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

Open Recruitment for a Waste Prevention Specialist

Posted on April 16, 2019

Interested in working on Zero Waste initiatives for the County of Marin?

The Specialist will implement and support a variety of solid waste management programs including waste reduction, composting, recycling, hazardous waste and the zero waste schools program. Click here for more information. The deadline to apply is April 30th.

Join us at the San Rafael Earth Day Celebration!

Posted on April 1, 2019

Be a part of the Earth Day celebration at the San Rafael Public Library April 20th from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at 1100 E Street.

The Waste Sleuth will be there to teach about composting, vermiculture, and proper recycling. Win prizes!

More information can be found here.

Conservation Corps North Bay

Posted on March 26, 2019

Free mattress recycling every Thursday, 7:00 am – 3:00 pm at 11 Pimentel Court in Novato.

Sponsored by Mattress Recycling Council. Click here for more information.

Household Hazardous Waste FAQs

Posted on February 21, 2019

What is HHW?

Common household items such as fluorescent bulbs, batteries, gasoline, household chemicals, pesticides, paints, antifreeze and asbestos are all considered HHW. These items can be toxic to you and/or the environment and must be disposed of properly to protect you, the environment and your resource hauler.  Learn more at Zero Waste Marin:

Where can I dispose of HHW in Marin County?

Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility (All Marin residents and businesses except Novato)

565 Jacoby St. San Rafael, CA 94901  (415) 485-6806

Open Tuesday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Novato Recycling Center (Novato residents and small businesses only)     

7576 Redwood Blvd. Novato, CA 94945  (415) 892-7344

Open the 1st and 3rd Sunday and Monday of each month from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

How can I get rid of bulbs and batteries?

Zero Waste Marin’s Bulb and Battery Take-Back Program helps residents recycle light bulbs and batteries at no charge at participating locations. Visit to find a location near you.

Click HERE to download a PDF copy of this newsletter.

How Recyclables are Handled in Marin County

Posted on January 7, 2019

Recent changes in international recycling regulations have impacted recycling markets here in Marin County and nationwide so here is a brief refresher on how recyclables are handled in our community.

Resource Haulers in Marin County handle recyclables with two different systems:

  1. “Single Stream” Recycling: Mill Valley Refuse, Bay Cities Refuse, Recology Sonoma Marin & Tamalpais Community Services District
    1. All recyclables go in the same bin EXCEPT if you are part of the Mill Valley Refuse Services Dual Stream Pilot Program.
  2. “Dual Stream” Recycling: Marin Sanitary Service (Fairfax, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Ross and Larkspur)
    1. Paper and cardboard go in the blue side while plastic, metal and glass go in the brown side.

Not sure who your resource hauler is? Just visit our Who Is My Hauler page and click on the name of your city or town.

Whether your resource hauler collects your recyclables in a single stream or dual stream system, here are some tips about preparing your materials for recycling:

  • Quickly rinse your plastic, glass and metal bottles and cans before you recycle them.
  • Clean aluminum foil can be rinsed and recycled.
  • Pizza boxes can be recycled, as long as they are clean and free of food grease. If they are greasy, place them in your green compost cart.

Common items that seem recyclable but actually belong in the trash:

  • Single use coffee cups and single use lids
  • Plastic bags
  • Polystyrene

We encourage you to contact your resource hauler for specific questions about recyclable items. Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to help residents and businesses recycle and compost. Click HERE to download a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Reduce Waste During the Holiday Season

Posted on November 29, 2018

Reducing waste this holiday season begins with thoughtful shopping and gift giving. Please remember to shop smart and waste less this holiday season.

Give an Experience

Give friends and family members a memorable and personalized gift that requires little or no packaging.

  • Tickets to the theater, ballet or symphony
  • Concert or movie passes
  • Membership to a museum
  • A gourmet meal cooked at home
  • A certificate for babysitting, gardening, or cleaning the house or car.

Sustainable Gift Wrap

When wrapping your holiday gifts, instead of purchasing a new roll of wrapping paper and ribbon, consider these alternatives:

  • Gift bags or reusable shopping bags
  • Tins or baskets
  • Old maps, newspaper or magazine pages
  • Holiday fabrics
  • Bows and paper from previous holidays

Never Burn Wrapping Paper!

It is illegal to burn trash and wrapping paper. If you must use wrapping paper, always purchase non-foil-based paper and remember to toss it in your recycling bin, or save and reuse it next holiday season. Remember that bows, ribbons and wrapping papers that contain glitter or velvet surface treatments are not recyclable. These items go directly to the landfill, so avoid purchasing them if you can.

Don’t Trash your Tree

At the end of the holiday season, make sure your tree ends up in the compost pile, not the landfill. Click here for details on what to do.

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 to download a copy of this newsletter.

Reduce Waste During the Holidays

Posted on October 29, 2018

Follow these tips from Zero Waste Marin to reduce waste during the holidays!

Plan ahead to prevent waste

Check your pantry before you go shopping, then make a list and buy only what you need for each recipe, especially if you are cooking for a large group. For more ways to streamline your shopping trips, visit our Tips to Reduce Waste at Home page.

Use your leftovers

Make the most of Thanksgiving by transforming leftovers into satisfying soups, sandwiches, pot pies and more. A simple online search will yield a wide variety of yummy recipes.

Donate extra food

If you cooked or purchased too much, consider donating to local organizations such as the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, the Ritter Center or St. Vincent De Paul Society. For more tips, visit our Food Waste Prevention page.

Compost food scraps

Help keep food waste out of the landfill! Simply toss your turkey carcass, stems, peels, bones and any spoiled food scraps into your green compost cart. For more information on how to compost visit our Composting Info and Courses page.

Dispose of fats, oil and grease correctly

Deep frying your turkey this year? Remember that leftover fats, oils and grease should neverbe poured down the drain. Marin County residents, except those in Novato, can bring used cooking oil in liquid form to the Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility in San Rafael. For more information on safe disposal, visit the Fats, Oils & Grease page. If you live in Novato, find more information on handling FOG here.

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 to download a PDF copy of this newsletter.

Avoid the Spark. Be Battery Safety Smart

Posted on October 24, 2018
Toxic and hazardous

These days, people depend on a variety of rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries to get them through their everyday lives. This means that there is a higher-risk factor associated with the handling and disposal of batteries when they reach end of life. All batteries can and should be recycled, and consumers should take time to educate themselves on industry-recommended methods of being battery-safe.

In Partnership with the Avoid the Spark. Be Battery Safety Smart campaign, Zero Waste Marin is promoting battery safety. This initiative shortens the gap between consumers and industry experts, providing educational resources.  There are simple steps YOU can take to reduce the risks of battery recycling. Click the links below to learn more.

Battery Safety 101  

Battery I.D. Guide

 Battery Takeback Sites

Go Green this Halloween!

Posted on September 24, 2018

Before getting dressed up to go trick-or-treating, Zero Waste Marin would like to encourage residents to be mindful of the environment during this year’s Halloween festivities. Follow these simple tips to prevent candy wrappers, leftover decorations and old costumes from ending up in our landfills.


  • Give your children reusable buckets, canvas bags, or even pillowcases to carry while trick-or-treating.
  • Purchase candy with minimal packaging, or treats packaged in recyclable paper, such as Dots, Nerds, or Milk Duds. These can go in your recycling cart after you’re done enjoying them.


  • Reuse or reinvent costumes from previous years or create a new costume from things you already own. Transform an old bed sheet into a ghost costume or a toga!
  • Browse thrift stores, such as Goodwill, for unique pieces and fresh costume ideas.
  • Old costumes in good condition can be donated to Goodwill — or to your friends or neighbors!
  • Businesses such as The North Face and H&M accept torn or stained textiles. Please visit our Textiles page for more details and resources on how to discard unwanted clothes and old costumes (be sure they are free of glue and paint).

Pumpkin Repurpose

  • If your jack-o-lantern hasn’t been out on the porch too long, cook your pumpkin into a tasty post-Halloween soup or pie!
  • Toast pumpkin seeds using this simple recipe for a healthy and delicious snack.
  • And remember, inedible pumpkin parts can be added to your home compost pile or green compost cart. Visit our Composting in Marin page for more information about the items that belong in your green cart.

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 copy of this newsletter.