Frequently Asked Questions


I'd like to compost in my backyard.  Do you have tips on how to do it?

Food ScrapsRecology is a large-scale composter.  Our technologies and techniques for composting are different than those of backyard composting, but the basics are the same. You need air, water and bugs to turn food scraps and yard trimmings into a valuable soil amendment.

We recommend the EPA's page "Create Your Own Compost Pile" to learn about backyard composting.

What can I do with the stuff that's hard to recycle?

Hard to recycle items include:

  • Electronics, such as TVs, computers and mobile devices
  • Hazardous materials like paints, chemicals, and cleaning supplies
  • Styrofoam, plastic bags, and large hard plastics
  • Furniture, appliances and other large, irregularly sized items

Each city has different capabilities for handling hard to recycle materials.  Click on each of the links above to be redirected to how San Bruno residents can dispose or recycle the items listed above.

 What types of materials can I recycle?  What number plastics are recyclable?

Traditionally recyclable materials include:

  • Glass (including unbroken clear, green and brown glass containers of all shapes and sizes, wine, soda and milk bottles)
  • Paper, cardboard and wood (including office paper, paper bags, soft cover books, phonebooks, notebooks, envelopes, construction paper, cake mix, cereal and shoe boxes, corrugated cardboard, and empty toilet and paper towel rolls) 
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals (including aluminum cans and aluminum foil, pie plates, cat food containers, beer, soda, soup and tin cans, and wire hangers)
  • Plastic (including water and soda bottles, yogurt containers, laundry detergent bottles, disposable cups, shampoo bottles, and milk jugs)

Recyclable Plastics ChartRecycling programs vary from place to place, however here in San Bruno we can accept plastic containers stamped with a recycle symbol and the #1 - #7.

Please note: Not all plastics are recyclable. Make sure that the plastic item you intend to recycle has a number within the chasing arrow mark somewhere on the packaging. If there is none, that item is not recyclable.

Click Here for more information on Recology San Bruno's Recycling Program.

 Where can I donate my couch, dresser, or other bulky items?

We accept appliances, furniture and mattresses, books, clothing, carpets, toilets, and almost any other "bulky" item in the twice annual On-Call Collection program. Click here to be redirected to the guidelines regarding the On-Call Collection.

I recycle a lot of cardboard.
Will it fit inside the recycling cart? The 64-gallon recycling cart can accommodate cardboard, however, we recommend that you breakdown or flatten the cardboard to maximize space. Excess cardboard that doesn't fit inside the recycling cart needs to be bundled and tied, so it does not blow away and litter the streets. Place extra bundles alongside the recycling cart for service.

I have more recyclables than will fit in my cart. What should I do?
For those households with large families or who regularly recycle more than 64-gallons each week, please set your extra recyclables next to your blue cart in paper bags or cardboard boxes and they will be removed on your regular recycling day.

I have more questions!  Where can I learn more?

Have you visited our Recovered Resource blog?  You may find answers to your questions there.  We're also on Facebook, Twitter, and at your community events.  You can also always contact us with your questions!