Commercial Setout Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

Click the question or statement to reveal helpful answers and suggestions.

Click here for FAQs regarding COVID-19 and collection services.

My collection container is damaged. Can I get a replacement?

Please contact us to arrange delivery of a new container.

How do I start my service?

You will need to complete a service form (with a credit application for new customers or without the application for existing customers) and contact us in order to start service. Service can start immediately.

We no longer need garbage service. How do we cancel?

Service is mandatory but if you’re closing or moving, we’re happy to stop service. Please contact us for further assistance.

How often do MSI’s rates change?

Rates are subject to change at any time but adjustments most often occur on January 1 of each year. The rate review process is outlined in our Franchise Agreement with the City of Milpitas.

If I am already recycling and composting all I can. What can I do to keep my bill down?

Look into ways to reduce your waste. Invest in as many reusable products as make sense. For ideas, visit and Publications & Resources page. You can also contact us to arrange for a free waste assessment. We’ll schedule a visit to your business and take a look at the waste generated. Our representative will try to find ways for you to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost everything possible.

What should I do if not all our garbage, recycling, yard trimmings or food scraps material was picked up on our last service day?

If you need an extra pickup, would like to increase your service level, or need to report a missed pickup, please contact us immediately. If you were missed, we’ll send a driver back within one business day. To facilitate service, make sure your collection container(s) are not overloaded or blocked.

What belongs in each of my collection containers?

Proper sorting makes a difference! Garbage belongs in the gray, recyclables in the blue, yard trimmings in the green, and food scraps in the brown. Please click here for our Publications & Resources page for guides, posters and flyers.

Click here for an alphabetized list of what belongs in each container.

What should I do with unwanted medications, sharp (needles/lancets), leftover paint, old cleaning products, and other potentially hazardous items? What about old computer equipment and cell phones?

Hazardous items like these are not permitted in any of our collection containers. Businesses are required to arrange for proper collection and disposal of hazardous items including but not limited to the following:

Pool chemicals
Toxic cleaning products
Mercury-containing items (thermometers & fluorescent lamps for example)
Cell phones
Motor oil

You may be eligible to take many hazardous items to Alameda County’s local collection facility. Click here for our commercial hazardous waste page. For free e-waste collection events and locations, go to the CalRecycle website and search their database.

My business has a one-time surplus of food. I’d hate for it to go to waste—any suggestions?

Contact the Second Harvest Food Bank or the Milpitas Food Pantry to pass on your bounty.

We’ve been going out of our way to do the right thing and would like people to know it. Is there a way for us to gain recognition as a “green” business?

Yes! Take a look at the California Green Business Program.

I’m sick of junk mail! Is there a way to make it stop?

Visit To cut back on unsolicited catalogs visit

What size are the bins/dumpsters that MSI uses?

Click here for bin sizes.

Click here for debris box sizes.

What are the cart measurements?

Click here for cart sizes.