Special Recycling Programs

Recycling Responsibly

We understand that it is often difficult to know where to recycle all your household hazardous wastes.

There are so many products and each one seems to have a different rule about where or when it can be removed from your home. Below are a few useful resources to help simplify this process.

Now you can do the right thing without hassle or fuss!

Did You Know?

Many bulky items or large amounts of waste can be picked up by Recology San Mateo County, the garbage hauler. You are allowed 2 on-call clean up services per year.
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Christmas Tree Pick-up

Trees can be picked up on your regularly scheduled service day from Jan. 3 - 31.

All decorations and stands must be removed before they can be collected (flocked trees are okay). Please place trees next to your  compost cart. Trees over eight feet must be cut down to shorter lengths.

After January, trees must be cut down to fit in the compost bin with the lid closed for collection. For more information, visit Recology.

County of San Mateo Environmental Health

(650) 372-6200
Fax: (650) 273-8244
Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm (Monday – Friday)
Website: County of San Mateo Environmental Health

The County Environmental Health Department sponsors collection centers where residents can dispose of toxic hazardous wastes.

If you are a small business, you can set up an appointment to bring in your hazardous waste to be recycled. This is subject to a reduced fee and there are restrictions on the amount of waste that can be disposed in this manner. Please contact the County Environmental Health department for more information or visit Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) Program.

Medication Drop-Off

Drop-Off Location: San Mateo Police Station - 200 Franklin Parkway

You can dispose of your pharmaceuticals safely and free of charge at the drop box located at the City of San Mateo Police Station, 200 Franklin Parkway, 94403.

Office of Sustainability - County of San Mateo

455 County Center, 4th Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063
Phone: (888) 442-2666
Fax: (650) 361-8220

Not sure what to do with household materials that are not collected by regular curbside recycling? Check out the RecycleWorks website and enter your zip code to find out the nearest place to recycle your items. For a quick reference about materials accepted or to learn more about specific household hazardous waste materials, see the County website.
Office of Sustainability -County of San Mateo

Shoreway Environmental Center

333 Shoreway Road
San Carlos, CA 94070
Phone: (650) 802-8355
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (free; residential customers only)

On August 16, 2019, the buyback portion of Shoreway Environmental Center’s Public Recycling Center closed temporarily. RethinkWaste encourages people in search of alternate local buyback locations to visit recyclestuff.org. The Public Recycling Center remains open Monday - Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.   

Recyclable materials as well as household hazardous wastes may also be brought directly to the Environmental Center for disposal. Some of the materials accepted are:

  • Latex Paint
  • Used motor oil
  • Used motor oil filters
  • Used Antifreeze
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Computers
  • Small Electronic Equipment & Peripheral Devices
  • See full details on items accepted

The Environmental Education Center now offers FREE guided tours for school groups and the public. The state-of-the-art facility is used to teach students and the public about the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot), and broader concepts of resource conservation and green building. For more information on how to sign up or schedule a tour, visit the Shoreway Facility website.

The Transfer Station

225 Shoreway Road
San Carlos, CA 94070
Phone: (650) 802-8355
Hours: 6:00am – 6:00pm (Monday – Friday), 8:00am – 5:00pm (Weekends); Closed on Legal Holidays

This transfer station takes your waste and brings it to the landfill for a fee. Visit their website for more information on materials they do and do not accept.

City of San Mateo Free Recycling Events

Held twice a year, this event provides City of San Mateo residents with the opportunity to drop off e-waste, have paper shredded, and donate to Goodwill.