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RethinkWaste Announces 2022 Poster Contest Winners

RethinkWaste is very excited to announce the winners of its ninth annual poster contest, which was open to all 3rd through 5th graders attending schools in the RethinkWaste service area. This year’s poster theme was “Everyday Upcycling!”, where we asked students to creatively illustrate ways to upcycle their everyday waste. In total, we received 44 original submissions from our student artists, representing 15 schools and 6 Member Agencies.

The winners and their respective cities and schools are listed below:

First Place – “The Possibilities of a Jar”
Maya M., 5th grade, Belmont Oaks Academy, Belmont


Second Place – “Upcycling is Upgrading the Planet!”
Stella L., 5th grade, Belmont Oaks Academy, Belmont


Third Place “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle…Upcycle!”
Luoyan L., 5th grade, College Park Elementary, San Mateo  


Honorable Mention “Recycling Cardboard to Make Toys”
Niralya J., 3rd grade, Audubon Elementary, Foster City


Honorable Mention “RethinkWaste Protect Our Home”
Hannah B., 3rd grade, Centennial Montessori School, San Mateo


Honorable Mention “Everyday Upcycling!!!”
Chloey C., 3rd grade, Carey School, San Mateo


Honorable Mention “We Love Upcycling!”
Noam K., 4th grade, Lincoln Elementary School, Burlingame

The First Place poster will be featured on the side of a Recology collection truck with routes in Belmont, so the winner will see their artwork around their neighborhood later this year! All winning posters will be showcased on the RethinkWaste website and social media and may appear in RethinkWaste newsletters and other educational materials. 

In addition, contest winners may be recognized at upcoming City Council meetings. Meeting dates will be confirmed before the end of the calendar year.

As a reward for their submissions, all winners will receive fun eco-friendly prizes!

Governor Newsom Signs RethinkWaste Co-Sponsored Bills!

Today, Governor Newsom signed a sweeping package of climate measures into law, including all three of RethinkWaste’s co-sponsored bills from the 2021-2022 legislation session. The three bills are:

  • AB 1985 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) – Organic waste: recovered organic waste product procurement targets.   
  • AB 2440 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Responsible Battery Recycling Act of 2022.          
  • SB 1215 by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) – Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003: covered battery-embedded products.            

AB 1985 will create a phase in of two additional years for SB 1383 procurement requirements.  SB 1215 and AB 2440 are two battery bills that will create a more comprehensive strategy to tackle household batteries and battery-embedded products. Specifically, SB 1215 expands the existing Electronic Waste Law to include battery-embedded products, while AB 2440 will create a producer responsibility program for loose batteries where manufacturers will fund and create a takeback program for their products. 

These three bills are major wins for California and we’re really excited about the signing of these three bills, especially the two battery bills – an issue RethinkWaste has been working on for over three years.

Learn more about proper battery disposal in our area by visiting our battery page: RethinkBatteries.org.

Rethink Picnic Waste

When we reflect back to one of our favorite pastime activities during the height of the pandemic, outdoor picnics were among one of our favorites. We hope this guide will help introduce a more sustainable way to picnic by applying the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

  1. REDUCE: Plan ahead for the menu
    1. Prepare finger foods and bite sized items: Cupcakes, cookies, pastries, cheese boards, sandwiches, chicken wings, pizza, hot dogs, and burgers are examples of finger foods. Pre-cutting fruits and vegetables also eliminates the need to bring plates and extra utensils. Please note that not all parks have compost receptacles/services; therefore, composting the undesirable and inedible parts at home helps divert more organic materials away from the landfill.
    2. Bring a reusable cooler with reusable ice packs to keep drinks cold or pre-chilling drinks and keep in a portable cooler. It keeps drinks cooler without wasting water/ice cubes.
    3. Avoid plastic garnishes in drinks. Spice up your drinks with herbs, spices, and fruit instead. Not only are the garnishes edible, but also elevates the flavor profile of any drink.
  2. REUSE: Bring your reusables
    1. Use cloth napkins. Use cloth napkins that can be washed and upgrade a picnic experience and avoid paper ones.
    2. Use reusable sandwich bags and containers, to put your food in and for leftovers!
    3. Use reusable utensils and straws. Eliminate single-use utensils, by bringing your own silverware and reusable straws. Single-use utensils not only contributes to microplastics into the environment, but also creates additional unnecessary waste.
    4. BYO cups and/or bottles. Avoid single-use cups, instead bring reusable cups or reusable water bottles. Water bottles can keep drinks colder and longer and can be used for any occasion.
  3. RECYCLE: Use what you have
    1. Picnic Blanket– If you don’t already have one, try using a throw blanket around the house or DIY a picnic blanket out of old clothes.
    2. Table cloth– Try covering picnic tables with an older tablecloth instead of using plastic table covers.
    3. Picnic Basket– Utilize your reusable grocery bags to carry your picnic materials.   

There are so many different ways to re-think picnic waste by reducing, reusing and recycling. Share how you are rethinking picnics this year by tagging us on social media on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook! However you choose to picnic this year, remember to continue to sort your waste by placing any single-use utensils and soft flimsy plastics in the garbage bins at parks!

RethinkWaste Announces 2022 Trash to Art Winners!

RethinkWaste is excited to announce the winners of its tenth annual “Trash to Art” Contest, which was open to all 3rd through 5th grade students in the RethinkWaste service area. The contest challenged students to build a piece of art from normally discarded materials collected at home, school, and around the community. We encouraged all students and classes to think of creative, new ways to reduce and reuse our waste!

The student artists and class groups submitted original creations, with colorful constructions and detailed models that look like they belong in a museum! It was very difficult to narrow down the winners, so we added two Honorable Mention winners for the Individual Contest category. All winners will be recognized by RethinkWaste Staff and the Board of Directors at a virtual Trash to Art Recognition celebration on Wednesday, May 4th, 4-4:30pm.

The winners and their respective cities and schools are listed below:

First Place – Individual
Stella L. (4th grade), Belmont Oaks Academy, Belmont for “Pop and Click!”

Second Place – Individual
Justin T. (4th grade), Arroyo Elementary, San Carlos for “Pinball Trash Sort”

Third Place – Individual
Aya T. (4th grade), The Carey School, San Mateo for “Asian Deliciousness”

Honorable Mention – Individual
Dayle M. (4th grade), Washington Elementary, Burlingame for “Recycling Tree”

Honorable Mention – Individual
Sahil G. (3rd grade), Foster City Elementary, Foster City for “Basketball Court”

First Place – Class
Ms. Whiteley’s 4th grade class, Laurel School, Menlo Park for “Honey World”

Second Place – Class
Ms. Bevilacqua’s 3rd/4th grade class, Washington Elementary, Burlingame for “Washington Mobile”

In addition to being acknowledged during the Trash to Art Recognition video call, the winning students and classes will receive special recognition at upcoming City Council meetings in their respective cities.

Finally, as a reward for their creative efforts, winners will receive fun prizes for themselves or their class groups. 

RethinkWaste Announces 2021 Poster Contest Winners

RethinkWaste is very excited to announce the winners of its eighth annual poster contest, which was open to all 3rd through 5th graders attending schools in the RethinkWaste service area. This year’s poster theme was “Compost Champions!” The artwork from local student artists illustrated the creative ways students practice composting with their friends, family, and classmates!

The winners and their respective cities and schools are listed below:

First Place “I’m a Compost Champion”
Kira H., 3rd, Audubon Elementary, Foster City

Second Place – “Compost Evolution”
Taiki I., 5th grade, Foster City Elementary, Foster City

Third Place – “What Goes in the Green Bin”
Lyra B., 4th grade, Sandpiper School, Redwood City

Honorable Mention – “A Comic about Compost”
Ryder H., 5th grade, Audubon Elementary, Foster City

The First Place poster will be featured on the side of a Recology collection truck with routes in Foster City, so the winner will see their artwork around their neighborhood this spring! All winning posters will be showcased on the RethinkWaste website and social media and may appear in RethinkWaste newsletters and other educational materials.
In addition, contest winners may be recognized at upcoming City Council meetings.

As a reward for their submissions all winners received fun eco-friendly prizes!

See our Art Gallery page for previous year’s Poster Contest winners.

2021 RethinkWaste Poster Contest – Open Now!

The 8th annual RethinkWaste poster contest is now accepting submissions!

The theme for the 2021 contest is “Compost Champions!” Students are encouraged to illustrate why is it so important to compost our food scraps, dirty paper, and yard trimmings. We want to see how you compost like a champion with your family, friends, or class!

Entry Details
All 3rd through 5th grade students attending schools located in the RethinkWaste service area* are eligible to enter the contest.

Poster submissions must be on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper in landscape orientation. Any 2D mediums may be used, including paint, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. Use of bright, rich colors are recommended. Only one entry per student will be acceptedArtwork must be original – posters that contain copyrighted images will be disqualified.

The deadline for poster entries is Friday, October 29, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. via our online submission form.

Prizes
The 1st Place poster will be enlarged and displayed on the side of a Recology truck with routes in the winning artist’s local neighborhood. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners will receive gift packs full of fun, reusable items! All winning posters will also be highlighted on the RethinkWaste website and in other promotional materials.

View examples of previous years’ Poster Contest winning submissions here.

*The RethinkWaste service area includes Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, the County of San Mateo and the West Bay Sanitary District.

2021 Trash to Art Winners Announced

RethinkWaste is excited to announce the winners of its ninth annual “Trash to Art” Contest, which was open to all 3rd through 5th grade students in the RethinkWaste service area. The contest challenged students to build a piece of art from normally discarded materials collected at home, school, and around the community.

The student artists submitted original creations, ranging from intricate collages and detailed models to fully functional games and tools! We received over 80 entries, making it very difficult to narrow down to just three winners, and so we have three Honorable Mention winners as well. All winners were recognized by RethinkWaste Staff and the Board of Directors at a virtual Trash to Art Recognition event on Saturday, April 17th.

The winners and their respective cities and schools are listed below:

First Place
Cooper D, 5th grade, Hoover Elementary, Burlingame for “King and Queen of Trash”

Second Place
Amen Y., 4th grade, LEAD Elementary, San Mateo for “Paper Pinch Pot”

Third Place
Cassidy L., 5th grade, Nueva School, Hillsborough for “Geometric Bee”

Honorable Mention
Taisei M., 5th grade, Roosevelt Elementary, Burlingame for “Re-think Bottles”

Honorable Mention
Ella C., 5th grade, Roosevelt Elementary, Burlingame for “Eco House”

Honorable Mention
Justin T., 3rd grade, White Oaks Elementary, San Carlos for “Virus Slayer Helmet”

In addition to being acknowledged during the Trash to Art Recognition video call, the winning students will receive special recognition at upcoming City Council meetings in their respective cities.

Finally, as a reward for their creative efforts, 1st to 3rd place contest winners will receive a gift card to a fun destination of their choice. 

Hazardous Waste 101 Webinar Follow-Up

RethinkWaste held a Hazardous Waste 101 Webinar on February 18, 2021 (National Battery Day). This page provides the webinar recording, presentation slides, links to more resources, and all of the questions (with answers) submitted by attendees. If you have additional questions, fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Resources

Powerpoint Presentation

Household Hazardous Waste

Safe Home Cleaning

Webinar recording and live Q&A

Questions and Answers

1. What do I do with pressure treated wood?

Pressure treated wood is now classified as hazardous waste. To dispose of it, residents can bring it to the San Mateo County HHW facility for proper disposal. Set up on this acceptance should be happening soon. Check for updates on treated wood waste disposal on the County website.

2. How do I get battery collection in my apartment complex?

If you don’t see one at your location, ask your property manager or owner to get a bucket for your building(s) from Recology for free. Please note that only property managers/owners can request a bucket and coordinate pickups.

3. What is the history of National Battery Day?

We’re unsure of the exact origins of National Battery Day, but for us at RethinkWaste, the day is meant for raising awareness around battery hazards, risks, and proper disposal.

4. What happens to all the stuff that is recycled at the County HHW facility?

Depending on the item, some are recycled or reused and some are burned as fuel. Very little goes to the landfill.

5. How do I dispose of batteries that are in electric toothbrushes, smoke detectors, etc?

If you can’t remove the battery from the electric toothbrush, it is called an embedded battery which needs to be brought to the County HHW facility. Smoke detectors can sometimes be sent back to the manufacturer if they have a takeback program, or you can bring them to the Shoreway Public Recycling Center.

6. How to dispose of scrap lumber, not pressure treated, from household? 2×4 scraps, etc?

Scrap lumber can be brought to the Shoreway Environmental Center and will be classified as construction and demolition debris. There may be a fee associated with drop off. For pricing information, click here.

7. Are rechargeable battery packs (such as ones used for phones) allowed to be disposed of curbside with other batteries?

Yes, you can place these batteries in a bag with other batteries and place on top of your black garbage cart on collection day. Double check if you need to tape these batteries if they are lithium-ion.

8. Where can we recycle portable tools that have a rechargeable battery?

These can also be brought to the Shoreway Public Recycling Center, hardware stores like Home Depot, or if you live in a single-family household, you can put them in a zip-top bag and place on top of your garbage cart for your regular collection day. If you live in an apartment or condo with an orange battery bucket, you can place these batteries in there as well.

9. How do I dispose of empty red plastic gas containers?

If this container has a chasing arrows symbol with a number #1-7, it can go into the recycling. If no chasing arrow, it should go in the garbage.

 

 

10. Do you have to use specifically distilled white vinegar for mold? Can you use other types of vinegar?

Other vinegars like apple cider vinegar have a stronger scent, so we haven’t tried cleaning with it. But distilled white vinegar usually comes in larger sizes, is cheaper, and works well in cleaning.

11. How do you wash windows?

Diluted vinegar with water, and a microfiber cloth will clean up grime and fingerprints on the inside and outside of windows.

12. Why use microfiber cloths?

Microfiber cloths catch dirt and dust, and dry quickly. Remember to hang dry microfiber cloths after washing and avoid putting them in the dryer.

If you have more questions, fill out the form below!

Contact Form

Attention Atherton Residents: New Service Information

On September 16, 2020, the Town of Atherton’s Council voted in favor of exiting the South Bayside Waste Management Authority Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and to finalize contract negotiations with GreenWaste Recovery for recycling, compost, and solid waste services. 

This means that the current contract the Town of Atherton has with Recology San Mateo County for waste collection services will expire on December 31, 2020.  

Please review the GreenWaste Atherton webpage for more information about the transition and information about new services, rates, and more. General questions and answers for residents can be found below.

The Town of Atherton has been a longtime valued member of the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA/RethinkWaste) and we respect their decision.

Atherton customers can direct all inquiries regarding new services and rates that will begin January 1, 2021 to GreenWaste Recovery at (650) 798-5999 or by visiting the GreenWaste Atherton webpage.

This section highlights general questions and answers for Atherton residents to refer to.

1. Why will Recology no longer be my waste hauler?

The Town of Atherton decided at its September Town Council to exit the Joint Powers Authority. All information regarding the exit can be found here.

2. When will I no longer have Recology as my waste hauler?

Effective January 1, 2021, your new waste hauler will be GreenWaste.

3. What will happen to my carts?

Your Recology carts will be removed at the same time your new carts are delivered on your service day. According to Recology and GreenWaste, the cart replacement process will begin on January 18, 2021 and will occur during a 3-4 week period. Set all carts in their service location by 6:30am on your service day, even if they are empty. GreenWaste and Recology are using the same cart removal/delivery subcontractor to minimize the opportunity for disruption. You will receive the same size and number of carts you currently have based on the information in Recology’s database. More information on Recology‘s and GreenWaste‘s websites

4. Will my carts get serviced if my regular collection day falls on Christmas and New Year’s Day?

There are no collection services on Christmas Day. Friday customers, whose Recycling, Compost, and Garbage service falls on Christmas Day, will be serviced on Saturday, December 26, 2020 by Recology San Mateo County. Please have carts out by 6:00 a.m. for regular collection services.

There is also no collection services on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2021. If your service day is on this day, your service collection day will be on Saturday, January 2, 2021 by GreenWaste.

5. What do I do with my holiday tree?

Holiday tree collection services will occur through GreenWaste since Recology’s new holiday tree schedule is now January 2 – 31.

Households wanting to dispose of their holiday trees (non-flocked trees) before January 1 should place holiday trees inside their green compost cart. If the tree is larger than 8 feet, please cut trees in half and place inside green compost carts. Please remove all decorations and tree stands.

6. How will the waste hauler changing affect my costs?

All information about new services and costs with GreenWaste can be found on their website at: https://www.greenwaste.com/service_area/atherton/

7. Can I still drop off at the Shoreway Transfer Station and Public Recycling Center?

Yes, the Shoreway Transfer Station and Public Recycling Center are open to all members of the public.

RethinkWaste Announces 2020 Poster Contest Winners

RethinkWaste is very excited to announce the winners of its seventh annual poster contest, which was open to all 3rd through 5th graders attending schools in the RethinkWaste service area.  This year’s poster theme was “Rethinking Waste on the Move.”  The artwork from local student artists illustrated the creative ways students are practicing the 4R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot) while spending time in outdoor spaces.

The winners and their respective cities and schools are listed below:

First Place
Ella K., 5th Grade, Hoover Elementary School, Burlingame for “Taking the 4R’s Everywhere I Go!”

Second Place
Nikita G., 3rd Grade, Brewer Island Elementary, Foster City for “My Family Picnic!

Third Place
Lucie B., 4th Grade, Nesbit Elementary, Belmont for “We Can Help the World”

Honorable Mention
Ellie K., 4th Grade, The Carey School, San Mateo for “Costumes Reused”

The First Place poster will be featured on the side of a Recology collection truck with routes in Burlingame, so the winner will see their artwork around their neighborhood this spring!  In addition, contest winners will be recognized at upcoming City Council meetings.

Full Press Release.