The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said they collected nearly 400 pounds of illegal fireworks during the county’s first anonymous fireworks buyback event.

A member of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office inspects a box of fireworks surrendered during the June 25, 2023, buyback event. (Courtesy San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

Held at the parking lot of 2500 Middlefield Road in Redwood City was a no-questions-asked opportunity for people to surrender fireworks of any kind for safe disposal.

The five-hour event was held by the Sheriff’s Office and county Supervisor Warren Slocum’s office. Based on weight, up to $75 in cash was paid to people who turned in their fireworks.

The goal was to cut down the illegal use of fireworks throughout San Mateo County.

“The Fourth of July holiday is a great day to spend time with friends and family. It’s also one of the busiest nights of the year for our patrol deputies,” said San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus. “Illegal fireworks pose serious risks to our community and has negative impacts on everyone’s quality of life. This buyback was intended to give people an opportunity to turn in their fireworks and help make everyone’s holiday safer. I want to thank Supervisor Slocum for his support in making this such a successful event.”

Among the material collected included military grade smoke grenades, M-80s, aerial rockets and mortar style fireworks. Sheriff’s Office explosive ordnance disposal technicians were on site in case of any unsafe circumstances.