Due to increased concerns regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and recently issued directives from San Mateo County Health, the Shoreway Tour Program is suspended until further notice. The health and safety of our visitors is our top priority and postponing tours is a temporary and precautionary measure to help prevent the possible spread of the virus.
RethinkWaste Staff is closely following the progress of this rapidly changing situation and will let everyone know when tours can continue. Please check back to our website or our social media channels for updates. These actions are in line with many cities and school districts in our RethinkWaste service area and we will continue to look to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and San Mateo County Health as our primary source of information and guidance.
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.
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All school tours are 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.
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.
Tour Activity Options
Please let us know what activity you would like your class to participate in when you schedule a tour.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pre-Tour Lesson Plan – 3rd Grade
- Pre-Tour Lesson Plan – 4th-6th Grade
- Tour Common Core Standards Connections – 3rd Grade
- Tour Common Core Standards Connections – 4th Grade
- Tour Common Core Standards Connections – 5th Grade
- Tour Common Core Standards Connections – 6th Grade
- Quiz and Answers
- Vocabulary List
- Waste-Free Lunch Day Worksheet
- Student Permission Slip – English
- Student Permission Slip – Spanish
- Teacher/Chaperone Permission Slip
- Cover Letter
- Lesson Plan #1 – 3rd Grade
- Lesson Plan #3 – 3rd Grade
- Lesson Plan #3 – 4th-6th Grade
- Lesson Plan #10 – 4th-6th Grade
- Class Reflection Worksheet
- Pledge to Waste Nothing
- Fun Facts
Book Your Free School Tour
Choose a date and time below, then answer the questions and click Book Now.