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 Year End Update

The Office of Sustainability (OOS) has a hotline and website that provides information to residents and businesses throughout the county on various programs and as well as sustainability technical assistance. The hotline is staffed by the Waste Reduction team and has primarily provided information on recycling, composting, and waste reduction to callers. Additionally, it provides resources and assistance for all the other programs offered by the OOS. The OOS also runs and maintains a website that provides information on all sustainability topics from climate change to active transportation to waste reduction and recycling.

To obtain feedback and measure customer satisfaction with both of these services, the Waste Reduction team has included a link to a survey at the bottom of their email signatures asking for feedback. The results of this survey are then tallied and filtered out to reflect only efforts by the Waste Reduction team. The team aims for a 95 percent satisfaction rate, which is categorized by respondents to the survey responding to the questions with “satisfied” or higher.

The Waste Reduction team measures solid waste disposal rates in pounds per person per day from the unincorporated county areas into landfills in California. As of last year, 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 focus of the Waste Reduction team 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 OOS’ 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