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
County.
 
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.