Coats for Kids collection in San Bruno

Posted in Events, Recology, Resource Recovery, San Bruno, You Should Know... by ecotulip on October 23, 2013

Sponsored by Recology San Bruno and the City of San Bruno

The Coats For Kids Coat drive has started! Help someone in San Mateo County stay warm this winter. Donate new or clean, gently used coats from infant to adult sizes.

Drop off your coats at the collection bin at the San Bruno farmers’ market booth this Sunday!

Can’t make it to the Farmer’s Market this Sunday? There are other ways to participate.

Drop-off Locations (October 1st – October 31st):

Busy Baker 444 San Mateo Avenue

Crystal Springs Terrace Apt, office – 2000 Crystal Springs Rd

First Filipino American Church 461 Linden Avenue

La Petite Baleen Swimming School – 434 San Mateo Avenue

Marshall Realty – 683 Jenevein Avenue

Peninsula Place Condos Club House – 1125 Cherry Avenue

Prudential California Realty – 180 El Camino Real

San Bruno Cable – 398 El Camino Real

San Bruno Chamber of Commerce – 618 San Mateo Avenue

San Bruno City Hall – 567 El Camino Real

San Bruno Fire Department – 555 El Camino Real

San Bruno Library – 701 W. Angus Avenue

San Bruno Recreation Center – 251 City Park Way

Shelter Creek Condo Club House – 701 Shelter Creek Lane

Tony’s Auto Repair – 601 Kains Avenue

Special Collection:

October 21st – 25th, Recology San Bruno will collect coats in clearly marked bags placed curbside on your regular garbage day.

Saturday, October 26th –8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, bring your coats to the AYSO soccer fields at the former Crestmoor High for Make a Difference Day

Coat Give Away Day

Date & Time:Thursday, November 21st, 4:00-7:00PM

Where:National Guard Armory, 455 3rd Avenue

All are welcome! Limit ONE coat per person. Children MUST be present to receive a coat.

Coats for Kids is made possible by:

* California National Guard

* Our wonderful volunteers

* San Bruno residents and businesses

* San Bruno donation sites

Volunteer at Coat Give Away Day!

Would you like to help children and their families find a new warm coat for the winter?

Please contact Recology San Bruno at 650-583-8536 for more information.

“Zéro déchet,” is it possible?

Posted in Events, You Should Know... by ecotulip on September 18, 2013


Everyone loves good food. But who knew the food we don’t eat would become a story in the country recognized by the United Nations as a true culinary leader?

On Thursday, 9.19.13, “Complément d’enquête,” the popular French news show modeled after 60 Minutes will air a 1-hour program on challenges Europe faces in dealing with trash. And what will steal the line up? San Francisco’s efforts to send next to nothing to landfill achieving zero waste.

The star of the report will be food from San Francisco. Not some amazing new dish from the great restaurants in San Francisco, sister city to Paris, but vegetable trimmings, fish bones, and all the other food scraps San Franciscans toss in the green compost collection bins we wheel out to the curb.

San Francisco’s urban compost collection program keeps materials out of landfills, returns nutrients to local farms, and helps farms grow healthy food that comes back to the city to support your good health.

The program is a driver in the zero waste movement, an international movement that is taking root in France, Italy and other countries that want to reduce landfilling and incineration by increasing both recycling and composting. This summer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans introduce food scrap compost collection across the Big Apple.

The TV crew from France2 filmed recycling and compost collection in the Excelsior District, Recycle Central on Pier 96, Recology’s Jepson Prairie Organics compost facility, and a Napa County vineyard that for 12 years has applied compost made from food scraps collected in San Francisco.

Thursday, Sept. 19, 10:15 p.m., France TV2. You can watch the trailer here:

Tsunami boat heads back home

Posted in Recology, Resource Recovery, You Should Know... by ecotulip on September 9, 2013

Guest blogger Lorie Poole, Recycling Coordinator and Customer Service Representative at Recology Del Norte, on the bitter sweet experience of sending a boat brought to her town by the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

News travels fast in a small town.

The 20-foot boat washed up on Crescent Beach on April 7th. It belonged to a coastal fishing town of Rikuzentakata–a town in Japan unfortunate to have had the second-highest death toll from the 2011 tsunami.

We were preparing for Earth Day, so I quickly updated my Pacific Gyre/Beach Clean Up display to include beached tsunami debris in our list of targeted materials for the event. Soon, Lori Dengler, the Humboldt State University Geologist and tsunami researcher came up to Crescent City to research the boat. She was the one to discover that the boat belonged to the Takata High School’s marine science program.

Jeff Parmer, from the Crescent City Chamber of Commerce, explained that a local high school group headed by their teacher, Joyce Ruiz, was going to send the boat back to Japan.

Recology del Norte began coordinating with Commander Bill Stevens of the Sheriffs Office to help transport the boat. I wanted to see what we could do.

Mean while, the local students started fundraising. With help from the Crescent City maintenance crew, local property managers, and our area operations disaster management group, the students found a shipping company that would ship the boat for free. The students put together a video that they sent to the Takata students and have set up a donation page.

On the morning of September 4th I received a call from Bill asking for help transporting the boat to Menlo Park by September 16th. With such short notice, it seemed unlikely that we could help, but Tommy Sparrow, Recology Del Norte’s General Manager, was able to find a vehicle. It just so happened that an empty Recology truck was traveling in our direction. It was scheduled to pick up a load south of us, but one of Recology’s senior managers approved a stop in Crescent City and the boat was picked up the very next day.

I called Bill back. He was excited and instantly rushed to get all his contacts involved. Emails were flying. In just a matter of two hours the plan came together. The truck would be on site by 8AM on Thursday, the property manager would have the building open, the city maintenance crew would load the boat, two of the students would be there to say farewell to the treasured boat, and the Daily Triplicate would be there to tell the story.

The boat was delivered to the shipping company on Friday, September 6th. It will be packed and shipped on September 22nd. After a 14-day voyage, the ship is scheduled to reach Tokyo by October 6th.

The shipping company has arranged transport and storage for the boat until Takata High School can be rebuilt and prepare a space to put it on display.

Del Norte High students are working with city and county officials, as well as local clubs to raise money for 10 students and 3 adults to make a trip to Takata High School in Rikuzentakata, Japan. Many Del Norte officials are helping to foster a plan to become sister cities with Rikuzentakata.

This event has helped raise awareness about tsunamis and disaster preparedness in Del Norte County. Before this event, only one high school group had taken Community Emergency Response Training. Now two more classes are being scheduled.

Here’s a timeline and links to more info:

· Japan earthquake /tsunami, magnitude 8.9 with waves as high as 40 meters – March 11, 2011

· New York Times article – March 21,2011

· Boat washes up on Crescent Beach – April 7, 2012

· Lori Dengler’s site: Lori Dengler – Tsunamis, earthquakes, geophysics, natural hazard mitigation, – April 8, 2012

Del Norte Triplicate story: – June 10, 2013 and a more recent story:

· Student to Student video:

· July 22, 2013

· High school fundraiser page:

Photos by Adam Spencer, courtesy of Del Norte Triplicate.

Building a Culture of Zero Waste

Posted in Policy, Resource Recovery, San Francisco, Waste Reduction, You Should Know... by ecotulip on September 6, 2013

Guest blogger, Malaika Thorne, Sustainability Program Manager at Recology on WASTE ZERO and Zero Waste. 

Yesterday, an independent panel consisting of former Mayors, architects and reps from the World Bank, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Siemens recognized ten cities around the world for their leadership in urban sustainability practices. San Francisco was recognized for it’s work in “waste management”. I think they actually meant resource recovery, but, it’s just semantics. Right?

In 2009 we started talking about WASTE ZERO. It’s our rallying cry to make the best and highest use of all resources that we can. The real natural resource challenges we’re facing around the world, and in California, have everything to do with it. Recology is driven to find a social, environmentally-sound and economical solution to the vast amount of waste that we create in industrialized economies. I was reminded that we have a lot in this country while having a conversation with one of the Haitian artists working at the San Francisco transfer station. He expressed surprise at just how much gets thrown “away”. Good things, repairable things. Reusable things. Recyclable and compostable things.

In San Francisco, the call to make Zero Waste a reality is starting to be heard. And with this award comes some recognition of the hard work being done in the city by regular people who have started to change their habits. They pause and consider what can be recycled and composted as they stand over the three containers in their kitchens. They search through for answers to what goes where. And while there is still a ways to go before we reach zero waste, we’re at least on our way. And that’s exactly what sustainability is about.

Congratulations to everyone in San Francisco!

Pretty Soon You Will Love to Compost

Posted in Composting, Diversion, Resource Recovery, Services, You Should Know... by ecotulip on July 8, 2013


We’ve heard it before.

I don’t use the compost bin because it’s gross.

Using the green bin is just going to attract mice and flies. That’s why I don’t compost.

I don’t need to compost because I heard they’ll sort it later.

The reactions to the green composting bin when it’s first introduced to a community, or when someone moves into a community that’s composted for some time, are pretty predictable. The newcomers seem to go through a learning curve that begins with disgust and sometimes outrage, to understanding and adaptation, to a sense of purpose and empowerment.

It all takes a little bit of education. First, most people have to get their head around the basic concepts. What is organic? What can’t I put in the bin? Where does it go? How does my chicken bone become compost?

Eventually, they start to see how separating food scraps and yard trimmings from the garbage protects the air, water and soil. And then they start to think about what zero waste means.

I find myself caring in ways I’ve never cared before.

One example of a change of heart is Shideh Etaat’s “I Refused to Compost“.  In her article, she writes “the other day when I tucked my banana peel into my bag because there was no compost bin to be found on the street. It felt like a small triumph when I dumped it in my own not-too-gross green bin when I got home”.

Thanks for sharing your story Shideh!  We look forward to hearing more about how you’ve learned to compost. Share your stories with us on facebook and Twitter.

You can read more about Shideh’s experience at

Recology Participates in 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade

Posted in Uncategorized by ecotulip on July 2, 2013

Here are a few photos from the San Francisco Pride Parade.

The downtown San Francisco celebration overflowed with enthusiasm, cheers, flags and dancing.

The Recology drill team, friends, family and volunteers wore costumes and joined along with the fun.

photo 1



If compost collection can make it in NYC, it can make it anywhere.

Congratulations Big Apple on Going Green!

Dozens of cities and hundreds of universities are following San Francisco’s lead and instituting urban compost collection programs. Most of these programs are located where one might expect to find them: Seattle, Portland, Maine, and University of California campuses. But not everyone expected New York City to come to the party. On June 16 Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to expand and eventually require food scrap compost collection at locations across the city.

In discussing the plan, officials also signaled interest in the zero waste movement. “You want to get on a trajectory where you’re not sending anything to landfills,” Caswell F. Holloway IV, a deputy mayor, told The New York Times.

San Francisco aims to achieve zero waste by 2020, a goal set by the Board of Supervisors. The green bin program is a major contributor to San Francisco’s landfill diversion rate of 80 percent, the highest in the country.

Replicating the San Francisco program is just common sense. Food scraps collected from San Francisco are turned into nutrient-rich compost that is applied to local farms. Most of them are vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties. Compost made from food scraps collected in New York City could be applied to farms in upstate New York, farms that grow fruits and vegetables sold at the 19 farmers’ markets in the city.

There are many wonderful things about these programs. They keep things out of landfills and feed topsoil on local farms, which helps farmers grow healthier food. Urbanites like to shop at farmer’s markets and increasingly are hearing about the connection between tossing coffee grounds and vegetable peelings in their kitchen compost pails and the heirloom tomatoes and fresh carrots they buy on Saturday mornings.

Bloomberg’s announcement generated a lot of New York media coverage and press calls to San Francisco seeking reaction and insights. Reporters looking for opposing views among New Yorkers were mostly disappointed and within two days said “people like it.”

The Times reported that test compost collection programs in New York have shown an “unexpectedly high level of participation.” More than one headline read like this one: “Take it from a composting veteran, it is easier than you think.”

That perspective will feel correct to most people who live and work in San Francisco, experienced composters that we are. Some here are compost holdouts and need to get with the program, but in total we are getting our city a little closer to zero waste everyday. And in that context it was nice, at least for a few days, to read headlines like “New York City amps up food recycling, while San Francisco shows the way.”

Where does garbage go? (Infographic)

Posted in Composting, Recycling, Resource Recovery by ecotulip on June 28, 2013
Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Art made from garbage delights travelers at SFO

Posted in Events, Recology, San Francisco, You Should Know... by ecotulip on June 25, 2013

News release

San Francisco, Calif. (June 25, 2013) – Recology announced today the launch of a web page featuring SFO Museum’s exhibition of work from the Recology Artist in Residence Program at the United Terminal. The Art of Recology, highlights this innovative art program that was founded to challenge the way we think about waste, consumption, and art.

The video and slide show, located at, allow those who can’t see the exhibition in person to experience the artwork online. More than 100 pieces made by 45 Bay Area artists who have participated in the program are on display.

“The purpose of the program is to encourage recycling, help San Franciscans think outside of the box, and help us get to Zero Waste,” said program manager Deborah Munk. “Recology believes that art has the power to influence behavior and inspire new ways of thinking about resource conservation and sustainability.”

The exhibition is open through October 2013 and is expected to be viewed by more than 2.5 million people. The myriad of artworks displayed include a gown made from recycled San Francisco Chronicle delivery bags and a life-sized Styrofoam Hummer.

“The wide-ranging artworks stand on their own as extraordinary examples of beauty and creativity, but the larger message of the need to change our view of material goods and their disposal in the waste stream is ever present,” said Tim O’Brien, SFO Museum Curator of Exhibitions. “It’s really gratifying to see such a strong public response by visitors.”

The Recology Artist in Residence Program aims to inspire and educate by providing local artists with access to materials, a work space, and monetary and administrative support. The artists chosen for the professional residency program have 24-hour access to a studio space and can scavenge in Recology’s Public Disposal and Recycling Areas for materials. Every piece they make has to be made completely from recycled or reused materials.

Through its tours and exhibitions over the past 23 years, the Artist in Residence Program has brought together diverse communities such as artists, students, environmentalists, businesses, and educators who share a common goal of creating a more sustainable world. The program has become world renowned, sponsoring more than 100 Bay Area artists since it began in 1990.

“In my opinion, this exhibition is the highlight of the Artist in Residence Program,” Munk said. “We believe that people who visit the SFO Museum exhibition will start thinking about reuse or recycling in a way that they wouldn’t by merely getting a pamphlet in the mail.”

To watch a video about the exhibition or download images of the artwork, visit

Media Contacts:

Gina Antonini

Singer Associates

(415) 269-2237 cell

Deborah Munk


(415) 330-1415

Ashland celebrates making art from landfill

Posted in Uncategorized by ecotulip on April 23, 2013

Guest blogger, Risa Buck, Waste Zero Specialist at Recology Ashland celebrates art made from what would have been landfilled.

Last Wednesday, April 17th Ashland, Oregon celebrated the grand dedication of its first 100% recycled content mosaic. This mosaic resulted from the joint inspiration of Recology and City of Ashland’s North Mountain Park personnel, who recognized the need to upgrade and revitalize the trash and recycling collection station, while at the same time finding a unique way to reinforce the importance of reusing items once destined for the landfill.

Mosaic materials, including glass, metal and plastics were all sourced locally and recovered from local businesses, homes and the Valley View Transfer Station. Among the many items found within the mosaic are bike chains and sprockets, liquor bottle bottoms, plastic and metal lids, bricks, keys, and jewelry. Local artist Sue Springer, of Illahe Studios and Gallery, was commissioned by Recology to create a nontraditional mosaic of recycled materials, creating this beautiful rendering of the “three R’s”. The goal was to create a colorful, permanent and surprising assemblage of materials, to change thinking about trash and recycling. Remember, “it’s only trash if that’s how you treat it”.

The community, both young and old, has responded with delight.

Following the mosaic dedication, Marinel Baker, Recycling Attendant at Recology Ashland, and me, gave a presentation that led participants on the trail of trash and recycling collected in Ashland & Talent, including an interactive activity to learn “what goes where and why” .


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 249 other followers

%d bloggers like this: