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 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.
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!
The Office of Sustainability’s Surplus Property program aims to find ways to beneficially reuse extra equipment from County departments, ranging from furniture to office supplies, computer equipment, medical equipment, and much more. Items are first circulated internally to determine whether other departments can make use of them, then offered to local nonprofits and agency partners, and then are finally released for sale to the public.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- How to start a recycling program document
- Announcement and reminder memos
- Resources page with posters and publications
- Green Business page
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.
The 4R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot-Compost) Grants Program
The Office of Sustainability is offering funding assistance to public agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools, and individuals representing those organizations through the 4R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot – Compost) Grants Program.
The 4R’s Grants Program offers two tiers of funding: (1) Mini-Grant ($1,000 to $5,000) and (2) 4R’s Grant (up to $25,000).
The Mini-Grant (for funding requests from $1,000 to $5,000) is available to support and fund small projects that will educate, increase awareness, reduce waste, increase recycling, increase or implement composting, increase reuse, and build better structures using salvaged or recycled materials for educational purposes. The Mini-Grant is designed to serve a variety of potential applicants who need access to small amounts of funding for a limited time and for a specific purpose, which falls under the Office of Sustainability Waste Reduction Section’s goal.
The 4R’s Grant (for funding requests up to $25,000) is available for qualified entities to help initiate or expand innovative programs that promote reuse, waste reduction, recycling, and composting or education about these environmental issues throughout San Mateo County (county-wide focus).
Examples of Projects the Grants Program can fund
- Classroom workshops, trainings, or activities by nonprofits
- School garden start-up funding, which includes funding for garden structures such as sheds and garden beds constructed with salvaged lumber
- Fixit Clinics or other reuse/repair projects
- Food waste reduction and reuse programs
- Materials associated with expanding/implementing a campus/facility-wide recycling, reuse or waste reduction program
- Environmental educational field trips to waste or recycling facilities, museums, etc.
- Books, materials and equipment, which will be utilized by teachers and students over the years
Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-2018 Grantees
The OOS has awarded a total of 24 grantees during FY2017-2018’s 4R’s Grants Program, six 4R’s Grant grantees and 18 Mini-Grant grantees, in the total amount of $200,239. You can find a full list of this year’s grantees, their project summaries and approved grant funding here.
Grants Application Deadline
- Please check back for announcements regarding the next round of grant funding (anticipated early 2019).
If you have questions regarding the 4R’s Grants Program, please email email@example.com or call 1-888-442-2666.