Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some answers to commonly asked questions about the new garbage service provided by Recology:

Who is Recology San Mateo County?
Recology San Mateo County provides garbage, recycling, and organic collection services for all City of San Mateo residents.

What day is my pickup day with the new Recology carts? 
Check Recology's website for your service day or you can give them a call at (650) 595-3900.

Can I exchange my new carts for a different size? 
Yes, you can exchange your cart size for a different size.

Can I add foodwaste to my compost cart? 
Food waste can go into your green organic cart for weekly collection.

Can I put plastic bags in my carts? 
The only cart you can put plastic bags into is your black garbage cart. If you want to recycle your plastic bags, you can bring them to a large grocery store for recycling.

Where do I put my cart for service?
Due to automated collection trucks, carts have to be placed with the wheels against the curb and the arrows on the lid pointing toward the street, with about 24 inches between each cart. If you cant bring your carts to the curb you can still receive backyard service for a fee or you can contact Recology for Special Handling Services request form at (650) 595-3900. 

Cart service hours
For Downtown San Mateo – defined as the area zoned as Central Business District or Central Business District Support – all solid waste containers must be at the curb no earlier than 6 p.m. the day prior to service and returned to their usual location by 11 a.m. the day of service.

For residential customers, waste containers must be at the curb after noon the day prior to service and must be retrieved by midnight the day of service. A new ordinance was adopted on November 19, 2018 and took effect on December 20, 2018. Enforcement started in January 2019.

Do all properties automatically get a green compost cart? 
Residential properties from 1 to 4 units will automatically receive a compost cart. Commercial customers will need to contact Recology to set up an account for compost collection.

Do you have other questions? 
Call (650) 595-3900 (se habla español) or visit Recology's Website for collection services information and RethinkWaste for administrative information.