A row of garbage trucks in line at the MVRS yard.

About Mill Valley Refuse Service

Our Mission

To provide high quality and dependable waste collection services that meet the needs of our customers and communities in Southern Marin while minimizing environmental impact.

A Legacy of Quality Service for Over 118 Years

Image of MVRS Ownership 2023: Jennifer Dami, Gene Della Zoppa, Alex Iavarone, and Dave Biggio.Mill Valley Refuse Service, established over 118 years ago, is an indispensable utility serving all of southern Marin, including Almonte, Alto, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Homestead, Mill Valley, Strawberry, Tiburon, and various unincorporated areas of Marin County. In addition to waste collection, the company offers a range of services, including debris boxes, street sweeping, storage boxes, and portable toilet rentals. With a team of 62 dedicated employees, a fleet of over 50 trucks, and an annual collection exceeding 86,000,000 pounds of garbage, recycling, and compost, the company plays a vital role in maintaining Marin’s environment.

Throughout its history, Mill Valley Refuse Service has evolved with a strong family-oriented ethos, expanding its operations and welcoming new partners. Notable contributors include David Biggio (Davide’s son, retired in 2010), Chut Dami, Ray Dami (retired in 2022), Romolo Iavarone (retired in1996), Jim Iavarone (retired in 2021), and Dave Della Zoppa (retired in 2021). Presently, the company is led by a dynamic team of partners, including Dave Biggio (3rd generation), Gene Della Zoppa (3rd generation), Alex Iavarone (3rd generation), and Jennifer Dami, the company’s first woman partner and wife of Ray Dami.

Mill Valley Refuse Service boasts a legacy of generational ownership and an unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch service. The tradition of hands-on involvement runs deep among all partners, past and present, who actively engage in various facets of the business, from carrying garbage cans to personally answering phones. This commitment reflects the company’s dedication to excellence and its enduring impact on the community.

History of Mill Valley Refuse Service


Giovanni and Palmira Biggio with their son Adolph.

Giovanni Biggio, an Italian immigrant in San Francisco, responds to an ad in the local Italian-language newspaper for a “scavenger” (a.k.a. garbage collector) to service the town of Mill Valley’s growing population and establishes Mill Valley Garbage Company. Garbage collection and recycling are collected by horse and wagon. A dump site is created (on what is now Camino Alto Blvd. in Mill Valley) where trash is burned, usable discards are sold for reuse, and green waste is composted for livestock and farming on site. Service soon expanded to other areas of Marin.


Davide Biggio, Giovanni's brother, joins the company, contributing to its growth and operations. From Davide the tradition of generational family ownership begins.


The company motorizes by purchasing a trim garbage truck with solid rubber tires and chain drive, narrow enough for Mill Valley streets.


Aerial view of original Mill Valley Refuse location on Miller Ave.

Mill Valley Garbage Company’s original yard was located where Mill Valley Middle School is now located. At that time, the office was on Miller Ave.


Davide and Mary Biggio standing in Mill Valley 1955.

Davide Biggio (1st generation owner) and his wife Mary in Mill Valley.


Dave Biggio and sister Catherine 1950 in MV

Dave Biggio (2nd generation owner) and his sister Catherine in Mill Valley.


Picture of a Mill Valley Garbage Company Bill from 1962

Example of a Mill Valley Garbage Company handwritten bill from 1962 when the office was still located Mill Valley.


MVRS Old Logo

The company changes its name to Mill Valley Refuse Service (MVRS).


Ariel image of the original MVRS yard in San Rafael

In 1972 the company moved to a relatively undeveloped area (at the time) on East Francisco Blvd. in San Rafael near the entrance to the Richmond Bridge.


The front of the MVRS office on Front St. In San Rafael in 1975

MVRS takes over Marin Sanitary’s old headquarters at 112 Front St. in San Rafael where it remains today.


Group photo of Marin County garbage service owners from the 1970s

At this 1975 picnic are owners from several garbage companies including Marin Sanitary Service and MVRS owners Romolo Iavarone (top row, third from the left), Dave Biggio Sr. (top row third from the right), Chut Dami (bottom row, second from the left).


A blue, “chasing arrows” Recycling Symbol

The Marin Recycling and Resource Recovery Association, formed by Marin Sanitary Service and MVRS (among others), begins curbside pickup of recycling.


MVRS owners in 1985 holding up t-shirts with their names on them

MVRS owners Dave Biggio (2nd generation owner), Romolo Iavarone (1st generation owner) and Chut (Julio) Dami (1st generation owner) at a company picnic in 1985.


Wood Sign for Redwood Sanitary Land Fill Inc in grass meadow

The company changed its solid waste disposal destination from Richmond Landfill to Redwood Landfill in Novato.


Storage Container Rental Truck

MVRS expands to provide aligned services including portable toilet, container, and debris box rental services to Marin and beyond.


MVRS begins offering yard waste composting service and curbside pickup of common Household Hazardous Waste.


Marin Street Sweeping - Mill Valley

Recycling collection service expands to businesses. Street sweeping services are introduced.


Romolo Iavarone (1st generation partner) retires and his son Jim Iavarone takes over as an Owner and Managing Partner.


By 1999, every jurisdiction serviced by MVRS has a full bi-weekly green can yard waste program up and running.


Compost Cart Poster Thumbnail

To support State and County zero waste goals, MVRS expands green can yard waste collection to include weekly collection of food scrap and food-soiled paper composting service.


2018 Image of four MVRS owners in front of a truck

MVRS generational ownership (from left to right) Dave Biggio (3rd generation owner), Dave Della Zoppa, James Iavarone (2nd generation owner), Ray Dami (2nd generation owner).


Image of MVRS Ownership 2023: Jennifer Dami, Gene Della Zoppa, Alex Iavarone, and Dave Biggio.

MVRS generational ownership (from left to right) Jennifer Dami (who took over when her husband Ray Dami retired), Gene Della Zoppa (3rd generation owner), Alex Iavarone (3rd generation owner), and Dave Biggio (3rd generation owner).

Mill Valley Refuse Service Ownership Team

David Biggio

Owner / Managing Partner

As the President and third-generation owner of Mill Valley Refuse Service, David immerses himself in operations and community engagement. Growing up in Mill Valley, he was an active participant in local town leagues for soccer and baseball. David fondly recalls donning a garbage man costume for Halloween and riding alongside his dad on the garbage truck during town parades. After completing his education at Marin Catholic and San Diego State, David entered the solid waste industry, gaining comprehensive experience across various business facets before assuming ownership in 2010.

David’s primary focus revolves around nurturing robust relationships with MVRS employees and customers, emphasizing top-notch customer service within a positive work environment. He finds genuine joy in connecting with customers at numerous community events where MVRS participates.

Outside of work, David enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, mountain biking, snowboarding, and family travel. He also dedicates time to activities promoting personal growth, such as reading and exercising, embodying the hardworking ethics he learned. Now, David imparts these values to his own children. He resides in Petaluma with his wife, Allison and their three sons.

Jennifer Dami

Owner / Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer Dami, MVRS’ first woman owner, joined the company in December 2005. As Chief Financial Officer, Jennifer oversees the financial strategy and management of the organization, handling tasks such as budgeting, reporting, payroll, and ensuring the overall fiscal health of the company. Apart from diving into the financial details, Jennifer takes the reins of Human Resources, playing a pivotal role in fostering a positive workplace culture. Living by the motto “take care of those who take care of you,” Jennifer strives to create an environment where employees thrive making her a key architect of the company’s vibrant and cohesive team. Over her 18-year career, she has fostered strong relationships with City Managers, Jurisdiction Finance Staff, Teamsters Union Representatives, and employees and their families.

Before venturing into the waste industry, she worked in Sonoma County’s nonprofit sector, wearing multiple hats as a fundraiser, event planner, office manager, and membership manager. Jennifer’s commitment to supporting neonatal nurses and special needs children blossomed during her time at the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and Early Learning Institute, focusing on the 0-3 age group. Raised in Corte Madera, Jennifer’s Marin roots remain deep, with her parents residing in the family home since 1964.

Her husband of 24 years, Raymond Dami, retired after 43 years with the company first as garbage man then as a second-generation owner for 20 years. They share a family of four children – Ryan, Ashley, Alyssa, and Nicole. Jennifer’s daughter Nicole, serves as MVRS’ bookkeeper and assistant.

Jennifer’s passions include family, travel, and golf.

MVRS Owner Gene stands in front of a truck smiling

Gene Della Zoppa

Owner / Managing Partner

Gene Della Zoppa is a third generation managing partner of Mill Valley Refuse Service (“MVRS”). Gene has been immersed in solid waste management from an early age, gaining insight from his grandfather, uncles, and father. He is a big believer that we stand on the shoulders of giants and has immense appreciation for the foundational work and wisdom imparted by those who’ve pioneered and shaped the solid waste management industry. Gene’s role is leading strategy and overseeing reporting, playing a pivotal role in operations, finance, and community relationships.

Before joining MVRS in 2021, Gene worked in corporate finance at Autodesk and became a CPA in public accounting at Armanino. Through his early experiences at MVRS, Gene worked on a truck, delivered portable toilets, and exchanged containers while he earned his bachelor’s degree at University of San Francisco.

Outside of work, Gene is an enthusiast of emerging technologies and always eager to read and explore. His dedication to personal growth extends to staying active as well as being a diehard Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers fan.

Gene resides in San Rafael with his wife, Candy, and their yorkie, Joe.

MVRS owner Alex Iavarone leans on a truck

Alex Iavarone

Owner / Managing Partner

Alex Iavarone is the driving force behind Mill Valley Refuse Service managing the MVRS shop where he ensures the optimal functionality, efficiency, and safety of the fleet. This includes the strategic procurement and specification of essential equipment, including trucks, tools, and facility enhancements.

Alex, a third-generation managing partner and the son of Jim Iavarone, along with being the grandson of Romolo Iavarone, has played a pivotal role in the family business since his teenage years. During his youth, he often found himself hanging off the back of trucks, assisting with collection routes and servicing porta-potties as a summer helper.

After earning a bachelor’s in English from SF State, he shifted his focus to mechanics. Alex completed a two-year diesel tech program at City College of Alameda, simultaneously gaining hands-on experience as an apprentice in the MVRS shop. Starting with basic tasks like changing truck oil, he gradually advanced his skills to diagnose and repair more intricate mechanical issues. Don’t be surprised to find Alex turning a wrench when duty calls.

Beyond the world of refuse management, Alex has a lifelong passion for martial arts and a love for diving into the imaginative realms of comics and sci-fi novels. He lives in Mill Valley with his wife Lindsay and their two children.

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