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.

Tis the Season… for Recycling and Reuse!

Recology Holiday Recycling

Coats for Kids collection kicks off in San Mateo County

Posted in Recology, San Mateo County by recologysanmateocounty on October 23, 2013

Recology San Mateo County (RSMC) is starting their annual Coats for Kids collection program of new and gently used donated coats, from Monday, November 4th through Friday, November 8th.

Drivers from RSMC will collect coats that have been placed in a clear plastic bag and marked “Coats for Kids” at the curbs from residential homes on their collection day in:

· Atherton

· Belmont

· Burlingame

· East Palo Alto

· Foster City

· Hillsborough

· Menlo Park

· North Fair Oaks

· Redwood City

· San Carlos

· San Mateo

· San Mateo County (county “pockets” serviced by Recology San Mateo County)

· West Bay Sanitary District

Collection containers labeled “Coats for Kids” will also be placed at various locations throughout participating cities from Monday, November 4th through Friday, November 15th. Please visit for a list of drop off locations.

RSMC will deliver all of the donated coats to local non-profit agencies for distribution to those in need of a warm coat during the cold weather season.

Thanks for being part of this year’s Coats for Kids drive in San Mateo County!

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.

Recology San Mateo County cleans up the Bayfront

Posted in Events, Recology, San Mateo County by art at the dump on October 11, 2013

Our Recology San Mateo County volunteers participated in the 29th Annual San Mateo Bayfront Clean Up. Volunteers picked up litter along the Bayfront Trail, San Mateo Creek, Marina Lagoon and Tidelines Park. Most of the materials found were cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic bags, and plastic water bottles. There were also some very interesting finds in our bay… tires, shopping carts, chairs, and even toys!

“The clean up was a great bonding time with the family and a gratifying experience to be able to help in keeping the environment clean.”

- Sheila, Recology San Mateo County employee-owner




Join us at the California Coastal Cleanup

Posted in Events, Recology, You Should Know... by art at the dump on October 11, 2013

Saturday, September 21

9AM – noon

 Are you looking for something to do tomorrow? Join us for the Coastal Cleanup tomorrow morning.

Check out the links below to register and participate! 

Event Registration, Materials & Resources  

  • Includes information on:     
    • Sites
    • 2012 stats & more about Coastal Cleanup Day
    • Sponsors & Site Captains
    • Downloadable Posters & Waiver Forms

Want to coordinate a team? Visit CCC:

 Recology & iMRF:

Get up to speed on the reasons to participate:

“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!

Upcoming Artist in Residence Program Exhibition at Recology San Francisco

Posted in Diversion, Events, San Francisco, You Should Know... by art at the dump on September 5, 2013

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Kristin Cammermeyer and Chad Hasegawa, and visiting artists Claudel Casseus, Romel Jean Pierre, and Racine Polycarpe on Friday, September 20, from 5-9pm and Saturday, September 21, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, September 24, from 5-7pm. An artist panel discussion will follow at 7pm at 401 Tunnel Avenue. This exhibition will be the culmination of work by the artists who have scavenged materials from the dump to make art and promote recycling and reuse.

Kristin Cammermeyer: DOUBLE HOW in & out the Back Room

When first looking at Kristin Cammermeyer ’s large-scale installation in the backroom of the Recology Art Studio, one might not immediately see a connection to her background as a painter. But it soon becomes apparent that she manipulates line, color, and perspective to alter perception, much as a painter does to convey three-dimensionality in 2-D. Cammermeyer uses these effects to create a sense of disorientation, which she likens to the surreal environment of the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, where she scavenged for materials. Viewers can succumb to the manipulation of lights, mirrors, and other objects placed in groupings throughout the space that appear like abstract still-lifes, framed by the lumber that is the infrastructure for the installation. Though carefully composed by the artist, the arrangements speak to the random meeting of materials at the Recology site which Cammermeyer has described as, “the arbitrary, yet seemingly composed moments that can occur at the fringes…instances of incidental formalism that suggest a collective consciousness and elegant design in a seemingly haphazard world.”

Site-specific in nature, Cammermeyer’s installation mirrors the framework and trusses of the building’s architecture which she sees as another found material with which to work. Cammermeyer has placed raw materials at the top of the installation, with the materials becoming more refined as they move down through the piece, drawing connections between the artistic process, the dump, and human digestion, in their shared processing of materials through labor. The constant movement of materials at the Recology facility is mimicked in the life-cycle of the installation, documented in her time-lapse video. The video provides a flattened, framed format through which one can experience the changing work. The precision of her construction and the vision behind it becomes even more apparent in this context as lines, shapes, and objects strategically envelop the video screen. Cammermeyer will also embed small mixed-media pieces within the installation and is working on a series of owl boxes for the sculpture garden.

Chad Hasegawa: Os Pukas

A constant in Chad Hasegawa’s paintings, sculptures, and murals is his iconic grizzly bear. Traditionally symbolic of strength and courage, in Hasegawa’s works the bear’s meaning is expanded to personify a range of qualities. Sometimes self-referential and sometimes representing the artist’s family or friends, Hasegawa’s bears offer the opportunity for anyone to see themselves in his depictions of strength, protectiveness, vulnerability, solitariness, and fierceness. During his residency, Hasegawa’s grizzly bear has explored the terrain of the dump. Paintings, sculpture, and an installation by Hasegawa position the bear as scavenger and survivor trying to make a home amidst the cast-off debris, and speak to the collision of nature and civilization. By positioning the bear at the dump, associations can be made regarding how our trash ultimately impacts the natural environment and the animals who reside there, but Hasegawa’s work speaks more broadly to ideas of the human/animal relationship. His bears inspire a sense of reverence, and suggest a more mystical or unexplainable connection between us and our animal counterparts. Says Hasegawa, “…bears are highly respected in many cultures and are considered to be ancestral spirits. Each of my bear paintings is created with the intent of being a protector; personally for myself and for everyone that may come across my work.”

In a large-scale installation, Hasegawa has crafted a cave from corrugated sheet metal, wood, and other found objects. By calling the work “Os Pukas,” Hasegawa has combined Portuguese and Hawaiian, using the word puka, or hole, to reference both a habitable space and the artist’s Hawaiian roots. Visually connected to shanty towns, such as the favelas of Brazil, the installation is both a bear’s den and a symbol of global struggles to find shelter and security. The work speaks to the fundamental need for habitable spaces, connecting us in the most primal of ways to the animal world. In addition to the installation, paintings, and sculptural works, Hasegawa will also paint a mural outside the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.


Port-au-Prince to San Francisco: Work by Claudel Casseus, Romel Jean Pierre, and Racine Polycarpe

Beginning in mid-August the Recology Artist in Residence Program will welcome Claudel Casseus, Romel Jean Pierre, and Racine Polycarpe to the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center. The artists live and work in Grand Rue, Port-au-Prince, Haiti and are part of Atis-Rezistans, an artist collective whose members use recycled materials to create assemblage art. Their mini-residency at Recology is sponsored by Project HOPE Art, a local non-profit. This will be the first time artists from outside the Bay Area have participated in Recology’s residency program.

Claudel Casseus
Claudel Casseus was born in 1981 in Grand Rue, Port-au-Prince, a neighborhood with a strong art and creative community. From a young age Casseus made art and in 2008, he joined Atis-Rezistans. In 2009, he participated in the 1st Ghetto Biennial, an international arts festival organized by Atis-Rezistans and British artist/curator Leah Gordon. During the Biennale, Casseus met British artist Bill Drummond, and after the 2010 Haitian earthquake he collaborated with Drummond on Imajine, a book describing his experiences following the disaster. Casseus’s sculptures, informed by Vodou and made from recycled materials, have been included in many exhibitions. This will be Casseus’s first trip outside of Haiti.

“I grew up in a large ghetto in Port-au-Prince, a place that has a lot of trash around. I take advantage of this situation by creating artwork with the same garbage found in the community. I think this is a way to educate people who live in the area, to make people understand that it is not necessary to keep throwing trash in the street. Because with art, any number of things can be created. Definitely, art is a means of communication with everyone, regardless of social differences. Art can help a person to manage the frustration inside him and it enables you to say what you feel is happening in the world, whether positive or negative. Therefore, I think a person who chooses to make art is a person who wants to collaborate with the world.”

Romel Jean Pierre
Growing up in Port-au-Prince, where he was born in 1993, Romel Jean Pierre initially was interested in becoming a politician, but turned his focus to art when he attended the 1st Ghetto Biennale. He joined the youth division of Atis-Rezistans, called Timoun Rezistans, and began creating the video performance/citizen media series, Tele Ghetto Haiti. For the 2nd Ghetto Biennale he collaborated with Bay Area artist and writer Robert Gomez on Dreams/Rèv Ou, a video project in which Haitians speak about their hopes for the future. Romel’s works have been exhibited widely. In 2011 he was a visiting artist at Bates College in Maine, and in April, 2013 he attended the Tribecca Film Festival in New York where he participated in a panel discussion on Inside Out-The People’s Art Project, a documentary film about the French artist JR who worked with Romel in Haiti. Tele Ghetto video works can be seen on Facebook and Youtube. Romel will head the new photography program at the Project HOPE Art Center located at Haiti Communitere, in Port-au-Prince. The Art Center is housed in a converted 20-foot shipping container.

“The Rezistans movement means many things to me, because when I wasn’t part of it, I knew I would spend each day not doing anything and that knowing life would pass me by as I joked around, not going to school and losing all good chances in my life…”

Racine Polycarpe
In 2006 at the age of fifteen, Racine Polycarpe was adopted by his uncle, the well-known artist, Jean Hérard Celeur. He worked as an apprentice at his uncle’s school, the Realm of the Arts and Minds, in Grand Rue, Port-au-Prince, where he learned about contemporary art history, the skills of carving wood and rubber, and how to create sculptural works from found objects. Polycarpe is also a member of Atis-Rezistans, which was founded by his uncle. His work has been exhibited in Haiti at the Institut Francais (2009), the Fet Gede at the National Cemetery (2009), the 1st and 2nd Ghetto Biennales (2009, 2011), and Nouvo Rezistans at the Institut Francais (2011). In 2010 his work was exhibited at the Portman Gallery in London, and at the XISM Etnografiska Museet in Stockholm. This will be his first trip outside of Haiti.

“I make sculpture out of recycled materials such as wood, plastic, metal, rubber, and anything I find. I also make painted sculptures with carved rubber from old tires. The reason I use these materials as my medium is because, in my country, when people are finished using things they just throw them outside. As artists we see value in these things and turn them into art following the history of assemblage art. It is a transformative act to take these discarded objects off the street and turn them into art.”

About the Recology Artist in Residence Program

Since 1990, the Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco has encouraged the conservation of natural resources while instilling a greater appreciation for art and the environment in children and adults. This one-of-a-kind program enables artists to work in studio space on site for four months, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public about reuse and their residency experiences. Over one-hundred professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.


Reception-Friday, September 20, 2013, 5-9pm

Reception-Saturday, September 21, 2013, 1-3pm

Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 5-7pm

Artist panel discussion-Tuesday, September 24, 7pm


Art Studio located at 503 Tunnel Ave. and Environmental Learning Center Gallery at 401 Tunnel Ave., San Francisco, CA

Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible.


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