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Mill Valley Refuse Commercial Services

Commercial Recycling Service

Mill Valley Refuse Service provides commercial recycling service in Almonte, Alto, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Homestead, Mill Valley, Strawberry, Tiburon and several unincorporated areas of Marin County. Visit our Commercial Service Guidelines to learn more about our collection service.

It’s the law: California businesses that generate four or more cubic yards of solid waste must recycle. Learn more.

 At a Glance

  • Mixed recycling: it’s okay for commercial customers to mix recyclables (glass, cans, paper etc.) in your brown Recycle Cart(s)
  • Cart(s) must be out for collection by 6:00 a.m. on your designated pickup day
  • IMPORTANT Contaminated carts (ones that contain any material other than approved recycling material) will be dumped and charged as trash
What Goes Where Tool

What Goes Where?

Not sure how to properly dispose of something? Search our What Goes Where tool to find out if a material can be reused, recycled, composted, or disposed of in your trash.

What Can and Can’t Go In The Recycle Cart

Mill Valley Refuse Container Recycle Cart

Below are guidelines about what can and cannot go in your Recycle Cart, but we suggest using the What Goes Where tool above to look up specific items.

The following items are accepted in the Recycle Cart. (If it’s not on the list below, please trash the item.)
  • ​Office paper (any color)
  • Newspaper & magazines
  • Paperboard (like cereal & shoe boxes)
  • Junk mail and catalogs
  • Paper tubes
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Paperback books
  • Shredded paper in a paper bag
  • Cardboard – Cardboard must be packed in 2’x2’x2′ bundles or smaller and tied with twine or string (no plastic tape please) if it does not fit into the cart. If it easily fits in the Paper Cart, cardboard does not need to be bundled.
  • Glass bottles & jars (clean)
  • Aluminum cans & foil (clean)
  • Tin & bi-metal cans and food trays (clean)
  • Pressurized aerosol cans (empty)

The following items are not accepted in the Recycle Cart.
  • Waxed or plastic-coated paper or cardboard
  • Paper towels or tissues
  • Wrapping paper
  • Food soiled paper
  • Juice, soup, soy, milk boxes & cartons
  • Paper cups
  • Styrofoam (with or without the triangle arrows label)
  • Compostable plastic (with or without the triangle arrows label)
  • Light bulbs and CFLs
  • Fluorescent light bulbs*
  • Plate glass, windows or mirrors
  • Ceramics, Dinnerware, Pyrex
  • Plastic bags
  • Juice bags & pouches
  • Metal hangers
  • Paint cans (metal)*
  • Pressurized aerosol cans* (if full or partially full)
  • Propane tanks*

*To dispose of these hazardous wastes visit our Hazardous Waste page.

Recycle Contamination Policy

We know that it can be difficult to determine what materials are recyclable. Unfortunately, when in doubt, it’s better to throw it out (in the garbage) than to risk contaminating your recycling cart.

What is Recycling Contamination?

Contamination is the term used to describe anything that renders your recycled items non-recyclable. Besides ruining good material, contamination increases labor costs at processing plants as workers try to separate contaminated material from good material. Contamination typically occurs when:

  • Non-recyclable items are put in collection carts
  • Bags of recyclables are dropped into carts rather than dumping the recyclables in loose. Bags are NOT torn open at the processing plants so the bag and all its contents end up in the trash.

Common Recycling Contaminants

  • Plastic bags and Packaging (should go into trash)
  • Garbage bags (only garbage goes into garbage bags, do not bag your recyclables)
  • E-Waste/Batteries (see Hazardous Wastes)
  • Scrap Metal & Hangers (should go into trash)
  • Food (should go into your compost cart)
  • Styrofoam (should go into trash)
  • Diapers (should go into trash)
  • Clothing (donate or goes into trash)

Common Recycling Contaminants

How We Address Recycling Contamination

Recycle Carts will not be dumped if heavily contaminated with trash.

Instead, our driver will leave a Violation Notice (click on image at right to see a bigger version) on the cart handle describing the contaminant observed in the cart, and providing an opportunity to clean out the cart for pick up the following week. Or you may opt to request a special pickup (for a fee) after cleaning the cart.

When a cart is tagged, a sticker that describes a number of the most common contaminants will be placed on the cart lid as a permanent reminder of what should NOT be put in the cart.

The common contaminants listed on the violation notice are:

  • Plastic bags and Packaging (should go into your Garbage Cart)
  • Garbage bags (only garbage goes into garbage bags, do not bag your recyclables)
  • E-Waste/Batteries (see Hazardous Waste)
  • Scrap Metal & Hangers (should go into trash)
  • Food (should go into your Compost Cart)
  • Styrofoam (should go into your Garbage Cart)
  • Diapers (should go into your Garbage Cart)
  • Clothing (donate or should go into your Garbage Cart)

If you receive a Violation Notice and want to schedule a special pickup, call our office at (415) 457-9760.