Residential solid waste and recycling services

Blue recycling cart

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Magazines and junk mail
  • Metal cans and aluminum foil
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Paper egg cartons and newspaper
  • Plastic containers numbered 1 through 7 (except black plastic, plastic bags or polystyrene foam)
  • Small scrap metal

Green organics cart

  • Food scraps (meat and bones, dairy, fruits, and vegetables)
  • Food contaminated paper products (plates, napkins, and cups)
  • Pizza boxes
  • Yard trimmings (grass clippings and pruning)
Please no cooking oil, animal waste, treated wood, or diapers.  Use a kitchen pail for collecting food scraps in your home.

Biodegradable bags certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute are acceptable.  View the list of acceptable bags.

Black garbage cart

  • Bagged animal waste
  • Black plastic
  • Ceramics and glassware
  • Diapers
  • Juice and soup boxes
  • Mirrors and window glass
  • Nursery plant containers
  • Packaging peanuts
  • Plastic bags and film
  • Polystyrene foam packing
  • Regular light bulbs
  • Snack papers and wrappers
These items CANNOT be placed in the black garbage cart:
  • Batteries or cell phones
  • Fluorescent lights, tubes or CFLs
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Medicines
  • Motor oil or filters
  • Sharps, needles, syringes or lancets
  • TVs, computers or monitors

How to properly set out residential carts


Carts must be placed curbside (in the street) with wheels against the curb, or roadside, with about 24 inches between each cart. Arrows on lids should point toward the street. View a picture of the proper cart set out.

Holiday tree recycling 


From December 26 through January 31, holiday trees will be picked up curbside from homes and businesses. To recycle trees during this time:
  • Remove all decorations and tree stands (flocked trees are accepted).
  • Trees may be up to 8 feet in length. If the tree is longer than 8 feet, please cut before placing out for service.

Single family homes


  • Recycle trees on regularly scheduled compost collection day
  • Place next to green organics cart

Apartments and businesses


  • Please call Recology or visit the Recology San Mateo County website to arrange for tree collection.
  • Trees can be collected in a predetermined area (in a pile) or in a "drop box" for no additional charge.
After January 31, trees must fit into curbside organics carts for collection.

For information regarding service changes and inquiries, cancellations and billing please contact Recology directly.