The Sustainability Academy

Sustainability Logo

The County of San Mateo's Office of Sustainability (OOS)
is offering no-cost educational opportunities to residents, employees, students and business owners in San Mateo County as part of a program called the Sustainability Academy (Academy) (formerly known as the RecycleWorks Volunteer Academy).

These Academy offerings are hands-on, instructed by local sustainability experts, and provide participants with skills and knowledge to conserve resources at home, at work, and offer participants access to cutting-edge sustainability information and best practices.

After the completion of select offerings, the Academy requires that participants volunteer their time to share what they've learned with others in the County. The Academy supports and encourages participants to find different ways to volunteer that is most meaningful and fun for them!

Our Academy offerings in fall/winter 2016

Please check back later for additional offerings in 2016 and early 2017!

How to sign-up?

"The Sustainability Academy's Master Compost and Solid Waste Course gave me the opportunity to learn the cycle of composting and give life back to our Earth."

- Mathews Jacob, 2015-2016 Program Year Academy

Please contact Eun-Soo Lim, our Sustainability Academy Coordinator, at or (650) 599-1498, toll free at 1-888-442-2666.

You must be 14 years or older to attend the classes, and a resident, business owner, employee, or student located within San Mateo County. If you need ADA accommodations please contact us four (4) business days prior to the first class you will be attending.

Why participate in the Academy?

RecycleWorks Sustainability Academy
Academy participants gearing up for a private tour of a solid waste sorting facility
  • These courses are instructed by local sustainability experts, who will incorporate cutting-edge sustainability knowledge and practices into each class.
  • You'll learn leadership and communication skills that you can use to promote resource conservation to others in the County.
  • You're sure to make new connections and friends!
  • You'll use your newfound sustainability skills to lead sustainability-focused volunteer projects right here in San Mateo County.
  • You'll learn practical, hands-on resource conservation skills that you can use at home and at work!
  • If you enroll in an 8-week Master Course, you can earn a certificate of completion after fulfilling your course's volunteer commitment.
  • If you are a student, you can potentially fulfill your school's volunteer commitment through our program.

A great opportunity to volunteer in San Mateo County!

While we encourage all Academy participants to volunteer in their communities, each participant enrolled in the 8-week Master Courses will have support from course instructors and OOS staff to complete the 40 volunteer hours requirement of the program within a year after the completion of the courses.

We encourage participants to volunteer in an activity that is fulfilling and fun for them, and help connect them to volunteer opportunities and resources that meet their needs. Past participant volunteer projects have included teaching at local elementary school classes or public libraries about composting and tabling at a County-sponsored events to engage with event attendees on sustainability topics.

Participants who fulfill their 40 hour volunteer commitment will receive a certificate of completion from the County of San Mateo as recognition of their commitment to sustainability and their community.

Sustainable Transportation Series
Academy participants learning the ins-and-outs about electricity smart meters from a PG&E utility representative.


For a list of Academy resources, please visit: here


To find out more about the Academy, please contact Eun-Soo Lim, our Sustainability Academy Coordinator, at or (650) 599-1498, toll free at 1-888-442-2666.

If you would like to stay in the loop about these offerings and other upcoming Academy and OOS events, please join our list serve at

This educational program is made available through the County of San Mateo.