Office of Sustainability: Solid Waste Management (4060B)

Program Outcome Statement

Administer and implement solid waste resource conservation programs and policies throughout the County

Program Services

  • Solid waste planning and management
  • Resource conservation program implementation
  • Public education and outreach


The Office of Sustainability Waste Reduction Program’s mission is to advance environmental sustainability by working with residents, businesses, and institutions throughout San Mateo County to encourage environmental stewardship, implement resource conservation programs and policies, and comply with the California Integrated Waste Management Act (AB 939), the California Mandatory Commercial Recycling Act (AB 341), and the California Mandatory Organics Recycling Act (AB 1826).
The Program administers diversion and resource conservation outreach and education and provides technical assistance programs to schools, businesses, and the general public to meet the diversion goals of the legislative Acts listed above. In FY 2017-18, the Program will continue to expand collaborative opportunities with other local governments, through increased social media marketing, and expansion of the volunteer program.
The Program will also update, as necessary, the Five-Year Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan, investigate alternative funding sources, and explore disposal and diversion options for the South Coastal San Mateo County areas. The Program will continue to focus on addressing illegal dumping in unincorporated County areas, which is a growing issue throughout the County. The Program provides oversight and funding for monitoring and maintenance of three closed County-owned landfills, and recently completed the formal closure of the Pescadero landfill through required construction activities.

Customer Satisfaction with Hotline and Website

Daily Garbage Disposal Per Capita in Unincorporated San Mateo County

Story Behind Performance FY 2017-18 Mid-Year Update

Customer Satisfaction with Sustainability Hotline and Website

Part of the Office of Sustainability Waste Reduction program is a toll-free hotline that provides technical assistance for businesses and residents who have questions about what to do with their unwanted items and waste. This hotline has recently been expanded to provide resources and assistance for all the programs that the Office of Sustainability offers.

Another resource that the Office offers is a website (previously called RecycleWorks) that provides information on recycling, composting, sustainable landscaping, and other sustainability related topics. The website receives more than 300,000 page views every year.
This measure tracks the level of customer satisfaction with these two services by sending a survey to 100 customers asking about their experience with the website or the hotline.

Daily Garbage Disposal Rate Per Person in Unincorporated San Mateo County

The Program measures solid waste disposal rates in pounds per person per day from the unincorporated County areas into landfills in California. The disposal rates reported from the unincorporated areas meet and are less than the target goals set by the State of California, which is favorable. The Program's focus is on diversion, resource conservation, outreach, and education which all contribute to meeting this measure. An important factor that can affect disposal rates is the recovery of the economy and people utilizing more non-recyclable disposable products, which increases the tons disposed of in landfills. Another component of reducing disposal is balancing the staff time needed for outreach and education to residents and businesses with the staff time required to address the increase in illegal dumping and clean-up efforts in the unincorporated areas. Staff time dedicated to these types of issues (illegal dumping and clean-up efforts), may affect the Program's ability to meet its targets.

Note: Since CalRecycle tracks disposal in terms of calendar year, each datapoint reflects disposal rates for the first half of the fiscal year and the second half of the previous fiscal year. For example, the disposal rate for FY-2014-15 reflects the disposal rate for CY 2014.

Author: Gordon Tong, Sustainability Program Manager     Contact Email:     Last Updated: 01/29/2018