Set Out Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

Set Out Tips


  • Be sure to have your carts at the curb by 6:00 A.M. on your collection day.
  • Make sure to leave the carts at the curb until we’ve emptied them. Our trucks can arrive at different times each week.
  • Please place your carts facing the street with wheels against the curb, lid closed. Customers with alleys should place their carts on the alley.
  • Leave 3 feet between each cart whenever possible.
  • Be mindful to keep carts away from parked cars, fire hydrants, low-hanging branches, utility poles, and other obstacles.
  • Please do not overload your carts. Make sure the lids close. This will help keep the material dry, prevent litter, and discourage critter access.
  • Make the most of the cart space! Please do not wedge or compact materials into your carts. Doing so may prevent your cart from being fully emptied when serviced.
  • Please remember that your collection carts must be put away, out of public view, after they are serviced.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Please contact us to arrange delivery of a new container.

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

Welcome to Stanford! A form is required in order to start/stop service.

How can I cancel service?

Service is mandatory at Stanford, but if you’re moving out, we are happy to close your account. Click here to download the necessary form.

How often do PSSI’s rates change?

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

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

  • 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 whenever 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.
  • Make sure you know your collection day. Log in to your account or contact us to find out when we service your area.

Why isn’t my garbage can collected from my backyard anymore?

As part of the new contract with the University, automatic backyard service for staff and faculty housing residents has been discontinued. PSSI offers on-premise (backyard or side yard) service for a fee. The fee can be waived for a resident with a documented disability. Contact us for details.

Can I still use my own garbage cart?

No. PSSI will be providing required new garbage carts to faculty and staff residents. Click here for a list of sizes.
Contact us to arrange delivery of a garbage cart if you did not receive one.

What happened to my old split recycling cart? Why do I have a new recycling cart?

The new contract with the University includes a revised single stream recycling collection program. PSSI is required to replace all the current split recycling carts with new single-stream recycling carts. Click here for a list of sizes. Contact us to arrange delivery of a recycling cart if you did not receive one.

Will PSSI push/pull my carts out for service?

Yes. PSSI offers on-premise (backyard or side yard) service for a fee. The fee can be waived for a resident with a documented disability. Contact us for details.

One or more of my carts did not get serviced. What do I do?

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 32, 64 and 96-gallon carts. Exchanges are done within a few weeks of request on your regular service day. Before requesting a smaller cart, be sure to give the larger one a try. Review the items accepted in our Recycling and Compost collection programs and see if you can use the higher capacity. It is important to note that the large cart does not cost more than a smaller one.

Is there a charge to have a cart exchanged?

Every twelve months, we will do one exchange for no charge. Additional exchanges will incur a fee.

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

The 64-gallon has a similar footprint to the 96-gallon cart. Consider getting a 32-gallon or creating a larger storage space.

What are the available garbage 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 PSSI all my organic waste?

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. PSSI can also provide compost or mulch. Click here or Contact us for more information.

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 reusable and is still in reasonable shape, you can do the following:

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 batteries, CFLS, fluorescent tubes, leftover paint, fertilizer, pool chemicals, and other toxic products?

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 for construction and demolition materials. Whether you’re cleaning out your garage, re-landscaping your yard, remodeling your kitchen, or deep cleaning, we have just the right collection service to suit your needs. Contact us 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 or contact your local Uhaul to see if they will take them.

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

Passing your things back into circulation helps other people AND keeps your landfill from overflowing. You can contact:

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 of Silicon Valley Food Bank to pass on your bounty.

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

They can be placed in your blue recycling cart (along with other bottles, cans, jars, paper products and miscellaneous recyclables) for convenient curbside collection; PSSI will make sure they’re recycled. You can drop them off at the PSSI Recycling Center. 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?

I’d like to reward companies that go out of their way to do the right thing. Is there a way to find local green businesses?

Yes! Visit

How can I safely dispose of fireplace and BBQ ash?

Make sure to place fireplace, stove and barbecue ashes in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. Put the container outside and 10 feet or more away from your home and combustibles. Wet the ashes down. Once cold, ashes must be contained (so they do not blow away during collection) and then placed in your gray Landfill cart. For more information and additional fire safety tips, visit these websites:

Click here for more FAQs regarding your Recycling, Compost, and Landfill collection services

Still need help? Contact us for assistance or visit our Publications & Resources page.