Here you can get the latest tips and explore new ideas about zero waste.

In 2021, Re-Solve to Re-Home!

Posted on December 22, 2020
Green recycling symbol.

Swap. Donate. Share. Image of snow board being listed online.
You sort and recycle. You shun plastic bags. Food scraps in the compost? Check.

Fantastic! Moving to zero waste also means making sure that the stuff you no longer want gets used by someone else, and that we all buy less in the first place. 2021 is a good year to resolve to re-home – to find new homes for unwanted stuff and to find ways to reduce the amount of new stuff we buy. Whether you prefer to designate a box or area where you place items you no longer want or decide to re-home items one at a time, the result is the same – giving reusable items a second life.

Here are some ideas to get your items underway:

  • Done loving it? List it. Consider listing reusable items on services such as Craigslist, Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace.
  • Pass it along! Join or start a “Buy Nothing group” in your neighborhood. The platform allows neighbors to post anything they’d like to give away, lend, or share, and ask for anything they’d like to receive for free or borrow. Learn more at BuyNothingProject.org.
  • Donate to charity. Donate gently used goods to support reuse outlets such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
  • Own it together! Does everyone on your block need to own their own circular saw? Probably not. Consider joining or setting up a “virtual tool-sharing library” in your neighborhood on Nextdoor.com so that those important but rarely used tools can be put to good use all year round.
  • Get your space back. No takers? For damaged or no longer usable items, Marin single-family home residents can request a free bulky waste pickup. Contact your hauler:

One Marin Business’s Success with Composting Compliance

Posted on December 8, 2020

A new state law, AB 1826, requires all businesses and multi-family residences of 5 or more units producing over 2 cubic yards of solid waste to subscribe to composting. The attached case study shows how Sessions Rise, a 73-unit group of condos, came into compliance with the help of one resident, her HOA and Marin Sanitary Service. Key to the success of the program were clear signage and use of distributed, smaller collection bins to ensure that every resident is just a brief walk from proper disposal.

Download the brief case study below and see additional case studies here: https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/green-business-highlights/

Sessions Rise Case study cover mage

On the Way to Plastic Free! Screening and Discussion

Posted on November 17, 2020

West Marin Climate Action is partnering with Environmental Action Committee, Zero Waste Marin and Black Mountain Beauty to offer a virtual screening of two important films about the expanding plastic industry, the crisis of plastic pollution and the effect it has on the health of people and the planet.

poster for plastic free filmYou are invited to watch at your leisure the films “The Story of Plastic” and “Plastic Wars” between November 28 and December 3. Links to the films will be provided upon registration. Then, join us on December 3 for a safe discussion via Zoom on how to disrupt the consumption of plastic, locally and globally. Come and hear from local experts:

  • Garen Kazanjian of Recology Sonoma Marin, Zero Waste Specialist
  • Eva Holman of Upstream Solutions, Policy Coordinator
  • Martin Bourque of Berkeley Ecology Center, Executive Director (Martin Bourque was featured in “The Story of Plastic”)

Presentations will be followed by time for Q&A. The FREE event will end with a Call to Action discussion and shared resource links.

Register for the event HERE.

Download flyer in English.

Download flyer in Spanish.

Used Motor Oil and Filter Recycling Kit Available

Posted on October 23, 2020

oil filter and drain pan

Español

ZeroWasteMarin’s used motor oil and filter recycling kit is a free, convenient way to recycle used oil and filters and reduce mess during oil changes.

The kit includes a dual filter drainer, a 6-quart drain pan and a shop rag.  A list of all the used motor oil and filter collection centers in Marin County is included. This list can also be found here.

Click here to request your FREE kit today.

Your kit will be delivered to your door within 72 hours.

Available while supplies last. (excludes the City of Novato)


Kit para el Reciclaje de Aceite y Filtros Usados de Motor Están Disponibles

El kit para el reciclaje de aceite y filtros usados de motor que provee ZeroWasteMarin.org ofrece una manera gratuita y conveniente de reciclar el aceite y los filtros usados, y también reduce los derrames que puedan ocurrir al hacer el cambio de aceite.

El kit incluye un drenador de doble filtro, una bandeja de drenaje de 6 cuartos y un trapo para limpiar el aceite derramado. También incluye una lista de todos los centros de recolección de aceite y filtros usados de motor en el Condado de Marin. Esta lista también se puede encontrar aquí.

¡Solicite su kit GRATUITO hoy mismo!

Tu kit será llevado a tu puerta en menos de 5 días laborales.

Disponible hasta agotar existencias (excluye la ciudad de Novato)

calrecycle and oil recycle logos

 

 

Composting Class October 14th, 2020

Posted on September 29, 2020
Worms Make it Happen
This is an online event offered through the Marin County Free Library via Zoom.
See website for more information: http://marinmg.ucanr.edu/

Program: Learn how wiggly little worms will turn your kitchen scraps into wonderful compost and compost tea. If you live in a small space or would like a new composting option, this class will teach you composting in a plastic tub, and other techniques. Make this a family project, children of all ages welcome.

 

Stuck at Home?

Posted on August 28, 2020
Mechanical tools.

Please donate your used items to the Goodwill! For information on no-contact donations, please visit this guide from the San Francisco/San Mateo/Marin Goodwill.

Love Food, Not Waste During Stay-at-Home

Posted on May 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic means stocking up on groceries and more meals at home. However, more food preparation at home could also mean more food waste! The Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition (BayROC) has responded to this with renewed promotion of their food waste prevention campaign. You may see these ads all over the Bay Area in the coming weeks. Messages include:

1. Using the Whole Ingredient

2. Food Storage Tips:

3. Getting Creative with Leftovers:

See LoveFoodNotWaste.org

keeping strawberries fresh

For more tips and examples, see:

Zero Waste Essentials During Shelter-at-Home

Posted on April 30, 2020

During this challenging time, moving toward zero waste may not be at the top of our to-do lists. The COVID-19 restrictions — such as reducing trips to the store, the ban on reusable bags and cups, and the closing of drop-off facilities — present multiple challenges to our usual waste reduction habits. But it is still possible — and desirable! — to waste as little as possible as we strive to stay healthy and sane. Below are tips to encourage waste prevention, reuse, and proper recycling as we all shelter at home.

leftovers in containers1. Prevent Food Waste

These days we may be buying more at each trip to the store, so we don’t go as often. We are preparing most, if not all meals, at home. It is more important than ever to shop smart, store food correctly, understand expiration dates, and use up what we have at home before it spoils.

See this page for more tips on food waste prevention.

 

2. Deliver Bags and Boxes to the Right Place

As we order more online and temporarily can’t use our reusable bags at stores, paper and plastic bags and cardboard boxes are piling up! Here’s what you can do:

cardboard boxesStore and reuse bags:

  • Paper bags can hold kitchen scraps for compost.
  • Plastic bags are not recyclable in your curbside cart. Use them to store fruit and vegetables in the fridge and to dispose of pet waste.

  • Many shoppers are choosing, when possible, to just put their items back into their cart or basket without taking a bag, and then pack up items in their car or bicycle.
  •  

Reuse or recycle cardboard boxes:

  • Keep those boxes to store the items planned for donation (see below).
  • Break down delivery boxes and fit into recycling bins, making sure the lid closes.

box of items for donation3. Spring Cleaning? Collect, Sort and Store

After staying at home for weeks, you may be more aware of clutter and be moved to remove! During the shelter-at-home order, many facilities for drop-off and donation are closed or reducing services, including those that collect paint, batteries, bulbs, hazardous waste and e-waste. At this time, it’s best to collect, sort and store your no-longer-needed items to take for reuse, recycling and donation after we get the all-clear.

Goodwill is open for sales online and offers contact-free donation centers in Mill Valley and Novato only. Learn more.

See resources for how to recycle here..

flower pots for donation4. Zero Waste Yard Work

Some of us have more time these days to spend in the yard and garden. Here are some tips:

  • Yard and garden waste, such as clippings, flowers, grass and leaves, can go in your green cart.
  • Maybe now’s the time to start composting at home! See tips here.
  • Time to move along those tired pots or that statue that no longer appeals? Place them in your “to donate” box and find them a new home when the stay-at-home is lifted.
  • Some things never change! Pet waste should always, always go in the garbage.

Hang in there, Marin! Thanks for keeping Zero Waste essential!

New Veggie Box Program Delivers Nutrition, Prevents Waste

Posted on April 16, 2020
While schools are closed, a new veggie box program from the San Pedro School Farm feeds families.

Marin schools are shut down, and so are school lunch programs. But fresh vegetables from the San Pedro School Farm that used to go to school kitchens are still helping Marin families get the wholesome nutrition they need. That’s thanks to a new program by nonprofit Sanzuma, which manages the farm and is now selling boxes filled with freshly harvested organic produce to Marin residents on a subscription basis. The income will enable Sanzuma to continue their core mission of teaching nutrition classes and helping schools grow their own fresh produce once schools reopen.

“In normal times our healthy greens would feed hundreds of students each week, and we know families out there need it,” says Sanzuma’s Executive Director Lori Davis. “This box program is a great alternative to shopping in grocery stores, and is our way to continue to feed our community. Besides, it would be a shame for all these wonderful veggies to go to waste.”

Sanzuma‘s commitment to zero waste extends to packaging as well. Each week’s produce delivery arrives at the pickup location in durable, reusable plastic totes. After customers transfer the contents into their own bags or boxes, the totes go back to Sanzuma to be thoroughly washed and sanitized before the they’re filled again.

zwm bags
Zero Waste Marin supports Sanzuma’s work in low income schools, including nutrition education, school farms and meal programs.

Like most Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, Sanzuma’s boxes contain a mix of whatever produce is currently in season, but with a twist: an occasional wellness gift, like hand-made soaps, teas and flowers. “During this tough time, we need healthy food, but we need something for the soul as well,” says Davis. In addition, one box is donated to a family in need every other week.

The program has already been a huge success, with all subscription slots filled for now. Sanzuma is already thinking about how to scale up and plans to keep the veggie boxes going even when school deliveries are possible again. To get on the waiting list and to learn more about Sanzuma’s work with Marin schools, visit www.sanzuma.org.

Congrats, Zero Waste Schools!

Posted on March 25, 2020
teacher with kids in front of recycling bins
Tomales Elementary students learn about their school’s recycling stations as part of the Zero Waste Schools Program.

Twenty-nine of Marin’s 49 public K-12 schools are enrolled in the Zero Waste Schools Program, and more are coming on board every year.

At these schools, students and staff conduct a waste assessment, learn about proper sorting and set up a comprehensive recycling and composting program. Funded by Zero Waste Marin, the Zero Waste Schools Program provides containers for indoor and outdoor discard stations as well as other equipment at no cost to the school. They also train teachers and staff, help with green team coordination and other ongoing zero waste activities. Schools that achieve their goals are certified and awarded with recognition and up to $2,500 in cash. To date, nine schools have been recognized.

Zero Waste School students learn important life lessons and keep waste out of the landfill. For example, Laurel Dell Elementary in San Rafael, one of the first schools to join the program in 2015, has increased the amount of waste that’s recycled or composted from 20% to 50%! That’s a win for the environment and helps reduce the school’s garbage bill. Every dollar not spent on waste is a dollar that can be better used educating our kids.

To learn more about the Zero Waste Schools Program, visit www.ZeroWasteMarin.org/Schools.