Get Ready for the 32nd Annual Coastal Cleanup Day


There are over 30 locations in San Mateo County to help clean up!

Join us on September 17th 9am-Noon to participate in California’s largest volunteer event that helps clean up and protect our beaches, shorelines, creeks, neighborhoods and parks in San Mateo County. These locations have historically been collection spots for trash and debris, and if not removed, can be harmful to marine wildlife and human health.


Continue reading

Recycle Used Motor Oil Filters (But NOT in Your Garbage or Recycle Bin)

A used oil filter may contain up to 10 ounces of used motor oil inside.

A used oil filter may contain up to 10 ounces of used motor oil inside.

What happens when a used oil filter is improperly disposed of? The oil trapped inside the filter will ooze out and contaminate our streams, neighborhood streets, and the local landfill.

Once oil contaminates a landfill, over time it can gradually reach underground water sources. The California Department of Resources Recycling & Recovery (CalRecycle) estimates there are at least two million gallons of motor oil lost when filters are not properly recycled at a used motor oil and filter collection center.

Continue reading

Dropping off Your Household Hazardous Waste is as Easy as 1-2-3!

San Mateo County's Household Hazardous Waste Program is a "full-service" program.

San Mateo County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program is a “full-service” program.

San Mateo County has offered a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program for over 24 years for residents to drop-off a variety of HHW such as cleaning chemicals, batteries, paint, fluorescent lights, propane tanks and more.

The program is free to residents and continues to be a popular way to get rid of unwanted toxic waste.

Next time you use the program – whether it is at our permanent facility in San Mateo or one of our temporary events in Daly City, La Honda, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Portola Valley, or South San Francisco – here are some quick tips to help you help us make the program a success for everyone.

  1. Make an appointment. You can do so online at or by calling (650) 363-4718, select option 3.
  2. Gather your waste in a sturdy box. Don’t mix waste and make sure they are in their original containers. Check our website for a list of accepted waste. The limit per appointment is 10 gallons or 50 pounds.
  3. Arrive at your designated time. The HHW program is “full-service” so stay in your vehicle while we take the waste directly from your car. Just make sure to place it all in an easily accessible location for staff to reach.

And that’s it!

Visit for more information on how to make an appointment and what wastes are accepted.

Housing Pilot Program Off to a Robust Start

San Mateo County's Augmented Pilot Program

San Mateo County’s Augmented Pilot Program

Since January 2016, the San Mateo County Augmented Housing Inspection Pilot Program, approved by the County Board of Supervisors in 2015, has hit the ground running and is showing positive results. In just six months 76% of the health and safety violations reported at 348 apartment complexes targeted by the pilot have been resolved.

Continue reading

Safer Cleaning Alternatives in the Bathroom

girlcleaningIt’s inevitable that toilets get stained, drains get clogged, and mildew develops in the shower. But before you grab a conventional cleaner with harsh chemicals found at the grocery store, protect your health and your wallet by creating your own bathroom cleaners from safer ingredients.

Here are some bathroom ingredient essentials you will need: Continue reading

Green Grocery Shopping

Make your next grocery shopping experience a little greener!

Make your next grocery shopping experience a little greener!

Shopping green isn’t just about remembering your reusable bag. There are many other choices while grocery shopping that benefit the environment and your health.

The very first green choice you can make comes before you grab your reusable bags and head to the store; it starts with making your grocery list! As you make your list, check kitchen cupboards and your refrigerator. You may still have vegetables that can be incorporated into the upcoming week’s menu. Not only will you save money by not having to buy extra items, you will be helping to reduce food waste. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that we waste 30-40 percent of our food in the U.S.

Continue reading

Stay Food Safe this Summer Grilling Season

With the dog days of summer upon us, it’s the season to take extra precautions when handling, cooking and serving food for your backyard barbecues or outdoor picnics.

While the warmer weather may be ideal for summer grilling, it also creates an ideal environment for bacteria and pathogens to grow in food and cause foodborne illnesses.

Luckily, we have compiled a list of simple steps to help you stay a grilling superstar and not the one who ruined Uncle Joe’s barbeque by making everyone sick.

Continue reading

Be Fish Smart in San Francisco Bay!

We are so lucky to be able to catch and eat fresh fish and shellfish from the San Francisco Bay, but does it make a healthy dinner? Who you are and the type of fish you catch in the Bay can be the difference between a meal packed with protein and heart healthy omega 3s or exposure to potential toxins.

Some fish from the Bay contain toxins such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that can harm your health and are not safe to eat. Women and children are especially vulnerable to these health risks. PCBs likely cause cancer and mercury can change how the brains of babies and children develop.

Continue reading

Lead-Safe Home Gardening

Have a lead safe home gardening experience.

Have a lead safe home gardening experience.

We’re deep into spring now and it’s the perfect time to start or refresh that backyard garden. Home gardening is experiencing a revival across the United States. People are seeing value and positive impacts of growing and eating their own food. Public health professionals and school educators are even encouraging urban gardening as a strategy to stay healthy.

Continue reading

New Medicine Disposal Location in San Mateo County

New Walgreens medicine disposal bin in Burlingame.

New Walgreens medicine disposal bin in Burlingame.

Do you have unwanted medicine just sitting in your medicine cabinet that you’re not quite sure how to get rid of?

San Mateo County is excited to announce that Walgreens is helping promote the proper disposal and management of unused and expired medicines by setting up a new disposal bin at their location in Burlingame at 260 El Camino Real. But before you pay the bin a visit, we encourage you to call for pharmacy hours of operation first.

Continue reading