School Tours

Thank you for your interest in touring the Shoreway Environmental Center! We are always looking for ways to improve our equipment and processes, and have just begun the installation of new, updated machinery. While exciting, this project involves major construction, major time commitments and major public safety concerns!

We are still able to accommodate school groups that arrive via bus. No-charge busing is provided for 3rd-5th grade classes in our service area of Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, parts of the unincorporated San Mateo County, and the West Bay Sanitary District. Due to space limitations, we do not have space for multiple vehicles to park.

Please be advised that tour access to certain areas of the facilities may also be affected by construction activity.

We express our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience! If you have questions or inquiries about these changes, please contact us.


School tours of the award winning state-of-the-art Shoreway Environmental Center in San Carlos offer students an opportunity to learn first-hand what happens to their recyclables, yard trimmings, food scraps and garbage at a working Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Transfer Station. View our school tour requirements here.

Scroll down or click below to find more information information on:


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2019 Fall Tour Changes

All 2019 Fall school tours will be an hour and a half long. Teachers can schedule a tour here. Tours are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. No-charge busing is provided for 3rd-5th grade classes in our service area of Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, parts of the unincorporated San Mateo County, and the West Bay Sanitary District. 

Tours are offered Tuesday-Friday from 9:30-11am and Monday-Wednesday* from 12:30-2pm.

*No-charge bus transportation is not available on Wednesday afternoons.

Standard Tour includes:

  • An hour-and-a-half visit to the Transfer Station, Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), and Education Center with museum quality exhibits, Outdoor Environmental Education Center, Solar and Water Conservation Kiosk, and more.
  • Learning about resource conservation and the 4Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot) that are aligned to the State Common Core Standards.

To ensure the safety of all visitors, a maximum of 40 individuals (students and chaperones) are allowed per tour. Tours are on a first-come-first-served basis. View our school tour requirements here.

To schedule your FREE tour, please use the form at the bottom of this page. You will receive a confirmation email once you have scheduled a tour.


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Tour Activity Options

Please let us know what activity you would like your class to participate in when you schedule a tour. 

  1. Sorting Game: Students will have the opportunity to practice sorting a bag of waste as a group. The waste examples will include common, everyday items as well as a few tricky ones that will require students to use their critical thinking skills to choose the proper bin (compost, recycling, or trash) for where the item belongs.
  2. Natural Resource Matching Game: Students will learn what natural resources their everyday items come from. As a class, they will then decide if that resource is renewable or non-renewable.
  3. Planting Activity*: Students will discuss nutrient recycling and how materials in their green compost cart are processed to make compost. Students will use this compost to plant a seed in biodegradable cups.

*Availability dependent on weather.

The tour program seeks to engage students and increase their knowledge through active learning experiences. The curriculum goal is to educate kids in resource conservation and 4R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot/Composting) behaviors so that they will be empowered to conserve resources in their lives and practice recycling at their schools and residences.

The tour activities are based on the best practices in environmental education and provide connections to the California State Common Core Standards. The Tour Menu above offers teachers an opportunity to choose a call-to-action supplemental activity for students.


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Pre-Tour Materials:


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Post-Tour Materials:


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Book Your Free School Tour

Choose a date and time below, then answer the questions and click Book Now.

School Tour

Free

We offer fun and educational tours for schools and youth groups.

Due to construction and space limitations, we do not have space for multiple vehicles to park on site.
To ensure the safety of all visitors, a maximum of 40 individuals (students and chaperones) are allowed per tour.
To ensure the safety of all visitors, a maximum of 40 individuals (students and chaperones) are allowed per tour.

PLEASE NOTE: Booking a tour is free. When you click the "Book Now" button below, you'll go to the final step, where we will get your contact information. Your tour is not booked until you finish the entire process.

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Description

The Environmental Education Team at RethinkWaste is excited to be partnering with you to help teach your students about our current solid waste system, including tangible ideas they can implement after the tour. Tours are now 1.5 hours. Please note that due to exciting new updates to our processes and machinery, all tours must arrive in 1 bus or vehicle. Our agency offers buses at no cost to 3rd through 5th grade classes in Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Unincorporated San Mateo County, and West Bay Sanitary District.