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Frequently Asked Questions

You can download a pdf version of the FAQ here.

Customer Support

Residential Customers: Payment is due within 45 days of the bill date.

Apartment Customers: Payment is due within 30 days of the bill date.

Commercial Customers: Payment is due within 30 days of the bill date.

Residents may request to put a vacation hold on service for a minimum of three months without any reactivation fee. For vacation holds less than three months, a $20 reactivation fee will apply. (Note: residents within the Mill Valley city limits only may request a vacation hold for a minimum of three weeks without a reactivation fee.) 

Visit our Contact Us page for our contact information and hours.

Dual Stream Recycling

This information is for our residential and apartment customers only. Commercial customers may visit our Commercial Recycling page for information on mixed recycling.

Dual stream collection produces the cleanest and most marketable stream of high-quality material. It is especially effective in eliminating the contamination of paper by food and liquid residue from cans, bottles and plastic containers. 

Our residential and apartment customers utilize a dual stream recycling method.

Our commercial customers use a mixed recycling method.

Your town and city councils or sanitation boards voted to make this switch after MVRS conducted a pilot program in 2018 to test the feasibility of alternate week dual stream collection. We made public presentations at council and board meetings in May, 2019, highlighting the pros and cons we learned from the pilot program, and in June all our jurisdictions voted to make the switch.

You’ll find the dual-stream pickup calendar on our Residential Recycling page.

If all else fails, it’s OK to put both carts at the curb on your regular pick up day. Our driver will dump the correct cart for that week and leave the other.

In general the following items are acceptable:

Newspaper, office paper, magazines, junk mail, catalogs, telephone books, paperboard, paper bags, stationary, envelopes, cardboard & paperboard.

Please visit our recycling pages for detailed information.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

No milk cartons, aseptic juice, soy and soup boxes, soiled paper, wax or plastic coated paper, tissues, paper towels, photographs, or hardcover books.

Please visit our recycling pages for detailed information.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

In general the following items are acceptable:

Plastic: Empty plastic milk, soda and water bottles and jugs, yogurt and margarine tubs, empty shampoo and soap bottles.

Glass: Food and beverage glass containers only.

Metal: Steel, bimetal and aluminum food and beverage cans, pie plates & clean foil.

All items must be rinsed or wiped clean of food residue.

Please visit our recycling pages for detailed information.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

Glass No No’s: ceramic, Pyrex, stemware, light bulbs, window glass or mirrors.

Metal No No’s: scrap metal, propane tanks, hangers or containers with liquid.

Plastic No No’s: plastic bags*, film plastic (like Saran™ wrap), plastic package wrapping, chip bags, Styrofoam™, hoses, lawn chairs, furniture, toys, PVC pipe, buckets, sheeting, or tarps.

*Plastic bags are not acceptable in curbside recycling, but many grocery stores provide plastic bag recycling collection bins for your convenience.

Please visit our recycling pages for detailed information.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

For our residential customers, we pick up recycling carts on an alternating week schedule —paper one week, containers the next. Place your cart at the curb by 6 a.m. on the designated pickup day. You’ll find the residential recycling pickup calendar here.

Please visit our recycling pages for detailed information.

Visit our Commercial Service Guidelines page for information about service options.

Compost

In general the following items are acceptable:

Yard/Green Waste: Grass cuttings, weeds, tree trimmings less than 4″ diameter, berry vines, leaves, and garden waste.

Food Scraps: Meat, poultry, dairy, fruit, vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, pizza boxes & food soiled paper products.

Please visit our compost pages for detailed information.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

No waxed paper products, cooking oil, grease, fats, plastic bags, nursery pots, pet waste, wood products, glass, poison oak, soil, concrete or rock.

Please visit our compost pages for detailed information.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

To prevent odors, mix food waste with yard waste. Add one layer of yard waste, newspaper or shredded paper to the bottom of your green cart before adding food waste. Food waste can also be put into paper grocery bags to help contain odors.

We collect carts weekly. Place your cart at the curb by 6 a.m. on your designated pickup day.

No. BioBags do not meet Redwood Landfill’s standards for organic use. They also decompose slower than green waste and food scraps.

Yes! Ask your property manager to call Mill Valley Refuse to set up composting services in your building. We will provide a countertop pail for collecting food waste for free.

Please visit our Apartment Compost page for more information.

Food scraps, yard waste, and food-soiled paper become Homegrown Compost, a rich and nutritious, certified organic compost that you can purchase from Redwood Landfill’s WM EarthCare Center in Novato.

Garbage

In general the following items are acceptable:

  • Animal waste
  • Cat litter
  • Chip bags
  • Diapers
  • Foil wrappers
  • Garden hoses
  • Hangers
  • Styrofoam & packing peanuts
  • All plastics except bottles, jugs and tubs.
  • Plastic bags or any type of plastic packaging wrap
  • Drinking glasses, lightbulbs, window glass
  • Any item not listed in our recycling or compost sections.

Please visit our garbage pages for detailed information.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

  • Appliances
  • Ashes
  • Auto parts
  • Cement
  • Construction material
  • Dirt
  • E-waste
  • Furniture
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Mattresses
  • Paper, plastic, glass & metal materials that belong in your Recycle Carts
  • Rocks
  • Tires
  • Yard waste and food scraps that belong in your Compost Cart

Call us for a free estimate and special pickup of many of these items.

You may also find our What Goes Where tool useful if you’ve got a specific material in mind.

We collect trash carts weekly. Place carts in an accessible curbside location by 6 a.m. on your designated pickup day.

On-Premise pickups are available for an extra charge. See our Residential Garbage Service  page for more information. 

There is a 60 lb. weight limit per cart; extra weight may be subject to a special pickup charge.

Please visit our garbage pages for detailed information.

Rates vary by trash cart size (20, 32, and 45-gallon sizes), and between neighborhoods due to terrain. See our Residential Service Guidelines page for more information.

Compost can reduce your garbage rate! Since 23% of residential waste is composed of food scraps and food-soiled paper, composting reduces the amount of garbage your household produces and can help you switch to a smaller trash cart size.

Call our office at (415) 457-9760 for quotes on extra garbage pick up.