Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works


January 17, 2008


January 29, 2008







Honorable Board of Supervisors


Supervisor Mark Church
James C. Porter, Director of Public Works


Green Business Program for San Mateo County



Adopt a Resolution approving an extension and full rollout of the pilot green business program, and accepting the Green Business Program Report.



Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.

Goal 14: Important natural resources are preserved and enhanced through environmental stewardship.

Goal 22: County and local government effectively communicate, collaborate and develop strategic approaches to issues affecting the entire county.


The expansion of the Green Business Program furthers this commitment and goals by encouraging environmentally friendly practices on a Countywide basis.



On April 24, 2007, your Board unanimously adopted a resolution to establish a pilot phase of the existing Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) BAGBP with several cities in San Mateo County. Supervisor Mark Church presented this program and has been instrumental in its implementation in the seven designated pilot jurisdictions—County of San Mateo (North Fair Oaks and select government facilities), Burlingame, Daly City, Millbrae, Redwood City, San Carlos, and San Mateo. The Waste Management and Environmental Services section of the Department of Public Works (also know as “RecycleWorks”) implemented the pilot program, which began on 7/1/07 and ended on 12/31/07.


The purpose of the pilot program was to: 1) certify 12 businesses and one County department, 2) build administrative program infrastructure while evaluating staff, outreach and financial impacts, 3) build collaborative relationships between ABAG, each city and the technical inspectors, and 4) determine the general program interest level by the participating cities and businesses.


During this pilot period, the RecycleWorks staff worked collaboratively with the participating cities, ABAG, and various technical certification resources through numerous program training and best practice exchange work sessions; as well as frequent phone, email and in-person contact points.


To date, the pilot program results have been extremely positive. A total of
101 businesses applied to be BAGBP certified via the RecycleWorks website. Staff reports that 17 businesses have received final certification, including 555 County Center, 5th Floor, and two others located in unincorporated San Mateo County. Additionally, 11 businesses have substantively completed their reviews; 35 businesses are currently engaged in the evaluation process and; 31 businesses have been wait-listed. Seven businesses withdrew their applications.


The respective city representatives chose to wait-list many applications so that proper attention could be given to the active applications. Once selected, an applicant business works directly with its respective city staff throughout the evaluation process. Each applicant’s work site is inspected for: 1) energy efficiency by PG&E, 2) solid waste reduction & recycling diversion by the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA) and haulers, 3) water efficiency by various water service providers, and 4) general code compliance by the County’s Environmental Health department. Four ABAG business sector checklists were used for these reviews.



Staff recommends the approval of the BAGBP for future implementation beyond the current pilot period. During the pilot period, administrative systems were developed to ensure a successful broad launch of this program. This recommendation is to implement two additional phases of the program:


Phase II (“Ramp Up”) will take place from 2/1/08 to 6/30/08. During this critical phase, staff will: 1) enhance administrative infrastructure elements using lessons learned from the pilot phase, 2) expand eligible ABAG business sectors from 4 to 12 by adding Dentists, Printers, Painters, Auto Body Shops, Remodel Contractors, Landscapers, Wineries, and Small Schools, 3) develop a targeted outreach and multi-media program for the full program launch, 4) solicit program participation to all 20 San Mateo County cities, 5) train staff from new participating cities, and 6) confirm
BAGBP certification for 15 new businesses.


Phase III (“Full Program Launch) will begin on 7/1/08. Based on informal polling, staff believes that a number of new cities in San Mateo County will choose to participate in this program. A press event and a quarterly multi-media campaign will coincide with this program launch. Thirty new businesses are targeted for BAGBP certification between 7/1/08 and 6/30/09. An existing one-quarter time position will continue to be used to staff this program.


A resolution has been approved as to form by County Counsel.



The Waste Management and Environmental Services section of the Department of Public Works will continue to provide program staff to support the BAGBP in
Fiscal Year 2007-08 and beyond. The projected $123,500 annual cost of the program will be funded by $30,000 previously appropriated from the General Fund, $10,000 from SBWMA, and $83,500 from the Solid Waste Fund. Funding for the program in future years will likely come from a combination of the Solid Waste Fund, General Fund, and/or users fees. No additional funding is requested at this time.