Recycling Crisis: It’s Here, It’s Serious, and We All Need to do our Part!

South San Francisco, CA   July 30, 2019

South San Francisco Scavengers Company has been putting out updates on the recycling crisis that continues to loom over us because China and other foreign countries do not want our trash. And why would they? It’s OUR trash and up to each and everyone of us to do OUR part to reduce this crisis and keep OUR City, State, Country, World junk free.

We must go back to old ways to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, which today may take a bit more focus due to the complexities of the materials being produced, and the excessive wasteful packaging from manufacturers.Too often we hear people complain that we pay a lot of money for our garbage service, and it is up to them to do the sorting – but they can only do their part IF we do ours!

While many of us believe we are recycling by tossing all our plastic stuff in our blue top/ blue bins, the problem continues because not all the stuff we toss is recyclable for a few reasons;  Garbage like plastic wrap, bags, lids, straws & utensils cannot be recycled, and we need to rinse out the items we do toss in the blue bin.

And only CLEAN DRY paper can be recycled in the blue bin/grey top. Wet paper, food scraps, and lawn trimmings belong in our Green bins.

“Why bother to sort our stuff if the recycling truck just dumps everything into one truck” a resident recently asked us. Our response was to share this short video produced by the SSF Scavengers showing the divider in the truck, and what is done with our recyclables back at their facility. (CLICK HERE to watch!)

We can also make a difference by requesting our stores and manufacturers to be mindful with packaging, we vote with our $$ and it does make a difference. Last year Trader Joe’s made the commitment to do their part in reducing plastics: “As we fulfill these steps in 2019, we are eliminating more than 1 million pounds of plastic from our stores. And we expect that number to grow as we continue to identify sustainable opportunities and take action.”

(CLICK HERE to read more about Trader Joe’s actual efforts being done BECAUSE OF CONSUMER INPUT! )

Yes, it does take some work on our part, but it  is our world, and that our of children, and grandchildren, and we all must do our part as stewards of earth.

If you have any questions about your garbage service, or how to recycle,

please contact SSF Scavengers at 650/589.4020 or CLICK HERE


Please! Copy this flyer and be mindful when sorting your garbage, we are all in this together!


For some of us, understanding exactly what our Scavenger Company is up against, and why our efforts are required, we are sharing the following information about this recycling crisis in hopes others will start being more mindful, and encouraging neighbors to do their part.


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Renee Aubuchon
Renee Aubuchon
2 years ago

Heidi, I found out in the last couple of days that our recycling items are going to landfill here in South San Francisco. I have heard from friends in other parts of the country , and from as far away as Australia that their recycled items are also going to landfill. I know I would be willing to pay more for garbage pick-up if some actual recycling was going on. As it is, at the moment, we are apparently paying for recycling trucks to come and pick up things in the recycling bins that go to landfill- just like garbage. If there really is no reccycling going on- couldn’t we spend this money to serve the community in some better way?

SSF Scavenger Company
2 years ago
Reply to  Renee Aubuchon

Recyclables collected by SSF Scavenger are still being sorted at Blue Line Transfer. Clean paper and cardboard, glass bottles & jars, aluminum/metal cans & foil, and many types of plastic containers continue to be recycled. Loads are being trucked/shipped out on a regular basis to reputable recyclers– some, like for glass and aluminum/metal, are recycled in the greater Bay Area.Please follow the instructions in our Service Guides and contact us directly with questions. Do not give up on recycling! We need everyone to shop smart, sort smart, and rely on us to do the rest.

Heidi Beck
Heidi Beck
3 years ago

Guess what’s going on with Rethink Waste (the joint powers authority of 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) — they now landfill all plastic types #3-#7 collected through its recycling programs. You read that right — the recycling isn’t recycled.