Reduce Your Waste
In the United States, more than 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from our material goods and our food: producing, transporting, using and disposing of it. Decomposing organic materials in landfills produces methane gas, a greenhouse gas 80x more powerful than carbon dioxide. Many materials that get sent to landfills could have been recycled or reused.
Good news! Atherton’s solid waste service provider, GreenWaste Recovery (as of January 1, 2021), is one of the most advanced recycling and waste processing operations in the world with a robust network of high-tech sorting and separation systems. The company diverts between 85 and 90 percent of everything it takes in, and does not own a landfill. Read more about their state of the art refuse processing system here. Confused about what goes in the blue, black or green bin? Check out GreenWaste’s guide.
Want to do more to reduce your waste?
1. USE ORGANIC COMPOST IN YOUR GARDEN
Pick up free organic compost from the self service pile at Holbrook Palmer Park, located across from the historic water tower before you reach the Jennings Pavilion Parking Lot. Residents and their gardeners are encouraged to bring their own containers, shovels, and gloves to collect the free compost to apply in Atherton landscapes. The organic compost is the product of Atherton’s green bin – turning yard waste into a productive material that promotes healthy soils while capturing and storing short-lived climate pollutants. The pile will be regularly restocked by GreenWaste with their highest quality product. This effort is part of the Town meeting its commitment to procure 552 tons of compost, under the State’s SB 1383 requirement.
2. SHOP FOR ZERO WASTE AND SAVE MONEY
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10 percent. Eliminate single-use items (plastic cutlery, paper napkins, and towels, plastic water bottles) and replace them with reusables. Bring reusable bags when shopping. Bring your own travel mug to the coffee shop. Carry a refillable water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles. Replace your dryer sheets with dryer balls. Replace cling wrap with beeswax wraps. Avoid products with excessive packaging. Buy loose produce instead of plastic-wrapped. Bring glass jars to the store and buy items in bulk.
3. SAVE TREES: GO PAPERLESS! JOIN THE LIBRARY!
Choose to receive paperless bills! Get a library card and take advantage of the San Mateo County Libraries. In addition to borrowing books, did you know you can also borrow audiobooks, movies, eBooks, and music?
4. DONATE INSTEAD OF TRASH
Your trash could be someone else’s treasure! There are dozens of local organizations that accept donations of food, household items, clothes, cars, baby gear, art, and electronics. Check out San Mateo County’s recycling/donation guide for a comprehensive list.
5. SHOP LOCAL
Buy fresh groceries from a local farmers' market or farm stand! Locally sourced items tend to be fresher and last longer. Support the local economy - and reduce your waste - by shopping at local shops instead of online.