Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce

Reducing waste is the best way to limit the impact on our local landfills.

Food Waste & Food Donations

Food donors are protected from liability for their good faith donations under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Edible food includes seconds from a grocery store or farm, leftovers from restaurants or caterers, or other unwanted foods from wholesalers. These foods can be donated to food shelters and other organizations. Second Harvest Food Bank accepts surplus food donations from various organizations.

Gleaning

Gleaning means having volunteers help pick and deliver leftover produce to nonprofit organizations and shelters from farms that are no longer economical to harvest.

Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition

San Mateo County participates in the Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition, whose latest outreach campaign focuses on reducing food waste.

Reuse

Reusing or repurposing items helps conserve natural resources and reduces the amount of waste that is disposed of in the landfill. The following are some ways that items can be reused.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Guide – Check out our handy Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Guide as a reference for where you can donate your unwanted items!

Posting your unwanted items on one of the sites or listservs below is a great way to give them away for reuse.
Craigslist, NextDoor, Fogster, Freecycle, PennySaver

Surplus Property

The Office of Sustainability’s Surplus Property program aims to find ways to beneficially reuse surplus furniture and equipment from County departments. Items given to Surplus Property are first circulated internally to determine whether other departments can make use of the items before being circulated to local nonprofits and agency partners. Afterwards, the surplus property is open for sale to the public. For a current listing of surplus property for sale, visit our GovDeals.com listing here.

Warehouse Sales

Sales of surplus property are open to the public during our warehouse sales, generally held every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. Items range from furniture, office supplies, computer equipment, and medical equipment. The warehouse is located at: 961 Bing Street, San Carlos, CA 94070

For more information and current dates, take a look at our flyer here.

Recycle

Purchasing products made from recycled products increases the overall demand in the world for recycling and strengthens recycling commodities markets, increasing the incentive for these materials to be recycled correctly.

OOS recycling products graphic

Residents

Curbside collection – Reduce waste by recycling accepted items in the blue bin if you have curbside collection. Check our hauler map for more information about which services are available in your area.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Guide – Check out our handy Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Guide as a reference for locations that accept hard to recycle items!
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) – include items like batteries, paints, cleaning chemicals, medicine, and electronic wastes. These items cannot go in any curbside bin. For options on how to properly dispose of these items, please visit the County of San Mateo’s Household Hazardous Waste website.

Businesses

Collection – Reduce your business’ waste by recycling. Check our hauler map for more information about which services are available in your area.
Start a Recycling Program – It’s easy to start a recycling program at work! Over 75% items that are thrown away at work could be recycled. See below for some of the tools that the Office of Sustainability can provide. If you’d like to have assistance getting a program set up, please contact your local hauler or give us a call at 1-888-442-2666 or send us an email at sustainability@smcgov.org

Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) – includes items like batteries, paints, cleaning chemicals, medicine, and electronic wastes. These items cannot go in any curbside bin. For options on how to properly dispose of these items, please visit the County of San Mateo’s Household Hazardous Waste website.

Curbside Collection – Reduce waste by recycling accepted items in the blue bin if you have curbside collection. Check our hauler map for more information about which curbside services for recycling hazardous wastes such as batteries and motor oil are available in your area.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Guide – Check out our handy Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Guide as a reference for locations that accept certain hazardous wastes.