Your Top 10 Recycling Tips!

To add a little “green” to your life, here are ten tips to keep in mind:         



1. Think before you buy. Do not buy on impulse. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Can I borrow it? Can I rent it?”

2. Donate unwanted usable items. The San Mateo County Office of Sustainability has a Waste Reduction Program and a Reuse Guide which are great resources. 

3. Learn about your recycling options. Many items can go into your recycling container: paper, junk mail, cardboard, newspaper, magazines, catalogs, phone books, paper bags, paper packaging, aluminum and bi-metal cans, glass bottles, glass jars, plastic bottles, dairy containers, clean aluminum foil, household batteries and cell phones placed in a zip lock bag can all go into your curbside containers. You can place used motor oil in a clear one gallon container at the curb on recycling day. The recycling hauler will take it. Recycle your old cell phone and batteries. It’s easy. You can put them in a zip lock bag and place them on top of your mixed paper recycling container at the curb or bring them to San Mateo City Hall. There is collection container in the lobby. All phones collected at City Hall are refurbished and given to the people who cannot leave home for emergency use.

4. Schedule an Appointment with the County to Safely Dispose Household Hazardous Waste. Remember you can schedule an appointment with County of San Mateo to safely dispose your household hazardous waste at no charge. Just make an appointment at Household Hazardous Waste webpage or call (650) 372-6200. They will take paints, solvents, non-empty aerosol can, insecticides, herbicides, cleaning products pesticides, florescent lights, and much more. Check their website for additional website.

5. Buy items with less packaging. One way to do so is to buy in bulk. This will also help to reduce costs.

6. Eliminate single use items, buy reusable. Bring your own shopping bags. If you do get a single use bag be sure to recycle it. Drink tap water. Use a reusable bottle. Only 23 percent of water bottles are recycled.

7. Buy recycled products whenever possible. 

8. Start a home compost program. Get a compost bin. You will be surprised at how little garbage you generate when you start to compost.

9. Refill your home printer ink cartridge instead of replacing it with a new cartridge. You will save money and help the environment. If you have to replace the cartridge be sure to recycle it. Most vendors have a recycling program. 

10. Remember the 4 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost). Remember we are your recycling advocate. If you have questions give us a call at (650) 522-7346.

Tips for the Holidays 

There are a number of ways to be more environmentally-friendly during the holidays but here are five quick and simple examples:

1. Use catalogs or colorful flyers and newspaper comic strips to wrap presents! This is a simple way to reuse paper that would otherwise be thrown away anyway while saving on wrapping paper costs.

2. Consider environmentally friendly gifts! This includes gifts that can be reusable from coffee mugs to rechargeable batteries (with the charger), or gifts made of recycled materials.

3. Give Action Gifts! Consider the numerous presents like lessons for dance or musical instruments, memberships to gyms or museums, and cooking or kayaking classes. Many people want to try new experiences and this is a great way to share your interests with others.

4. Try consuming less single-use items! Use drinking glasses and silverware instead of disposable plastic and paper products. Ask others to bring containers to bring home leftovers since you’ll have plenty of extra food. Avoid cheap decorations that you’ll just throw away after one night and try decorating your home with compostable items like hollies, cones, and colorful nuts and fruits.

5. Recycle your Christmas Tree! Please remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel and other decorations before placing your tree on the curb next to (not in) your green Yard Trimmings cart. Trees will be picked up curbside on your regular recycling day. If you can, please cut trees in half. Regardless, we will pick your tree up on your regular recycling day. No special arrangements are necessary.