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(415) 457-9760 Mill Valley Refuse Service 112 Front Street San Rafael, CA 94901

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Mandatory Commercial Recycling & Composting Laws

Please note that this information pertains to Mill Valley Refuse Service commerical customers only. All our commercial customers have been mailed a physical copy of this flyer as well.

Download the complete Commercial Recycling & Composting Flyer here.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Two laws passed by the California Legislature earlier this decade — AB 341 and AB 1826 — set ambitious goals to reduce statewide solid waste disposal up to 75% by 2020. These two laws target commercial recycling and composting (especially food waste) to achieve this goal. Good news: it’s easy — and in many cases costs nothing extra — to be in compliance.

Mill Valley Refuse Service has the programs you need to comply with the law, and in most cases you’re already paying for these services. Your trash bill includes unlimited recycling service and a limited amount of compost service, which can be increased for a charge, if needed. You may be able to reduce your bill by increasing your use of these services. Call our office at 415-457-9760 to learn more. 

View information about composting on our Compost Services page.

View information about recycling on our Recycling Services page.

 

FOOD WASTE—HOW MUCH CAN WE DIVERT RIGHT NOW?

AB 1826 spells out when businesses must subscribe to organics services:

  • January 1, 2017 Businesses that generate 4 cubic yards of organic waste per week must arrange for compost service. Organic waste includes food, landscaping debris and food-soiled paper.
  • January 1, 2019 Businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of solid waste per week must arrange for compost service. Solid waste includes any kind of trash.

Most businesses don’t fall under the 2017 deadline, but many more will in 2019. Even if you don’t, why wait? The benefits of composting include preserving landfill space, reducing greenhouse gasses and maybe even lowering your trash bill. MVRS invites all businesses — no matter what your size or how much organic waste you generate — to call us today. Ask for a representative to visit your site to discuss starting organic waste composting. You should be able to tell your customers that your food scraps do NOT go into the landfill.

 

FOOD DONATION WITH EXTRA FOOD

While composting your organics is great, it’s even better to get surplus food (including produce, baked goods, dairy that has reached its expiration, packaged goods and meat) into the mouths of those who need it.

We are lucky to have Extra Food, a nonprofit organization in Marin County, dedicated to helping you manage surplus food. Extra Food will pick up excess fresh food from businesses & organizations and immediately deliver it to nonprofits serving Marin’s most vulnerable children, adults, and families. Currently they reach over 5,000 individuals per month.

Contact extrafood.org (415-997-9830) to make an appointment with their expert staff who will walk you through the whole process. It’s easy, simple and free! And your business will benefit from a tax deduction based on your donation.

 

CONTAMINATION CAN UNDERMINE YOUR BEST RECYCLING EFFORTS

Last year, prices for recyclables plummeted, and there is no recovery in sight. This has created a problem at processing plants—plant workers are no longer tearing open plastic bags full of material as they come across the sorting belts. That means that if your workers carry recyclables outside in a plastic bag and drop the whole bag into your brown cart, it might not get torn open or recycled at all. Instead of spending extra labor time to tear them open, these bags usually end up in the trash.

This image was taken at a recycling plant this year, showing actual contamination in loads collected by Mill Valley Refuse Service.

Don’t let good recyclables end up in the trash. Please train your workers to dump out the loose contents of those plastic bags into your carts (throw the plastic bags in the trash). That will ensure that your recyclables are actually recycled.