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About Us

  • History
    RethinkWaste is a joint powers authority of twelve public agencies (Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, the County of San Mateo and the West Bay Sanitary District) in San Mateo County, California and is a leader in the delivery of innovative waste reduction and recycling programs. RethinkWaste owns and manages the Shoreway Environmental Center which receives all of the recyclables, organics, and garbage collected in its service area. RethinkWaste also provides strategic oversight, support and management of service providers that collect, process, recycle and dispose of materials for the 12 Member Agencies. RethinkWaste, also known as the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA) was formed in 1982.

    The primary goal of RethinkWaste is to provide cost effective waste reduction, recycling, and solid waste programs to member agencies through franchised services and other recyclers to meet and sustain a minimum of 50% diversion of waste from landfill as mandated by California State Law, AB 939. As of January 1, 2011, Recology San Mateo County (Recology) provides Recycle, Compost and Garbage collection services for the 93,000 RethinkWaste residences and 10,000 businesses.

    RethinkWaste is led by an Executive Director, Kevin McCarthy, who reports to a Board of Directors comprised of elected officials from our Member Agencies. Our offices are located in the San Carlos library building. We also share staff with the City of San Carlos including using the city’s Finance and Accounting Department.

    RethinkWaste owns the Shoreway Environmental Center in San Carlos, and is operated by South Bay Recycling (SBR) on behalf of our Agency. The Shoreway Environmental Center is located at 333 Shoreway Road, San Carlos on the east side of Highway 101, in between the Holly Road and Ralston Avenue exits.

    Shoreway serves as a regional solid waste and recycling facility for the receipt, handling and transfer of refuse, recyclables and organic materials collected from the RethinkWaste service area (southern and central San Mateo County). Residential and commercial solid waste recyclable and organic materials that are collected by the franchise hauler, Recology, are taken to the Shoreway Environmental Center for processing, staging and shipment.
  • Our Mission
    To cost effectively design, implement and manage innovative waste reduction and recycling programs and facility infrastructure that fulfills our fiduciary responsibilities to our Member Agencies while achieving community environmental and economic goals.
  • Our Vision
    RethinkWaste is recognized for its innovative waste reduction and recycling programs and facility infrastructure which are dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the quality of life and the environment for our member agency communities.
  • Our Core Values
    1. Implementing waste reduction, recycling and environmental education programs is paramount to achieving a greater resource conservation ethic and sustainable communities.

    2. Delivering high quality, and cost-effective resources and services for our customers, and contractors (i.e., vendors and service providers).

    3. Providing sound environmental policies and practices for our member agency communities.

    4. Conducting long-term planning for waste reduction and recycling programs and facility infrastructure is fundamental to achieving our mission.

    5. Facilitating excellent communication, collaboration and cooperation among all our stakeholders produces the best long-term results.

  • Our Strategic Priorities
    1. Provide day-to-day oversight, support, and management of service providers that collect, process, recycle and dispose of materials for the Member Agencies.

    2. Ensure contractors’ and RethinkWaste programs are cost effective for the ratepayers.

    3. Provide day-to-day oversight of the Shoreway Environmental Center to meet financial, operational, and environmental goals.

    4. Meet or exceed environmental policies and regulations governing the collection and processing of recyclables and organics.

    5. Anticipate trends and implement innovative long-term solutions for waste reduction and recycling programs, facility infrastructure and disposal capacity.

    6. Monitor and assess contractor performance to ensure customer satisfaction and service delivery that meets or exceeds contractual requirements.

    7. Support RethinkWaste programs and policies through focused community outreach, education and promotion of rate payer value received.

    8. Manage the annual contractor compensation process to set contractor compensation and recommend Member Agency solid waste rate adjustments.

    9. Develop, implement and manage enhanced waste reduction and recycling services for Member Agencies (i.e., curbside HHW/universal waste/e-scrap collection services; seasonal community events such as e-scrap collection and shred events, compost giveaways, etc.; state grants; and other programs approved by the Board of Directors).

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