Residential Introduction

Most residents in San Mateo County are recycling more today than they did five years ago. And we'd like to help that trend continue.

Interesting facts from a recent RecycleWorks survey:

  • Most people recycle their newspapers but not their junk mail and magazines. All curbside programs in the County accept mail and magazines in with their newspapers.

  • Aluminum cans and glass bottles are almost two times more likely to be recycled than plastic bottles and other metal cans. Yet all of these items can go into the same curbside bin for recycling!

  • About one in five households do backyard composting and handle over 9% of their greenwaste: grass, clippings, trimmings, weeds.
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REDUCE     REUSE     RECYCLE

Reduce
Save space, money, resources, and slim down clutter. The less you have around you, the less you'll need to have to get rid of later.

  • Throw a no-waste party.
  • Use paper on both sides.
  • Get rid of junk mail.
  • Utilize the public library.
  • Make your own gifts.
  • Buy in bulk rather than individually sized portions to reduce overpackaging.
  • Save energy in your home.
  • Share home tools with neighbors and work materials with colleagues.

Re-Use
Smart strategy in action: boost your efficiency and help others by providing them the things they need that you no longer wish to keep. Discover new ways to use and donate materials; add zest to everyday routine.

  • reuse guide Donate things so somebody else can use them. Our Residential Re-Use Guide lists organizations that will pick up your items at no charge. You may also buy/sell and donate used goods via Materials Exchange Websites and Stores.

  • Find ways to use things repeatedly, such as a thermos, resealable plastic bags or storage containers.

  • Remodel using used and vintage construction materials and fixtures found at salvage yards and stores.

  • Consider using energy and money-saving green building practices.

  • Donate used bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts to your local packing store. Donate metal hangers to your local dry cleaner. Think about who might want your old stuff and don't be afraid to ask them.

  • Select products that can be used over and over such as cloth napkins and dishcloths.

Recycle
How would you like to improve the world one item at a time? Cause things to revert back into materials that can be used again. Thanks to innovation, more unusual materials can be recycled now.

Recycling at Home
Curbside recycling is available free of charge to all homes and apartments in San Mateo County if the location has arranged for garbage service. If your apartment complex does not have recycling, ask your apartment manager to contact your waste hauler to start up service (it is free).

You may recycle common household items including paper, cardboard, and flourescent lamps, as well as automotive products at convenient drop-off centers  around the county.  There are numerous additional convenient locations to recycle automotive items, such as motor oil, and antifreeze.

Your Yard
Try composting! It's easy, educational and can reduce your garbage bill, since you will have less garbage. Consider practicing grasscycling instead of collecting grass clippings after mowing the lawn.

Recycling Where You Work
You can make a difference implementing recycling practices at work! One step that's easy to take is to Rid Your Office of Junk Mail. If there are any materials at your workplace you would like to recycle and need assistance, contact RecycleWorks at 1-888-442-2666.

Of further interest:

  • Car Buy Back Program
    If your car is currently registered and was made in 1981 or earlier, you may be able to participate in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Vehicle Buy Back Program and earn $500 for recycling your old car.