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Preventing Pollution


Pollution Prevention Program
A Healthier Environment for Healthier People

Sign up for the Pollution Prevention Program biannual newsletter. Read the Fall 2023 newsletter here.

Follow the Environmental Health Services blog to stay updated on upcoming events and program highlights. 

The Pollution Prevention Program conducts outreach and education on a variety of environmental and public health topics to encourage residents to protect their health and the environment.


HHW Program Overview

San Mateo County’s HHW Program helps residents reuse, recycle, or responsibly manage residential hazardous waste for free. There are multiple easy and free ways to safely and properly remove HHW from your home. County residents can:

  1. Local Drop-off locations: Find convenient, local recycling and disposal options for paint, electronics, batteriesfluorescent lights, medicines, 1 lb. propane cylinders, and more. 
  2. Curbside Pick up: Take advantage of battery and used oil pick-up on your recycle/garbage collection day. Check your hauler for details.
  3. Make an HHW drop-off appointment online, or call 650-372-6200. Review the program rules and schedule an appointment that’s convenient for you.  
General information

Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Cleanup Day is an annual waterway and land cleanup held in  September. It’s California’s largest volunteer event and brings community awareness to protecting our marine environment from litter. 

San Mateo County Environmental Health Services coordinates the event in partnership with the California Coastal Commission, the Ocean Conservancy, and many local partners.

General information

Cigarette Butt Litter Reduction Program

Do you smoke cigarettes? Take our 1-minute survey and receive a free reusable pocket ashtray and a $5 gift card while supplies last.

Cigarette butts that are dropped or flicked away as litter can easily be blown or washed into storm drains that lead directly into waterways without filtration. In addition to being unsightly, cigarette butts never disappear because they are made of plastic and do not biodegrade. They are toxic to marine and freshwater wildlife.