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Multifamily Resources

What qualifies as a multi-family property in Marin County?

Apartments, townhomes, condos, and mobile home parks consisting of five units or more fall into the multi-family category.

Do tenants of multifamily buildings have to sort their waste?


Yes, tenants are required by law to have access to adequate levels of recycling and compost services; they must also be as convenient as landfill services. Learn more about California’s mandatory waste laws here.

Requirements for Multi-Family Dwellings

Tenant Requirements

You can help make your building’s waste sorting program a success by properly sorting your recyclable and compostable materials from your trash.

  • Any apartment complex with five units or more is required by California state law AB 341 to have a recycling program.

  • California State Law SB 1383, the Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Act, requires all Californians, including residents of multifamily buildings, to keep organic waste out of landfill.

This includes:


Food Scrap Examples: banana peel, egg shells, and chicken leg bone


Yard Waste Examples: dried flower, grass clippings, and leaves


Food Soiled Paper Examples: coffee filter, greasy pizza box, and paper plate
  • Unsure what items should go in which bin? Check with your hauler to find out what belongs in the recycling and compost carts at your apartment complex.
  • If there is no recycling or compost service at your complex, remind your property manager that the law requires them to provide adequate recycling and compost service that is equally as convenient as trash. Alternatively, you can file an anonymous complaint to Zero Waste Marin using this form.
  • Property managers need to contact their hauler to set up recycling and compost service.

Manager & Owner Requirements

As a property manager or owner, it is important to understand that several California State laws require recycling and compost programs at multifamily buildings, including AB 341, AB 1826, and SB 1383. Learn more about these laws here.

State law mandates that all multifamily buildings must subscribe to adequate recycling and compost service, and make it available to all tenants: These mandates require property managers and owner to:

  1. Subscribe to curbside compost and recycling collection service in addition to landfill. Recycling and compost service must be as accessible as landfill service, and must sufficiently meet the property’s needs. Contact your hauler to set up service. 
  2. Place color-coded and labeled compost and recycling containers next to all landfill containers in public spaces (excluding restrooms). Click here to find free posters specific to your community.

  3. Sort materials into the proper bins.

  4. Periodically inspect bins and provide feedback to employees and contractors about incorrectly placed items.

If your multifamily apartment building has more than 5 units, you must also:

  1. Annually educate employees, contractors, tenants, and subtenants about the law.

  2. Inform tenants of the mandates no later than 14 days after move-in and at least 14 days prior to move-out.

If you need help with tenant education, below you can download our one-page flier in English or Spanish that summarizes SB 1383 for residents.

PDF links will open in a new browser tab or window.

What Tenants Can Do With Hard-to-recycle Materials


For disposal of electronic waste including old TVs, computers, monitors and other electronic goods, check out the Marin County HHW Facility in San Rafael (for Marin residents excluding Novato) or the Novato HHW Facility (for Novato residents only), or contact business such as Renew Computers, Staples, or Best Buy.


If you are buying a new mattress, in California the company you buy from is required to take the old one away with them and dispose of it properly. If you need to get rid of an old mattress but are not buying a new one, check out the Mattress Recycling Council website for information on their free mattress collection sites.


Frequent tenant moves may generate unwanted bulky items including furniture, appliances, mattresses, and other reusable items. Several local non-profits and charities accept these items, including Make It Home, Goodwill, Salvation Army, or your local thrift store. Call them to confirm what they will accept and if they offer pick-up!

Tip: You can also list items for free or for sale on an online marketplace such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or NextDoor to see if anyone in your neighborhood would like the item.


HHW encompasses a wide range of materials such as paint, pesticides, cleaners, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries or any product that contains potentially harmful or dangerous chemicals. These products should never be poured down the drain or put in the trash.

Dispose of these materials by taking them to the Marin County HHW Facility (for Marin residents excluding Novato) or the Novato HHW Facility (for Novato residents only).