stops, business districts, neighborhoods, and transit areas have the potential to generate trash because of their high concentration of pedestrians. Public litter cans help keep the street clean in these areas while still keeping their own unique look. Each receptacle has capacity for 30 gallons of trash and some have a scavenger-friendly recycling top.

PLC Waste Processing
Most of the PLCs are emptied 2 to 3 times a week with some high traffic areas serviced daily by Green Waste Recovery, Inc., one of the City’s waste haulers. Approximately 300 tons of material is collected per year from the PLCs. All materials are sorted to maximize recycling and composting.

The Environmental Services Department employs one fulltime person to maintain and oversee PLCs. To combat blight, this dedicated city employee removes graffiti, cleans and paints older cans and repairs and replaces damaged cans. He collaborates with the City’s partners: the VTA, the Downtown Streets Team, and GroundWerx, to ensure all cans, regardless of jurisdiction, are maintained and emptied as scheduled.

PLC Service Center
To report a vandalized or damaged PLC, please complete the Public Litter Can (PLC) Service Request Form.

Parks Recycling
Material collected in park waste barrels is collected and processed in the same way as PLCs on public streets. Despite the lack of a recycling container on top of the barrels, recyclable materials, such as bottles and cans, are captured and recycled in the City’s parks.

We couldn’t keep those tons of trash off the streets and out of the waterways without your help. Help keep San José beautiful. While you’re out enjoying the City, use the public litter cans for your trash and recyclables.