Sort Out the Confusion

Sort Out the Confusion. Zero Waste Marin.Zero Waste Marin understands that composting at home isn’t always easy. Some items are confusing, like greasy pizza boxes, fish bones and coffee filters. Hint: They are all compostable! Marin County also has multiple waste haulers, each with their own rules and regulations for residential green waste collection. Zero Waste Marin is here to make it easier for you to compost at home by “sorting out the confusion.”

Which items belong in my green cart?

Food Scraps

  • Beans
  • Bones
  • Breads & grains
  • Cheese
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Fruits
  • Meat
  • Pasta
  • Plate scrapings
  • Poultry
  • Rice
  • Seafood & shellfish
  • Vegetables (cooked & uncooked)

Food Soiled Paper

  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags
  • Paper napkins and towels
  • Paper plates and cups
  • Paper take-out boxes
  • Pizza boxes

Yard & Garden Waste

  • Flowers
  • Grass and weeds
  • Houseplants
  • Leaves
  • Plant trimmings

Compostable Serviceware
  • Bamboo utensils
  • Wooden stir sticks
  • Paper dixie cups

Which items do NOT belong in my green cart?

  • Animal waste
  • Cat litter
  • Diapers
  • Glass
  • Liquids
  • Metals and foil
  • Milk cartons
  • Plastic bags and containers
  • Plastic flower pots
  • Plastic trays
  • Rocks & dirt
  • Styrofoam
  • Waxed paper
  • “Biodegradable plastics”
  • “Compostables” – if it looks like plastic, it is not compostable
  • PLA cups

How do I prevent odors in my green cart?

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 bin before adding food scraps. You can also put food waste inside a paper grocery bag to help contain odors. If you are still having problems with odors, put a small bowl in your freezer and freeze your discards until your are ready for the green bin!

Can I use BioBags?

No. Our refuse goes to Redwood Landfill and WM EarthCare. Biobags do not meet Redwood Landfill and WM EarthCare standards for organic use. WM EarthCare is an Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) certified program for organic farming applications. If you don’t like to put your food scraps directly into your compost pail, you can always line the bottom with old newspaper or junk mail to reduce odors.

How do I find out who my waste hauler is?

Visit our Who is My Hauler page and click on your city or town for information on your local waste hauler.

Bay Cities Refuse (415) 332-3646 Bay Cities Refuse
Mill Valley Refuse
Download FAQ Sheet (415) 457-9760 Mill Valley Refuse Service
Marin Sanitary Service (415) 456-2601 Marin Sanitary Service
Redwood Empire Disposal (800) 243-0291 Redwood Empire Disposal
Tamalpais Community Services District (415) 388-6393 Tamalpais Community Services District


Print This Page Print This Page