Recology San Mateo County Earth Day Giveaway

Posted in Community, Resource Recovery, San Mateo County by erinatrecology on April 15, 2014

Recology Earth DayRecology San Mateo County EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY! How will you “go green” this week?

Recology San Mateo County invites you to participate in our Earth Day Giveaway on Facebook. As we gear up for Earth Day on April 22nd, we’re asking San Mateo County residents and businesses to share their tips, photos, or videos that illustrate how they are “going green” this Earth Week.

How to enter:

  1. “Like” Recology San Mateo County on Facebook.
  2. Share a green tip, photo, or video on our Facebook page using the hash tag #EarthDay2014 by 10 am on Tuesday, April 22nd to be eligible for the giveaway.
  3. Share your entry with friends!

Winners will receive a $50 Whole Foods gift card and earth-friendly goodies, including garden-ready herbs, compost, reusable water bottle and bag. Winners will be chosen by number of likes, shares, and Recology staff votes. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page on April 22nd, Earth Day!

How will you celebrate Earth Day? #EarthDay2014

Terms and Conditions:

  • Must be 18 years or older to participate, and be a resident or employee in San Mateo County. Recology employee-owners are not eligible to enter, however friends and family of employee-owners are encouraged to participate.
  • By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this giveaway. All entries then become the property of Recology Inc.
  • The RSMC Earth Day Giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

13 Compelling Reasons to Compost

Posted in Community, Composting, Diversion, Recology, Recycling, Resource Recovery, Waste Reduction, WASTE ZERO by erinatrecology on April 7, 2014

Recology compost programs are designed to return nutrients back to our soils, and essentially back to our dining tables. Composting turns food scraps and yard trimmings into useful materials; the best and highest use of natural resources. 
Recology Compost

  1. Compost is a viable alternative to chemical fertilizers because it adds many nutrients to soil and doesn’t pollute groundwater, wells, or waterways.
  2. Composting keeps organic waste out of landfills, which supports more efficient land use and reduces methane gas emissions, a greenhouse gas.
  3. Compost sequesters carbon deep in the soil, which helps maintain essential nutrients in soil. This is especially useful when compost is used to grow cover crops, like mustard or beans.
  4. Compost promotes healthy microbial activity in soil, which makes micronutrients available to plant roots and discourages soil diseases.
  5. Compost improves soil structure, thereby protecting topsoil from erosion.
  6. Soils fed with compost retain far more rainwater, conserving our water resources.
  7. Compost helps grow plants and food crops that are rich with nutrients needed to sustain good health.
  8. Composting is easy and fulfilling!
  9. Compost collection programs return nutrients to local farms and support green jobs.
  10. Farms that utilize compost achieve higher yields than conventional farming that uses nitrogen fertilizers. This means farms produce more organic fruits and vegetables to support your good health.
  11. Composting reverses the course of waste from decay to new growth, turning coffee grounds, cantaloupe skins, and chicken bones into sweet carrots, juicy tomatoes, and fine wines.
  12. Composting helps our cities get closer to achieving zero waste.
  13. Composting helps California save tremendous amounts of water.

The Great Compost Giveaway – April 12, 2014

Posted in Community, Composting, Recology, Resource Recovery, San Francisco, WASTE ZERO by erinatrecology on March 13, 2014

Recology Compost Giveaway

Turning Municipal Waste into Energy: Recology Runs on Alternative Fuel

Guest blogger, Chris Choate, VP of Sustainability at Recology, leads us through the dynamic world of creating biofuels.

Recology BiodieselRecology is driven to find the social, environmental, and economical solution to power our fleet of vehicles with fuel produced from the residual resources (waste material) from your trash. We’ve spent a lot of time evaluating and researching ways to generate and utilize bio-methane from our landfills and anaerobic digesters to power our trucks.

Our solution has proved to be a good one thus far.  We’ve found a way to integrate biofuels into our fleet fuel sources by transitioning to alternative fuel  equipment and utilizing compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and B20 biodiesel.  

Recology continues to partner with the City of San Francisco in an effort to lead the nation in diverting material from landfills to achieve the highest use of all materials. Over 80% of the material diverted is collected through an integrated system of reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting.  Even with all of these collection processes, over half of the current material going to the landfill is degradable and a good source of biomass material.

Recology is fortunate to have these alternative fuels accessible to us through our collection, recycling, and compost facilities. We not only rely on our recycling efforts to divert and reuse materials, but we rely on the nature of biology to also help our goals of zero waste.

SF Environment created the City’s Zero Waste Plan from our overarching environmental principles that include:

  • Reusing materials at a level that is their next best and highest use
  • Avoiding high-temperature conversion (incineration)
  • Achieving the highest carbon footprint reduction possible
  • Employing local and biological processes that mimic nature

Currently, biological processes are used, managed, and exploited to stabilize thousands of tons of organic material a year through our compost programs.  It is consistent with Recology’s sustainability goals, and the City’s overarching principles, to further utilize natural processes to produce biodiesel from the City’s waste stream.

Civicorps and Recology Offers New Hope for Workers in Oakland

Posted in Community, Oakland, Recology, Recycling, Resource Recovery, Services by erinatrecology on January 6, 2014

Civicorps, a non-profit organization located in Oakland, offers job training and career counseling to participants of their Environmental Job Training Program.

Published on on December 30, 2013 by Tom Vacar

William Montoya and Fua Fatai, clients of Oakland’s Civicorps, are learning the skills needed to recycle restaurant wastes.

The food waste they collect in Oakland, currently being composted – will soon go to the Eastbay Municipal Utilities District (MUD) Oakland sewage treatment plant.

“We realized that can recycle kind of these new urban wastes and do it in a way that provides us with renewable energy at the same time,” says Andrea Pook, Eastbay MUD Spokeswoman.

When those food scraps are digested, the methane gas that comes out of them goes into a turbine which can create enough power for 2500 homes.

“At the same time, we develop a product called bio-solid which is the digested solid material and that’s use for agricultural fertilizer as well as alternative cover at landfills,” said Jackie Kepke, Eastbay MUD’s Environmental Services Manager.

For Montoya and Fatai, it’s nothing less than life changing.

“I see this as a stepping stone, you know, and just opening up doors for me in the future. It’s exciting to know that I’m part of something big,” said Fatai.

“This program actually saved me from doing a lot of bad stuff. I focus on my future, my family, my son,” Montoya said.

Civicorps’ Bruce Groulx is proud of this program and these men.

“We take society’s waste, recycle it, as well as recycle young people’s lives,” he said.

They are lives ultimately recycled by the clients’ own self-worth.

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.

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 – Art at the Dump – Issue No. 7

Posted in Portland, Recology, Resource Recovery, San Francisco, You Should Know... by art at the dump on July 1, 2013

Current Resident Artists

Kristin Cammermeyer and Chad Hasegawa began their residencies on June 1. Both artists are busy scavenging lumber that they’ll be using in very different ways. Kristin is building a large-scale installation in the back room and Chad is constructing panels for his paintings. Kristin’s installation is already in progress and in a perpetual state of flux. She is filming the work as she alters it, while also filming sites around the facility that are in constant change. We’re very happy to report that we’ve received the green light to have Chad paint a mural outside our Household Hazardous Waste Facility which will feature his signature bear imagery. If you’re dropping off paint, batteries, or other materials in the next three months, look out for Chad as you pull out of the driveway! Their residency exhibition will take place on Friday, September 20 from 5-9pm and Saturday, September 21 from 1-3pm.

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Visiting Artists from Haiti

Beginning in mid-August the Recology Artist in Residence Program will welcome three visiting artists from Haiti: Claudel Casseus, Romel Jean Pierre, and Racine Polycarpe. Sponsored by Project Hope Art, this mini-residency will enable the artists to use our student studio (the shipping container behind our offices), and scavenge for materials to make their art. The artists will work on-site for approximately one month and exhibit finished and in-process artwork at the Environmental Learning Center at 401 Tunnel Avenue during our September exhibition. The artists belong to Atis-Rezistans, an artist collective in Port-au-Prince whose members use recycled materials to create assemblage art. This will be Claudel and Racine’s first trip outside of Haiti.

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We’re Accepting Applications!

Applications for 2014 residencies are due August 30th. For information on how to apply and to download an application:


GLEAN exhibition

2013 GLEAN residency artists will exhibit their work August 16 to September 8 at Disjecta in Portland, Oregon. This is the third year of the Portland-based program developed collaboratively by Recology; Cracked Pots, Inc., an environmental arts organization; and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. Artists Kim Lakin, Owen Premore, Eric Rosewall, Christopher Wagner, and Vicki Wilson have been working since March, scavenging for materials at the Portland Transfer Station to make their art. An opening reception will be held August 16, from 6-9pm.



The Art of Recology at SFO Museum on exhibit through October

We continue to hear good things from folks who have traveled on United Airlines and have seen our exhibition in Terminal 3 at SFO. Over one-hundred pieces made by forty-five artists during their Recology residencies are on display in The Art of Recology. Because the exhibition is past security and only viewable by passengers ticketed for United, a website has been created featuring video and photos of the exhibition. Experience the show virtually at:


Alumni News

Current resident artist Kristin Cammermeyer has received a MacDowell Colony residency and will be there this fall after completing her work at Recology.

Updates on The Genius of Marian, Banker White’s film which follows his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, can be found here. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and will be screened in Russia at the Moscow Film Festival this month.

Stephanie Syjuco will be busy prior to her October-January Recology residency. In addition to participating in exhibitions in cities including New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and São Paulo, Brazil, she will be an artist-in-residence at the FLACC Workplace for Visual Artists in Genk, Belgium, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, in Omaha, and ACRE in Steuben, Wisconsin.

Nicole Repack is one of four artists in the Triton Museum of Art exhibition, Spiral: Art of the Street. The show runs from September 14 to November 17.

Upcoming Recology artist-in-resident Yulia Pinkusevich will be in Paris from July to September participating in the Cite International des Arts residency. Her work was included in the films 3020 Laguna St. In Exitum and Umoja-One. 3020 Laguna St. In Exitum premiered at the San Francisco International Film festival and features the installations of seven local artists; Umoja-One documents a collaborative project with dancer/performer Rahan Boxley and is Official Selection for the San Francisco Black Film Festival.

Dana Albany’s spaceship, The Y.E.S. Project, will be installed outside the Exploratorium on August 12. At night it will be illuminated with 130 slowly changing sequences. People will be able to crawl into the spaceship August 17 when it is part of the Exploratorium’s Trashformationevent.

Colette Crutcher and Aileen Barr are completing tilework at Cesar Chavez Park in Oakland’s Fruitvale District. The park will open in mid-July. Crutcher and Barr are also collaborating on a 75-foot-high, tiled stairway in the Sunset. There will be a community participation workshop for this project on July 20th, 1-5pm. See for more information.

Suzanne Husky has created Jardin a la Française Sauvage for the Milieux exhibition at the Domaine de Chamarande in Essonne, France. Husky has made a large French garden composed of flowers beneficial to birds and bees. It is on view through September 30.

Donna Ozawa’s Waribashi Project can be seen in Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art and Invention at the Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita Kansas, August 31 to December 17.

James Sansing won a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation. The foundation provides monetary support to parents pursuing creative work.

Michael Damm will have work in the exhibition Artists Who Teach at the Wiegand Gallery at Notre Dame de Namur University, September 17 to October 26. Damm’s work is also included in Afterglow: Rethinking California Light and Space Art at St. Mary’s College Museum of Art running from August 4 to September 29.

Erik Otto’s solo exhibition, Searching For Higher Ground, will be at the Luna Rienne Gallery in San Francisco. The exhibition is on view from August 17 to September 23, with an opening reception August 17 from 6-9pm.

Work by Val Britton will be included in the exhibition Journey Forth: Contemporary Landscape Between Technology and Tradition at Gallery Wendi Norris from July 11 to August 31. Over the summer she will also have work in exhibitions in cities including New York and Laguna Beach. She was recently profiled in Art Ltd. Magazine.

Barbara Holmes recently completed a residency in Virginia City, Nevada through Capital City Arts Initiative (CCAI). Work can be viewed here. A reception will be July 12th, 5-9pm at SMAC in Virginia City. Holmes will be an artist-in-residence at the Facebook campus in Menlo Park for six weeks this summer and will be working on a lath installation there (among other activities).

For the month of July, Karrie Hovey will be an artist-in-residence at Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin in East in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

Work by former Recology artists-in-residence, Val Britton, Lauren DiCioccio, Julia Goodman, Jeff Hantman, Barbara Holmes, David King, Christina Mazza, Scott Oliver, and Sudhu Tewari will be featured in the de Saisset Museum’s exhibition Reduce, Reuse, Re-Imagine, from August 16 to December 6.

A watch band designed by Sirron Norris for the company Basis has recently been released. His bus stop posters promoting the San Francisco Public Library are on view around the city.

David King’s work will appear in the three-person show Cut & Paste at Hang Art Gallery in San Francisco. The show runs from July 1 to 15, with a reception July 11, 6-8pm. In August, King will be a resident artist at the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness.

Julia Goodman will be a resident artist at Lost Coast Cultural Machine in Fort Bragg, California from August to September. Her work will be included in the exhibition, Around the Table: Food, Creativity, Community, at the San Jose Museum of Art, November 9, 2013 to April 27, 2014.

James Gouldthorpe recently received a residency at Villa Montalvo. He will be there in 2014.


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