Can I use compostable bags to line my kitchen pail?
Yes! We're pleased to accept compostable bags in the CartSMART compost collection program.
The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) must approve the bags. They can be found at Costco, Whole Foods, Mollie Stones, some Safeways, CVS and Walgreens, among others. However, there are many others that can be ordered online or found at some stores. Find a full list on the Biodegradable Products Institute's website
Of course, you don't have to use compostable bags. You can continue to use newspaper, paper bags or paper towels to line your pails and collect food scraps. Check out our Composting Tips page
for more helpful information.
Why can't I put plastic bags in the blue Recycle Cart?
Plastic bags are problematic for curbside collection because they tend to get wrapped around the sorting equipment at the Materials Recovery Facility. When this happens, the equipment must be shut down to cut the bags and remove them.
In addition, plastic bag recyclers require the bags to be clean in order for them to recycle them. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to keep them clean in a curbside program, and the majority would get disposed of as garbage even if they were put in with the recycling.
We encourage you to not use plastic bags if possible, but if you do, the best way to recycle them is to take them to grocery stores that accept them. You can find a list of participating stores on our Hard to Recycle
How do I recycle materials that can't go in the blue cart?
Please visit our Hard to Recycle
page for a list of items that can be recycled but do not belong in the blue Recycle cart.
You can also check out RecycleWorks
of San Mateo County for general recycling and waste reduction information.
What is a Buddy Bag?
Buddy bags are great tools to help make recycling easier for residents in a multi-unit building. These sturdy, large capacity bags can be placed in kitchens or any convenient location to hold all recyclables until residents are ready to empty them into the main Recycling cart or bin on the property. If you would like buddy bags for your building, contact your property manager or contact us
Do you have any materials to post in my building about what items can be recycled?
Absolutely! You can download free Garbage, Recycle and Compost posters here
or contact us
and we'll get you some.
I want to start composting. How do I establish service?
Individual residents of multi-family dwellings and members of an HOA who do not
pay for their garbage service individually are not able to sign up for composting service on their own, so talk to your property manager, landlord or HOA and see if they would like to utilize this service. On average, these services are offered at a reduced rate compared to garbage service. Your complex may be able to reduce its garbage service fees if a successful composting program is in place. Contact us
for more information - we'd be more than happy to provide all the details!
What do I do about large items I want to get rid of but can't fit into my cart or bin?
Twice a year, Recology offers a scheduled pickup service for items you don't need anymore and that are too large for the carts. For more information, visit our Beyond the Cart
What should I do with old paint and other hazardous waste?
For information on where you can bring your paint, cleaning products and other hazardous chemicals, visit our Hazardous Waste
page. You can also visit Recycle Works
, the San Mateo County Health Department
or call (650) 363-4718
Several communities within the SBWMA service area now have a Door to Door Hazardous Household Waste
program offered at no extra charge. Visit RethinkWaste
for more information.
Do you take old batteries and cell phones?
What do I do with old medications? Can I throw them away?
No, you should not
throw old medications in the garbage or flush them down the toilet or pour them down the sink. Visit our Hazardous Waste
page to learn how to safely and properly dispose of old medication.
What should I do with my old computer or TV?
Computers and TVs are considered Electronic Waste, one of the fastest growing segments of our nation's waste stream. They are accepted in the Bulky Item Collection program, or else need to be recycled properly. To find a location nearest you to recycle these items, please visit RecycleWorks
or call (888) 442-2666
also recycles televisions, computers, printers, computer peripherals and a wide variety of other electronics. Everything is recycled in the United States, so there is no shipping of electronic waste overseas, and they have the e-steward certification! See a full list of what Green Citizen recycles
We strongly urge donating old items that you no longer want to organizations that can use them. Please visit the Don't Toss It
page for a list of organizations.
What should I do with Styrofoam?
Styrofoam is made with petroleum, a non-sustainable and heavily polluting resource. We ask that you avoid using or buying products made of Styrofoam if you can, but if you can't, there are a few alternatives. Styrofoam peanuts can be dropped off at most shipping/mail houses (UPS and Mail Boxes, etc.). Call to see if you can drop them off for reuse, or check our Hard to Recycle
page for more sources. Green Citizen
in Burlingame recycles Styrofoam by volume. The fee is $5.00 per 33 gallon garbage bag. They will also take packing peanuts and other packaging materials at no charge. Some local art organizations may reuse large pieces for art projects.
Can I use plastic bags in my Recycle or Compost cart or bin?
No. We cannot accept recyclables or compostable material in plastic bags. Plastic bags are a significant problem for the equipment that we use to processes the materials we collect. However, you can line your green and blue carts with newspaper, paper bags, used paper towels or cardboard.
What are the dimensions of the 20, 32, 64, and 96 gallon carts?
*20 and 32 gallon carts do look very similar in size, however, the 20 gallon cart has an in-mold volume reducer to diminish its capacity.
How do I pay my bill?
You can mail in a check with your bill, or pay online. You can also set up automated billing through our website to receive bills via e-mail you can pay online. You can even drop off your payment at our facilities at 225 Shoreway Road, San Carlos.
What can you do for my neighbor who doesn't speak English?
We offer a free Language Line with over 170 different languages through our Customer Service Department. Please contact us
for more information.