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:
- “Like” Recology San Mateo County on Facebook.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- Compost is a viable alternative to chemical fertilizers because it adds many nutrients to soil and doesn’t pollute groundwater, wells, or waterways.
- Composting keeps organic waste out of landfills, which supports more efficient land use and reduces methane gas emissions, a greenhouse gas.
- 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.
- Compost promotes healthy microbial activity in soil, which makes micronutrients available to plant roots and discourages soil diseases.
- Compost improves soil structure, thereby protecting topsoil from erosion.
- Soils fed with compost retain far more rainwater, conserving our water resources.
- Compost helps grow plants and food crops that are rich with nutrients needed to sustain good health.
- Composting is easy and fulfilling!
- Compost collection programs return nutrients to local farms and support green jobs.
- 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.
- 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.
- Composting helps our cities get closer to achieving zero waste.
- Composting helps California save tremendous amounts of water.
Guest blogger, Chris Choate, VP of Sustainability at Recology, leads us through the dynamic world of creating biofuels.
Recology 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, a non-profit organization located in Oakland, offers job training and career counseling to participants of their Environmental Job Training Program.
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.
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
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.
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 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/world/asia/22missing.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 – March 21,2011
· Boat washes up on Crescent Beach – April 7, 2012
· Lori Dengler’s site: Lori Dengler – Tsunamis, earthquakes, geophysics, natural hazard mitigation, https://picasaweb.google.com/105862892016189181305/CrescentCityTsunamiBoat?authkey=Gv1sRgCNqP6t_Zs4qXUA&feat=email# – April 8, 2012
Del Norte Triplicate story: http://www.triplicate.com/News/Local-News/Tsunami-boat-to-move-to-new-site – June 10, 2013 and a more recent story: http://www.triplicate.com/News/Local-News/Symbol-of-hope-starts-journey-home-to-Japan
· Student to Student video: http://www.delnorte.org/news/tsunami-boat-student-to-student-video
· http://studentsrebuild.org/blog/2013-07-22/amazing-journey-japan July 22, 2013
· High school fundraiser page: http://www.gofundme.com/3vvsgc
Photos by Adam Spencer, courtesy of Del Norte Triplicate.
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 Whatbin.com 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!
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”.
You can read more about Shideh’s experience at http://www.thebolditalic.com/shidehe/stories/2872-i-refused-to-compost.