Morgan Hill started residential curbside recycling of newspapers, bottles and cans in 1992. In 1999, the city added collections for mixed paper and yard trimmings.
In 2006, Morgan Hill added food waste and household batteries to the program. In 2010, Morgan Hill switched to single-stream recycling.
All households in Morgan Hill are required to have trash service and automatically receive curbside recycling and composting collection at no additional cost. Trash and compost are picked up weekly; recycling pick up is biweekly.
The Morgan Hill City Council selects the hauling company and negotiates the rates for recycling, composting and trash within the City. Recology South Valley has the exclusive franchise to collect and dispose of all residential and commercial waste in the City.
Residents have a 64-gallon brown cart for all recyclable materials. Recycling is picked up every other week. Batteries and motor oil can also be set out for recycling pickup with special instructions.
Weekly recycling collection is available for free to businesses that have garbage service with Recology.
Yard waste pick up began for residents in 1999. Food waste collection was added to the program in 2006.
Residents are given a 96-gallon compost cart; extra composting containers are available for no additional charge.
Morgan Hill provides residents with two free indoor composting containers to help collect food scraps before taking them to the outside composting cart. The city promotes half-gallon size plastic pitchers with a lid as the best method for collecting food scraps.
Yard trimmings are prohibited in the trash.
Residents can compost:
Morgan Hill residents pay a flat fee of $26.63 or $28.92 for their trash, recycling and composting service. The price is higher for residents in the hilly part of town.
Residents receive unlimited trash service—their rate doesn’t change based on the number or size of the bins they use. This is a big difference compared to other programs in Santa Clara County that charge residents more for larger or additional trash cans (known as pay-as-you-throw pricing).
In fact, Morgan Hill adamantly defends its flat-fee policy:
“We in Morgan Hill pride ourselves on being a community that doesn’t rely on economic mandates to force us to recycle. Instead, we maintain our unlimited collection program because it’s more convenient for the residents, with the expectation that people are going to recycle because it’s the right thing to do—not because they don’t have room for their recyclables in their garbage can.”
The city used the RecycleBank incentive program to encourage recycling in 2010 but discontinued the program in 2012 because of a lack of participation and failure to increase recycling rates.
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