February 10, 2012
  • 2/10/2012--RethinkWaste Reports Increase in Curbside Recycling


    Recycling Today


    According to San Carlos, Calif.-based RethinkWaste, residents in its service area set out

    record amounts of recyclables and compost through its CartSmart weekly collection

    services in the first year since its launch in partnership with Recology of San Mateo



    Total tons of residential recycling collected jumped 25 percent in 2011 compared with

    2010 (40,655 tons versus 32,507 tons, respectively), RethinkWate reports. Compost

    collection increased 29 percent for the same period (75,373 tons in 2011 compared with

    58,306 tons in 2010), and garbage decreased by nearly 18 percent (59,300 tons in 2011

    compared with 71,840 tons in 2010).


    2011 was the first year when residents set out more compost (food scraps and yard

    trimmings) than garbage. More than 16,000 tons were collected for composting compared

    with landfill-bound trash.


    The data comes from comparing the tonnages reported by Recology San Mateo County,

    the new service provider as of Jan. 1, 2011, for 2011 with the figures submitted by Allied

    Waste of San Mateo County for 2010. Allied Waste was the previous service provider

    whose contract expired Dec. 31, 2010. The actual tonnage figures are provided below:

    San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom says, “These numbers are evidence that we

    have made major progress in our efforts to help protect the environment. The residents

    truly deserve a lot of credit for utilizing the upgraded recycling program.”


    The CartSmart program is a three-cart system, with a blue cart for recyclables, green cart

    for compost and black cart for garbage. RethinkWaste says a significant contributing

    factor to the increase in residential participation in 2011 was switching to a larger cart for

    recycling collection and to weekly collection for all three carts.


    “The year-over-year increases in recycling and compost collection and the decrease in

    garbage are unprecedented,” Kevin McCarthy, RethinkWaste executive director, says.

    “These new collection services and our new Shoreway Environmental Center in San

    Carlos together comprise one of the biggest environmental success stories in years.”


    While all communities in the service area experienced increases in residential recycling

    and compost amounts, those with the most significant changes in their respective

    recycling and composting levels are:

    • East Palo Alto, with an 80.47 percent increase in recycling;

    • North Fair Oaks, with a 56.31 percent increase in recycling;

    • Hillsborough, with a 34.77 percent increase in recycling;

    • Atherton, with a 49.87 percent increase in composting;

    • Burlingame, with a 48.15 percent increase in composting; and

    • West Bay Sanitary District, with a 43.39 percent increase in composting.


    Mario Puccinelli, general manager of Recology San Mateo County, says, “These doubledigit

    increases in recycling are really impressive. The credit for these achievements goes

    to residents. They have made recycling and composting a good, green habit, and those

    efforts help protect the environment for everyone.”


    RethinkWaste, whose legal name is the South Bayside Waste Management Authority, is a

    joint-powers authority of 12 public agencies in the communities of Atherton, Belmont,

    Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San

    Carlos, San Mateo, the County of San Mateo and the West Bay Sanitary District in San

    Mateo County, Calif.


    RethinkWaste owns and manages the Shoreway Environmental Center, which receives

    all the recyclables, organic materials and solid waste collected in its service area.


    Recology San Mateo County was chosen in 2008 by RethinkWaste to provide collection

    services for its 12 member agencies.