Important Update: COVID-19


Recycling & Waste Prevention Program

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Recycling & Waste Prevention Program
621 Magnolia Avenue
Millbrae, CA 94030
Phone: 650-259-2444

The City of Millbrae offers a variety of free resources, programs, and services to residents, businesses, and schools on waste prevention, recycling, composting, and household hazardous waste.

The City of Millbrae’s Recycling & Waste Prevention Program was formed in 1994 to help meet the state mandated goal to reduce the amount of garbage placed in landfills by 50% by the end of the year 2000. More than 85% of what we discard can be recycled. The City achieved and surpassed the original 50% waste reduction requirement and achieved a 67% waste diversion rate in 2006. The current requirements are based on disposed pounds per person per day and the City achieved 2.9 pounds (5.3 allowed) for reporting year 2018. The Program informs and educates residents, businesses, schools, and city departments on a variety of opportunities to reduce, reuse, recycle, buy recycled products, and information on non-toxic and less toxic products.

Ask us about recycling, waste prevention, composting, buying recycled content products, and non-toxic products. South San Francisco Scavenger Company provides recycling and waste hauling services to Millbrae residents and businesses. For more information and a curbside recycling brochure, call them at (650) 589-4020 or click here to visit them online.

AB 341

California's Mandatory Recycling Law:Commercial Businesses, Multi-Family Complexes & Public Entities

For more information on AB 341, please click here to view the fact sheet.

Debris Box/Dumpster/Roll-Off Bin Information

The City of Millbrae has an exclusive Franchise Agreement with the South San Francisco Scavenger Company for debris box/dumpster/roll-off bin services which requires that they are rented from the South San Francisco Scavenger Company. The one exception is that California State licensed demolition or construction contractors are allowed to self-haul their own garbage and recyclables only if they use their own vehicles, equipment and employees to perform the self-hauling, and as long as such hauling is incidental to their primary business function, e.g., roofer, plumber, etc.
South San Francisco Scavenger Company debris box information:

Residential Services

Curbside Services

Mixed Paper

Put the following types of paper under the grey lid in the recycling cart:

  • Newspaper and newspaper inserts
  • White, computer, fax, printer, and colored paper
  • Letterhead and envelopes (windows OK)
  • Green bar computer paper
  • Junk mail
  • NCR paper
  • Thermal fax paper
  • Post-It Notes
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Cereal, gift, and tissue boxes (chip board)
  • Paper egg cartons (clean)
  • Manila envelopes and file folders
  • Cash register receipts
  • Phone books
  • Postcards
  • Paperback books
  • Paper towel and toilet paper cores
  • Brown and other paper bags, and paper packaging
  • Paper food containers (scraped clean-no cups, or put in yard trimming/food scrap cart)

Do NOT put the following materials under the grey lid in the recycling cart:

  • Paper cups (and plates if too contaminated to recycle) (put in yard trimming/food scrap cart)
  • Carbon paper
  • Toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels
  • Paper clips (reuse them)
  • Metal or plastic binder rings and/or binders
  • Paper food containers (put in yard trimming/food scrap cart)
  • Rinsed coated paper milk and juice cartons (plastic caps and spouts removed)-May be composted in backyard composting systems or dropped off for free at Shoreway Environmental Center, 333 Shoreway Rd., San Carlos, (650)802-8355 -
  • Hardcover books-May be dropped off for free at Sierra Pacific Recycling, 501 Bragato Road, San Carlos, (650)364-3333 or Shoreway Environmental Center, 333 Shoreway Rd., San Carlos, (650) 802-8355
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes should be flattened, bundled, and placed next to the recycling bins.
  • Pizza boxes (put in yard trimming/food scrap cart)

Metal Cans, Plastic Bottles/Containers (#1-#7), Glass and Beverage Containers

Put the following materials under the blue lid in the recycling cart:

  • Aluminum, steel/tin, and bi-metal cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic bottles, beverage containers, tubs and food containers marked on the bottom with #1-#7
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • All colors of glass bottles and jars. Please remove lids and caps.

Do NOT put the following materials under the blue lid in the recycling cart:

  • Broken glass, dishes, ceramics, mirrors, light bulbs, or window glass.
  • Plastic bags-#2 and #4 such as shopping bags, newspaper bags, produce bags, plastic wrapping around toilet paper, etc., may be dropped off for free at Safeway, Lucky, and Trader Joe's.
  • Black plastic- may be mailed to GB Industrial, 1528 Atlantic St., Union City, CA 94587
  • Clean Styrofoam peanuts and bubblewrap- may be dropped off for free at the UPS Store at 423 Broadway Avenue, Millbrae (650) 697-3246.
  • Clean Styrofoam blocks - may also be mailed to GB Industrial, 1528 Atlantic St., Union City, CA 94587

Yard Trimmings and Food Scrap Collection Program

Yard trimmings and food scraps are collected weekly on the same day as garbage and recycling. For more information on the yard trimmings and food scraps program click here, or call the South San Francisco Scavenger Company at (650) 589-4020.

Put the following plant materials in the yard trimmings cart:

  • Cut grass
  • Plant cuttings
  • Leaves and pine needles
  • Shrubs
  • Flowers and weeds
  • Tree limbs less than 5 feet long and 6 inches wide

Put the following food scraps also in the yard trimmings cart:

  • Leftovers
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and bones
  • Vegetable trimmings
  • Dairy
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Food–soiled paper: pizza boxes, paper plates, napkins and cups, paper towels, coffee filters, teabags and more.

Please do not put yard trimmings and food scraps in plastic bags. Plastic bags cannot be composted and contaminates what is collected.

Do NOT put the following materials in the yard trimmings cart:

  • Palm fronds
  • Yucca plants
  • Manure and pet waste
  • Tree trunk sections and large tree limbs

Christmas trees

Place the tree next to the yard waste cart. If it is over 6 feet tall, cut the tree in half. Remove the stand and all decorations and lights. Flocked trees cannot be recycled with South San Francisco Scavenger Company. Take your flocked tree to be recycled for a fee to Shoreway Environmental Center, 333 Shoreway Rd., San Carlos, (650) 802-8355. -

Apartments, Condos, and other Multi-Family Dwellings

Check with your manager to find out about your recycling and garbage services. If there is no recycling program currently offered, ask if your manager will set one up. Call the City's Recycling & Waste Prevention Program at (650) 259-2444 or South San Francisco Scavenger Company at (650) 589-4020 to set up a recycling program for your building.

Backyard Composting

The City sponsors free backyard and worm composting workshops. Free composting guides are also available. Please visit our City Calendar or call (650) 259-2444 for a schedule.

San Mateo County also offers free composting workshops.  For more information visit the Office of Sustainability, or call 888-442-2666.

Millbrae Buy Back Center

The buyback center in Millbrae Square is closed.

Household Hazardous Waste

Curbside Pick-Up
Contact SSF Scavenger for more information on curbside pick-up of the items below.

Motor Oil

  • Pour motor oil into a plastic container with a screw lid. Screw tightly and tape closed. Place oil at curbside by recycling bins.

Oil Filters

  • Place in separate sealed plastic bag in the recycling container under the blue lid on top of the cans and bottles.
  • For free curbside plastic bags, call South San Francisco Scavenger Company at (650) 589-4020.

Household Batteries & Cell Phones

  • Please follow these instructions for safely recycling household batteries and cell phones with your curbside recycling:

    ✔ Place tape over both ends of each used lithium and 9 volt battery; any type of tape will work. Wrap old cell phones in paper.

    ✔ Put used batteries and cell phones inside clear zip-top bags and seal.

    ✔ On your regular collection day, place full bag on top of the lid to your gray Garbage cart.

    What’s Accepted:

    -AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt and button batteries are all accepted through this program.

    NOT Allowed: Lead acid and automotive batteries are not allowed. To find out where to recycle these types of batteries free of charge, call 650.363.4718 or visit

Drop-Off Locations

Bring anti-freeze, household and car batteries, cleaning supplies, pesticides, hobby products, latex paint, motor oil, oil filters, paint thinner, pool products, oil-based paints, fluorescent lights and mercury thermometers to special drop-off locations.

  • San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste Hotline (for an appointment at a local drop-off site), (650) 363-4718 or
  • Blue Line Transfer Station at 500 East Jamie Court, accepts household and car Batteries, Oil, Paint, Antifreeze at their BOPA Center, plus electronic waste (computers, TVs, stereos, phones, cell phones, fax machines, copiers, calculators, pagers, etc.), fluorescent lights and mercury thermometers; (650) 589-5511
  • Millbrae Police Bureau- cell phones, chargers, pagers and accessories may be placed in the labeled box in the lobby. -pharmaceuticals may be placed in the white mail box in the lobby (click here for more information)

Cell phones and unwanted/unused medications can be dropped off at the Millbrae Police Bureau lobby, 581 Magnolia Avenue, Millbrae. Hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Home Generated Sharps can be dropped off at Blue Line Transfer Station Inc., 500 East Jamie Court (off East Grand/Haskins), South San Francisco. Hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 am – 2:00 pm and Saturday 7:00 am – 12:00 pm. Sharps must be contained in a sharps container available at most pharmacies. Available for San Mateo County residents only.

  • Click here for the California Universal Waste Law.
  • Click here for local Millbrae businesses who will collect and recycle your fluorescent lights.

Business Services

A Technical Assistance Program (TAP) is offered to businesses to assist them in reducing waste, setting up and expanding recycling programs and buying recycled products. TAP includes conducting on-site waste evaluations and providing a report of recommendations, providing information, materials, and workshops. Assistance is also provided for Green Business Certification.

Business Resources on Recycling and Waste Prevention

School Program

The Recycling & Waste Prevention Program provides educational resources and assistance in expanding on site recycling programs. Call (650) 259-2444 for more information.

The School Program also includes:

  • Classroom Presentations
  • Art Reuse Workshops
  • Educational Materials
  • School District Library
  • Compost and worm bins

For Kids

Click here for fun and educational kids' activities.


For copies of these free brochures call (650) 259-2444 or view from the links.


Click here for a listing of workshops.

  • Backyard and Worm Composting
  • Compost Giveaway and Demonstrations
  • Sustainable/Organic Gardening


For information on recycling, waste hauling rates, and services call South San Francisco Scavenger Company at (650) 589-4020 or click here to visit them online.

For information on San Mateo County's Office of Sustainability , visit them online at or call 888-442-2666.

For more information on the Sustainable Millbrae Program, click here.

City of Millbrae Recycling & Waste Prevention Program
621 Magnolia Avenue
Millbrae, CA 94030

Write us! We want to hear from you.
Environmental Programs Manager, Shelly Reider 


Alameda County Waste Management Authority

California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA)

California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC)

CPSC: NEW refillable 1lb propane gas cylinder program

CalMAX Portal- California Materials Exchange  


Californians Against Waste



San Mateo County Environmental Health

San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program

Program Coordinator Interview

San Mateo County Office of Sustainability

San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste Program

South San Francisco Scavenger Compnay

United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer