Single Family Setout Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

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

For FAQs regarding COVID-19 and collection services, click here.

I just moved to the area. How do I start my service?

Welcome to the City of Milpitas! A form is required in order to start/stop service.

How can I cancel service?

Service is mandatory in Milpitas, but if you’re moving out, we are happy to close your account. A form is required.

How often do Milpitas Sanitation’s rates change?

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

What can I do to make sure my carts are serviced each week? Is there a specific way I should set my carts out?

Our Residential Recycling Guide list a number of setout tips.

  • Make sure you know your collection day. Log in to your account or contact us to find out when we service your area.
  • On your collection day, be sure your carts are at the curb by 6am.
  • Leave the carts at the curb until we’ve emptied them. Our trucks can arrive at different times each week.
  • Place your carts facing the street with wheels against the curb (if possible).
  • Leave 3 feet between each cart (if possible).
  • Do not place carts too close to parked cars, fire hydrants, low-hanging branches, and other obstacles.
  • Do not overload your carts. The lid should close completely.
  • Do not wedge or compact materials into your carts.
  • If you have extra waste, please contact us to arrange for additional service.

Will Milpitas Sanitation push/pull my carts out for service?

Yes. Milpitas Sanitation offers on-premise (backyard or sideyard) service for a fee.

Click here for current rates. The fee can be waived for a resident with a documented disability (a form is required). Contact us for details.

How can I help keep shredded paper, packing peanuts and other items from littering the street after collection?

Here are some tips to keep those loose ends from escaping.

  • Put your papers inside a paper bag or box and seal with a staple or piece of tape before placing in the paper/fibers side of your blue split recyclables cart.
  • Bag all Styrofoam packing peanuts before putting in the garbage.
  • Place breakable items in the middle or bottom of the appropriate cart.

One or more of my carts did not get serviced?

Please leave cart/carts out at the curb. If your neighbors’ carts were all emptied or it’s after 6pm, then it’s likely we accidentally missed your cart. Contact us immediately and we will send a truck back around as soon as possible.

Can I exchange my recycling or organics cart for a different size?

Yes. Please contact us or login to your account to request an exchange. We offer 64 and 96-gallon carts. Garbage capacity is determined by an insert. Exchanges are done within a few weeks of request on your regular service day. Review the list of acceptable items in our Residential Recycling Guide to make the most of the curbside recycling program.

Is there a charge to have a cart exchanged?

Every twelve months, we will do one exchange for no charge.

My 96-gallon recycling cart doesn’t fit in the space I have to store it. Will a smaller one be available?

The 64-gallon recycling cart has a similar footprint to the 96-gallon cart. Consider creating a larger storage space.

What are the available garbage/food scrap split cart sizes?

Click here for garbage cart sizes/dimensions.

I do my own gardening and could really use some good quality compost. Why should I give Milpitas Sanitation all my yard trimmings?

You don’t have to give your organic waste away. In fact, many gardeners transform their kitchen scraps and lawn clippings into their own high quality compost. We invite you to do the same. Click here for information on how to start your own compost program.

I recently replaced my fridge (or my water heater, or my sofa, or my bed, or my…). What do I do with the old one?

You have several options. Assuming the unwanted item is still in reasonable shape, you can do the following:

If you just need it taken away, schedule an On-Call Clean Up.

I have questions regarding my last invoice. Is there someone who can help me?

Absolutely. Please contact us at your convenience. We want you to understand how our invoicing works; and we want to correct any mistakes as quickly as possible.

What should I do with leftover paint, fertilizer, pool chemicals, and other toxic products?

Visit our Household Hazardous & E-Waste Program Info web page for info.

I’m doing some work on my house and have more garbage than usual. How do I get rid of it?

Look into scheduling an On-Call Clean Up or ordering a special bin or debris box. Whether you’re cleaning out your garage, re-landscaping your yard, remodeling your kitchen, or deep cleaning, we have just the right size bin to suit your needs. Contact us or check out the service menu for complete information.

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

Visit To cut back on unsolicited catalogs, visit

I’m about to move/just finished moving. Where can I get/ get rid of boxes?

Post reusable boxes on and/or try your local uhaul moving center.

I cleaned out my closet and found lots of good stuff I no longer wear. What should I do with it?

Reuse, Recycle or Donate First Before throwing items away, consider reusing, donating or recycling them first. Here are some places to start:

I’m moving and have an entire pantry full of food I can’t use. I’d hate for it to go to waste- any suggestions?

Good for you. There’s too much need to throw away food. Visit the Second Harvest Food Bank to pass on your bounty. or the Milpitas Food Pantry:

I’m looking for basic waste reduction and recycling information. Any good sites to visit?

Sure! Try: Santa Clara County’s Center for Development of Recycling – or 800-533-8414

What should I do with my growing pile of empty bottles that have California Redemption Value (CRV)?

They can be placed in the Glass/Metal/Plastic side of your blue split recyclables cart (along with other recyclable containers) for convenient curbside collection; Milpitas Sanitation will make sure they’re recycled. Or, you can take them to a buy-back center where your deposit will be returned to you. For a list of locations and more information contact the California State Department of Conservation, call 1-800-RECYCLE or visit

I’m interested in teaching my child more about the environment. Any suggestions?

Review our Resource List for Teachers.