City of San Carlos - Garbage & Recycling


Garbage & Recycling

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The Public Works Department is responsible for managing the City's Solid Waste Franchise Agreement with Rethink Waste (South Bayside Waste Management Authority) which provides Garbage and Recycling Collection for all San Carlos residents and businesses.  Click here to see the RethinkWaste 2014 Annual Report.    


Document Shred and e-Scrap Recycling Event

Do you have old confidential documents or electronics that are piling up in your home? If so, here is your opportunity to recycle them securely and at no cost to you!

Between 9am and 1pm on Saturday, October14th, 2017 San Carlos residents are welcome to bring up to three banker boxes (12" x 15") of papers to Shoreway Environmental Center’s Visitor Parking lot (333 Shoreway Road) for free, safe, and secure shredding and recycling services. 

Accepted items for E-scrap recycling include: TVs, computers, printers, monitors, cables/cords, cell phones, MP3 players, DVD players, laptops, fax machines, keyboards and more. Please no household appliances.

Proof of residency must be provided for participation at this event.

See other Shred and e-Scrap events in San Mateo County here.

View information on the 2017 solid waste rates here

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling – California Assembly Bill 1826

The mandatory Commercial Organic Waste Recycling Law - AB 1826 became effective on January 1, 2016 and requires businesses and multi-family complexes (with 5 or more units) that generate specified amounts of organic waste (compost) to arrange for organics collection services. The law phases in the requirements on businesses with full implementation realized in 2019:

First Tier: Commencing in April 2016, the first tier of affected businesses includes those that generate eight or more cubic yards of organic materials per week.
Second Tier: In January 2017, the affected businesses are expanded to include those that generate four or more cubic yards of organic materials per week.
Third Tier: In January 2019, the affected businesses are further expanded to include those that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste per week.

Businesses and multi-family complexes are considered in compliance with the law if they participate in the BizSMART commercial organics recycling program provided by Recology, self-haul the materials or arrange for their pickup by another party. There are no direct penalties associated with AB 1826; however, the responsibility for compliance has been placed on the jurisdictions.

Click here for an AB1826 informational brochure.

Garbage and Recycling Collection at Your Home or Business

Recycling and Garbage Collection in San Carlos is performed by
Recology San Mateo County under a franchise agreement granted by the City of San Carlos. This includes weekly Garbage Collection, weekly Recycling Collection and weekly Food Scraps & Yard Trimmings Collection.  

Recology San Mateo County has a local office on Shoreway Road in San Carlos, next door to the Shoreway Environmental Center which can be contacted with your questions and issues about these services by calling (650) 595-3900.  The Public Works Department at City Hall can also be contacted if you are not able to resolve your Garbage and Recycling Collection questions or issues with Recology San Mateo County.

Household Hazardous Waste, Paint, Computers and Consumer Electronics Drop off Program

San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program

All County residents can dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) from their homes for free at San Mateo County’s permanent HHW facility Thursdays-Saturdays (except holidays).

To participate, you must schedule an appointment at San Mateo County’s HHW Program: or by calling (650) 363-4718, select option 3. 
The location will be disclosed once your appointment has been confirmed. No commercial waste is allowed. Limit 10 gallons or 50 pounds per appointment.

Accepted items include: cleaning products, fertilizers, pesticides, flammable liquids, fluorescent lights (compact and tubes), paint, acids/bases, aerosol cans, automotive supplies (car batteries, motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze, brake fluid), inks, and photo chemicals. All waste collected is reused, recycled, or stabilized for proper disposal to achieve zero waste and prevent any items from going to the landfill and contaminating our water and soil. No radioactive, explosive, or medical waste.

Drive Up & Drop Off Recycling at Shoreway Environmental Center in San Carlos

In addition to the Garbage and Recycling Collection services, San Carlos residents and businesses can bring recyclables to the 
Shoreway Environmental Center on Shoreway Road. 

The Buy-Back Recycling Center at Shoreway redeems aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles for California Redemption Value (CRV).  Customers can also drop-off for free non-redemption curbside recyclable materials including cardboard, moxed paper, newspaper, magazines, glass, cans, bottles and plastic bottles.

The Drop Off Center at Shoreway accepts used clothing, shoes, purses, consumer electronics, computers, computer monitors, TVs, copiers, faxes, VCRs, laptops, scrap metal, motor oil, antifreeze, oil filters, latex paint, flourescent lighting tubes, cell phones, household batteries, car batteries, dishes and utensils, pots and pans, lamps, fans, kids toys and games, hard and soft cover books, cooking oil and sharps. 

Click the links below for more detailed information on these drive up and drop off services available at the
Shoreway Environmental Center.

Garbage Dumping at the Transfer Station

Residents and Businesses who want to bring Solid Waste (Garbage) directly to the
Transfer Station on Shoreway Road in San Carlos can do so for a fee.  The Transfer Station is owned by Rethink Waste and is operated under contract by South Bay Recycling.

Materials accepted at the Transfer Station include household and business solid waste, clean green waste and wood, appliances (refrigerant units only accepted with certification of Freon removal), auto and truck tires, concrete and asphalt and like materials, clean dirt fill, mixed demolition debris and other non-hazardous materials and items.

Transfer Station Rates are charged by cubic yardage, ton or per unit. Acceptable forms of payment include Cash, Business Checks, Credit Cards and Debt Cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo.  No personal checks are accepted.

Customers who have recyclable items for drop-off at the Public Recycling Center will be directed by Transfer Station Scale House Staff to the Public Recycling Drop-Off area.

Debris Boxes

Debris boxes are made available through various vendors.  Please see the Yellow Pages under - Rubbish Containers and Hauling.  The vendor you choose MUST have a San Carlos Business License.

In addition, residents will need to apply for an encroachment permit from Public Works Department.  The current fee is $55.00 plus a $200 refundable deposit, to be made payable to the City of San Carlos.  We accept cash, check and credit cards (Visa or MasterCard).

Downtown Garbage Can Pick-Up

Recology is contracted by the City to provide garbage pickup in the downtown area. 

For complaints or unresolved issues about garbage service, please contact Public Works at (650) 802-4194