Almanac

Community - August 28, 2013

Recycling authority launches new website

What do a box of chicken soup, a broken tea cup and a potato chip bag have in common? If you think you've mastered which items should be recycled, composted and tossed in the garbage can, a surprise or two may be awaiting you at the website of RethinkWaste.

RethinkWaste, the joint powers authority managing waste collection for most cities and towns in San Mateo County, recently announced a new website that it says is "easier to navigate and more visually appealing" for the communities served in the county, including Menlo Park and Atherton. (Portola Valley and Woodside contract with GreenWaste Recovery Inc. of San Jose.)

The website includes an interactive game asking visitors to dispose of more than 50 household items. The three items mentioned above are all considered garbage and should go into the appropriate container of the three available to county residents: black for garbage, blue for recycled materials, and olive green for compost.

A link to the Home Diversion Calculator gives residents an idea of how much material they're keeping out of landfills. It's the first step in an initiative to recognize residents for their efforts and motivate them to do more, the agency says.

The website includes a photo of the San Carlos recycling facility keyed to numbers that, when hovered over by the cursor, describe what goes on there, including the highly coordinated, mesmerizing, and loud interaction of conveyor-belted machinery that sorts recylable materials.

Free tours for school and business groups, and open-house days for the public, are available through links at the website. Headphones are part of the gear distributed for the tours.

Go to rethinkwaste.org for more information.

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