(415) 457-9760 Mill Valley Refuse Service 112 Front Street San Rafael, CA 94901
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.
As you begin to type in a material, the What Goes Where tool will predict the entry and offer helpful material suggestions and synonyms that may not be an exact match but will likely be a larger category bucket that your material falls into. For example, a search for “plastic honey jar” will result in a few suggestions, the correct match is “plastic sauce bottle.”
Food scraps and food-soiled paper make up about 23% of Marin's residential waste stream, and as much as 40% of all food harvested is wasted in one way or another as described in this excellent short video. When you compost in your green can, your organic waste will be diverted from the landfill to create a rich and nutritious soil amendment that can be put back in the earth, closing the "recycling loop."
Commercial businesses that generate a lot of food waste, such as restaurants and supermarkets, will have to begin composting that food waste in the near future. Currently, California law AB 1826, requires businesses that generate eight yards or more of food waste per week to compost. That is such a huge amount of food waste that it impacts only a few businesses.
However, in the next few years, lower levels of food waste generated per week phase in, and eventually ALL businesses that generate such waste will be required to compost it. The best way to learn about AB 1826 is to visit CalRecycle’s website.
Although your business may not generate enough food waste to fall under the mandatory composting rules now, there’s no need to wait if you want to begin food composting. Your current trash bill already includes a limited amount of compost service, and MVRS offers additional food composting service options if needed. For information about those options, go to our Garbage Service page and click on the Terms & Conditions link for the town in which your business is located. Under the Commercial section of those Terms, you will see the heading Additional Compost Service Available, which spells out how to add more compost service. Or call our office at 415-457-9760, X 12.
Single-family residents have been composting their food waste for years now. Apartment and condo complex residents can participate too. Some that already are include the Cove Apartments in Tiburon, the Villa Tiburon apartments in Strawberry, Eucalyptus Knolls in Mill Valley, and Sandpiper Circle in Corte Madera, among others.
If you're a tenant in an apartment building or a condo owner, and your complex is not yet participating in our food composting program, just ask your property manager to call our office to learn how easy it is to become an Active Participant in food composting (Learn how here). We will supply one kitchen countertop pail for each unit in an apartment or condo complex, plus green compost carts at no extra charge to the existing trash bill. We can provide these services only if requested by a person authorized to order service for your complex (usually a representative of the management company whose name is on the trash bill). Tell the manager or property owner they may be able to reduce the cost of trash service by becoming and Active Participant in food composting. If enough tenants reduce their waste stream by composting food waste, your apartment or condo complex may be able to reduce the number of trash cans your complex is currently using.
Property owners may be able to reduce rates by becoming an Active Participant in food composting. Learn how here.
MVRS offers a less expensive 20-gallon can rate for customers who recycle and compost so much that they do not fill larger-size cans with trash. You must purchase a new 20-gallon can from a local store if you wish to switch to the 20-gallon can rate. Reduce, reuse, recycle and compost as much as you are able to see if you can drop a can size and save money in the long run.
Because food scraps and yard waste are being composted together, we can't pick up yard waste in plastic bags. If you have extra yard waste that you want taken away and composted, it must be placed in cans that we are able to dump out or large paper bags designed for yard waste (available in many stores).
Yard waste in plastic bags will have to be dumped as garbage at a charge of $8.00 per 32-gallon bag and will not be composted. Extra paper bags or 32-gallon cans of yard waste are $6.00 per bag (or can) to pick up.
Please see our Compost FAQs.
You might also find these downloadable pdfs helpful: