Rx Disposal and Take-Back

Posted on May 29, 2018

Is it time to clean out your medicine cabinet? What should you do with expired, unused, or unwanted prescription medication or sharps? Never throw these items into the garbage or flush them down the toilet! They can pollute our local waterways and harm our trash collectors. Instead, follow these tips from Zero Waste Marin and our partners to safely dispose of your medication and sharps.

  • Med-Project is a program focused on medication education and safe disposal in Marin County. They offer resources including a prescription drug mail-back service and in-home disposal tips. Visit med-project.org for a list of nearby disposal locations in Marin.
  • Many local pharmacies now accept sharps and/or pharmaceutical waste. Visit marincounty.org for a comprehensive list of facilities in your area that accept sharps, pharmaceutical waste, or both.
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recognizes National Prescription Drug Take Back Day every April and October. The next collection date is October 27, 2018. On this day, residents can bring their unwanted prescription medications to a local, participating collection site. For more information, visit deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

Check with your local disposal outlet for details on pre-disposal procedures. For example, before you dispose of unwanted medication, place your extra tablets or pills in a Ziploc bag and recycle your empty vials at home. Keep liquid prescription medication in original bottles and remove or mark off the label to ensure your privacy and anonymity before disposal.

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about ways to safely dispose of unwanted prescription medication and improve the environment. Click HERE to download a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Have a Sustainable Summer

Posted on May 14, 2018

Summer is finally here! Before purchasing new outfits or outdoor supplies, Zero Waste Marin would like to provide residents with some quick tips on how to safely recycle and dispose of unwanted, common household items:

Shoes & Clothing

Need to swap out your winter wardrobe to make room for summer clothing?
• Donate your clothes to local thrift stores, such as Goodwill. You can claim these donations as tax deductible.
• Don’t throw your textiles in the trash! Many local retailers have programs to take back your worn out or stained clothing, towels and sheets.

Kitchenware & Appliances

If it’s time to get a new appliance, recycle your unwanted large and small appliances, including refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, and toasters.
• Donate old silverware, plates, cups, pots, pans and other kitchenware to Goodwill.
• If your appliances are still in working condition, contact local charities such as the Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity. You’ll be able to claim charitable deductions for donated appliances.
• Visit our Recycling Guide for a comprehensive list of organizations that recycle appliances or accept donations.
• For appliances that no longer work, visit Zero Waste Marin’s Electronics Information Page to learn about safe disposal options or contact your local hauler to learn about their collection options.

Electronics

Planning to upgrade your personal electronics? Here are a couple of smart reuse and recycling options:
• Sell usable electronics on eBay or to a local thrift store for fast cash!
• Consider upgrading a component of your computer, such as adding additional memory or storage, to lengthen your laptop’s life span.
• Recycle used printers and ink cartridges for free through programs like the HP Computer Recycling Program or through Quill.com.

Books

• Donate used books that are still in good condition to local libraries, thrift shops, hospitals, and used book retailers.
• Unusable paperback books and magazines are easily recyclable. When recycling, hardcovers should be removed because the glue that holds the book together is not recyclable.

Camping

• Help reduce metal packaging waste and save money on your summer camping trips by switching to refillable fuel canisters! Learn more about refillable fuel canisters or find a local retailer on refuelyourfun.org. Refillables can last up to 12 years and be refilled hundreds of times!

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate
residents about waste prevention, reuse, and repair. Click HERE to download a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22

Posted on March 29, 2018

Earth Day is an annual, worldwide event that celebrates efforts to protect our environment. This Earth Day, choose one of the following eco-conscious activities to reduce waste and pollution here in Marin County.

  • Plant a tree. Trees produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and counter toxic byproducts of burning fossil fuels – all of which help improve air quality. Plant a tree in your own backyard with your family or friends or join local volunteer groups such as Marin County’s Dedication Tree Day at Lagoon Park, where you can plant a tree to commemorate a loved one and help restore habitats for local wildlife. You can also support organizations that aim to reverse deforestation, like the Canopy Project.
  • Switch to reusable. Instead of purchasing coffee in a paper cup with a plastic top, bring your own coffee cup.
  • Shop Local. Shop for groceries at local farmer’s markets. Not only is the food fresh, but it’s virtually free of packaging! Make smart decisions about what to purchase and be sure to eat what you buy to avoid wasting food.
  • Make a backyard compost pile. Composting reduces your carbon footprint and repurposes food waste. You can purchase a backyard compost bin from your local hardware store or build your own.
  • Recycle and compost every day. Every year, Americans generate more than 258 million tons of trash. Visit the Who is My Hauler page to learn more about the recycling and composting services offered in your city or town.
  • Have you heard about Clean Marin? This new public private partnership is designed to support and encourage all the efforts in Marin that keep it clean and healthy. Find volunteer opportunities and more information at cleanmarin.org.

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about ways to reduce waste and improve the local environment.

Click HERE to download a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Make the Switch to Rechargeable Batteries

Posted on March 12, 2018

Single-use batteries have become a serious problem for our environment. If not disposed of correctly, they can corrode and contaminate surrounding soil and water.  Zero Waste Marin encourages residents to invest in rechargeable batteries: you’ll save money and help protect our community from exposure to toxic waste.

Rechargeable batteries are easy to purchase and can be found at local electronic stores as well as online. These batteries can be recharged approximately 100 times!

If you make the switch to rechargeable batteries, Zero Waste Marin wants to reward your commitment to the environment. The first 200 eligible Marin County residents who take the “Rechargeable Battery Pledge” will receive a rechargeable battery kit at no charge, including a charger and four AA rechargeable batteries. Pledge to make the switch by March 30, 2018.

Please remember that it is illegal to throw single-use household batteries in the trash or recycling bin. You can safely dispose of small quantities of batteries at many participating businesses throughout the county. For more information on rechargeable batteries and disposal locations, please visit the Bulb and Battery page.

Click HERE to download a copy of this newsletter.

Haga el Cambio a Baterías/Pilas Recargables

Las baterías/pilas de un solo uso se han convertido en un problema grave para nuestro medio ambiente. Si no son eliminadas correctamente, pueden corroerse y contaminar la tierra y el agua. Zero Waste Marin lo alienta a invertir en la compra de baterías/pilas recargables: ahorrará dinero y ayudará a proteger a nuestra comunidad de la exposición a desechos tóxicos.

Las baterías/pilas recargables son fáciles de comprar y se pueden encontrar en tiendas locales y en la internet. ¡Estas baterías/pilas pueden ser recargadas aproximadamente 100 veces!

Si usted hace el cambio a baterías/pilas recargables, Zero Waste Marin quiere recompensar su compromiso con el medio ambiente. Los primeros 200 residentes elegibles del Condado de Marin que tomen el “Compromiso de Batería/Pilas Recargables” recibirán un kit de baterías/pilas recargables gratis, que incluye un cargador y cuatro baterías/pilas recargables doble A.  Comprométase y haga el cambio antes del 30 de marzo de 2018.

Recuerde que es ilegal tirar a la basura o al contenedor de reciclaje las baterías/pilas domésticas de un solo uso. Usted puede deshacerse de pequeñas cantidades de pilas/baterías caseras en muchos sitios participantes en todo el condado. Para obtener más información sobre baterías/pilas recargables y ubicaciones de eliminación, visite la página Bulb and Battery en el sitio web Zero Waste Marin.

Simple and Green: DIY Spring Cleaning Ideas

Posted on February 26, 2018

It’s time for Spring cleaning! Follow these simple tips to make your own DIY cleaning supplies, donate unwanted items, and dispose of toxic products safely. For more alternative cleaning supply ideas and information, please visit our Less Toxic Alternatives page.

Cleaning Rags – Repurpose old T-shirts and towels to use as cleaning rags instead of purchasing single use paper towels.

Donations – If you are organizing and have unwanted items, please remember to donate usable textiles, clothing and shoes to local thrift stores. Visit our Textiles page for a list of free local resources.

General Household Cleaner – Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, 1 teaspoon of borax or baking soda, a dash of lemon juice or white vinegar, and 1 quart of warm water.

Mildew and Mold Remover – Mix ½ cup of borax with 1 gallon of water and scrub with a nylon scouring pad.

Stainless Steel Cleaner – Clean surface with baking soda and a soft sponge, then rinse with a white vinegar and water solution.

Window Cleaner – Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar with 1 quart of warm water. Use a squeegee to wipe windows for best results.

Want to get rid of your toxic cleaning products? Drop off a variety of items, including bleach-based cleaners and detergents, at the Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility that serves your community.

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about reducing toxic waste.

Click HERE for a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Help Us Reduce Textile Waste

Posted on January 23, 2018

If your family members received new clothing or shoes over the holidays, then you might be thinking about cleaning out your closets to make room for these new items. Please keep textiles out of our local landfills by following these simple tips from Zero Waste Marin and our partners.

• Are your clothes and shoes still in good shape? Bring them to a Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other local resale store. For a list of thrift stores in Marin County search for “clothing” in our Recycling Guide.
• In a hurry? Simply drop your unwanted clothing and shoes into a nearby USAgain or Recycle for Change collection drop-box.
• Heading to the mall? If your textiles are beyond reuse, you can drop them off at many retail locations for recycling. H&M, Madewell, and The Northface are just a few of the many clothing retailers that will take back torn or stained clothing, sheets and towels.
• Remember, textiles and shoes are not accepted in your curbside recycling container.

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about waste prevention, reuse and repair. For more information on how you can manage your textiles, please visit our Textiles page.

Click HERE for a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Reduce Waste During the Holiday Season

Posted on October 30, 2017

Follow these tips from Zero Waste Marin and our partners to reduce food waste in Marin County during the holidays!

  • Practice Smart Shopping—Check your pantry to see what you already have before going grocery shopping for holiday meals.
  • Make a List—Make a grocery list and stick to it, especially when planning a large holiday event! Avoiding impulse buys will help save money.
  • Shop Local—Support local farmers by shopping at one of the many farmer’s markets in Marin.
  • Buy Only What You Need—To keep fresh items from spoiling, buy only enough for the week. If you are cooking for a crowd, only purchase items needed for that meal.
  • Prep Now, Enjoy Later—Consider prepping for your holiday events in advance to save time and avoid waste. Prep and freeze cookie dough, soup stock, excess meat, and sliced fruit and veggies in reusable containers to make them last longer.
  • Repurpose Holiday Leftovers—Leftover turkey? Don’t toss it out! Turn your holiday leftovers into sandwiches, casseroles, soups and more.
  • Don’t Let Good Food Go to Waste—Move food that is likely to spoil soon to a designated “eat now” area in the front of your pantry or fridge.
  • Store Food Correctly—Not all fresh fruits and vegetables belong in the fridge! Apples, berries, grapes and oranges should be refrigerated while bananas, mangos and potatoes belong in a cool place in your kitchen.
  • Compost the Rest—Use your green cart for your turkey carcass, veggie scraps, plate scrape, used paper plates and napkins. Please keep organic material out of the trash!

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about reducing the amount of waste that goes into our local landfills.

Click HERE for a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Reduce Waste this Winter

Posted on October 2, 2017

Zero Waste Marin and our partners want to pass along a few tips to help Marin County residents reduce waste this holiday season.

Holiday Shopping

  • When out shopping for the perfect party favor or present, please support our locally owned businesses in Marin.
  • Carry your own reusable bags for holiday shopping, and avoid taking a paper bag for your purchases.
  • If you’re gifting electronic gadgets or toys, choose rechargeable batteries and consider including a battery charger with your gift as well.

Give an Experience

Consider giving friends and family members a gift that requires very little or no packaging:

  • Theater, movie or concert tickets
  • Membership to a museum
  • Gift card to a local store
  • Visit your favorite restaurant
  • A certificate for babysitting, gardening, or cleaning the house or car.

Alternative Gift Wrap

Single use wrapping paper creates a huge amount of waste each year. Instead of purchasing a new roll of wrapping paper and ribbon, shop your home for unique wrapping materials.

  • Gift bags or reusable shopping bags
  • Tins or baskets
  • Newspaper or magazine pages

Never Burn Wrapping Paper!

It is illegal to burn trash and wrapping paper. But did you know that wrapping paper is not recyclable because of the shiny, glossy glitter and foil? It must be thrown in the landfill bin.  This is especially true now that markets for recycled paper are becoming extremely strict about what they will accept. To help save resources, if you must use wrapping paper, try to save and reuse it next holiday season.

Click HERE for a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Reduce Waste this Fall

Posted on August 18, 2017

Check before you shop

Businesses can save time, money, and increase security by going paperless. For students, evaluate what you do and don’t need before you shop. Just because it’s a new school year, doesn’t mean you have to replace all of last year’s supplies. Binders, folders and notebooks may still have plenty of use left in them. The biggest way to reduce your impact is to use what you already have. 

Reuse or recycle electronics

If your family is discarding old computer equipment or electronics, find someone who can use them, or donate items to a charitable organization or thrift store. Enter the word ‘Secondhand’ into the Recycling Guide for a list of local drop-off locations.

Look for recycled content in office & school supplies

If you must purchase new pens, pencils, paper or notebooks, shop for supplies made with recycled content, and look for product certifications from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council.

Plan your lunch for waste reduction

Instead of disposable plastic or paper bags, pack your lunch for work or school in a reusable container with a thermos and cloth napkin.

Buy durable items

To reduce waste and save money, select durable, long-lasting backpacks, lunchboxes, reusable coffee cups, rechargeable electronics, and more. If your items start to show signs of wear and tear, consider repairing them before purchasing something new.

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about reducing the amount of waste that goes into our local landfills.

Click HERE for a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Shop Smart and Waste Less this summer

Posted on June 19, 2017

Zero Waste Marin encourages Marin County residents to start shopping smart to waste less. Adding smart eco-friendly alternatives to your cart can make a difference to the environment and your wallet.

Waste: disposable batteries. Smart: rechargeable batteries.
Single-use batteries contain heavy metals and corrosive materials, and improper disposal can spell bad news for the environment. Replace them with rechargeable batteries, which last longer on a single charge and can be used over and over.

Waste: disposable coffee cups. Smart: reusable thermos.
Most disposable coffee cups are not recyclable and an estimated 50 billion paper cups end up in landfills each year. Next time you purchase coffee on the go, bring a reusable coffee mug. Many coffee shops will fill reusable mugs and may even offer you a discount.

Waste: single use plastic water bottle. Smart: reusable water bottle.
Carry a reusable metal or glass water bottle instead of purchasing individual, disposable plastic water bottles. A reusable plastic bottle can be easily refilled and offers the added benefits of insulation, filtering, and more.

Waste: produce wrapped in plastic. Smart: reusable produce bag.
Most shelled produce does not need to be packaged in plastic wrap. Instead, buy reusable cotton or mesh produce bags and choose loose fruits and vegetables when shopping.

Waste: disposable plastic cutlery. Smart: metal silverware.
Whether you are hosting a party or packing a school lunch, choose reusable metal cutlery instead of disposable plastic. Recycling plastic cutlery is difficult and its waste will only end up landfills.

Waste: paper towels. Smart: cloth dish towels.
Swap paper towels for cloth towels both at home and in packed lunches. You can throw your dish towels into your washing machine and reuse them for years, saving money and reducing waste.

Waste: ice cream cup & spoon. Smart: ice cream cone.
Eating ice cream is a great way to cool off during the summer. To reduce your environmental impact, choose an edible ice cream cone instead of a cup and spoon.

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about reducing the amount of waste that goes into our local landfills. For more information, visit ZeroWasteMarin.org.

Click HERE for a PDF copy of this newsletter.