Composting in Marin

Composting in Marin

Zero Waste Marin understands that diverting green waste and food scraps at home isn’t always easy. Some items are confusing, and each waste hauler in Marin County has their own rules for residential green waste collection.

Review the FAQs below for helpful tips, resources, and a list of the most common items that belong in your compost cart.

Which items belong in my green cart?

Food Scraps

Whether it's raw (such as banana peels and carrot tops), or cooked (such as plate scrapings, meat and bones), or rotten (such as expired leftovers and takeout) - it all belongs in the green cart.

food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel
food scraps banana peel

Food Soiled Paper

Food soiled paper such as paper napkins, paper towels, paper plates, coffee, filters and pizza boxes belong in the green cart. Paper with a shiny surface is not compostable and belongs in the garbage.

Yard & Garden Waste

Compostable Service Ware

 

Which items do NOT belong in my green cart?

  • Animal waste
  • “Biodegradable plastics” (Rule of thumb: if it looks like plastic, it is not compostable.)
  • Cat litter
  • “Compostable plastics” (Rule of thumb: if it looks like plastic, it is not compostable.)
  • Diapers
  • Glass
  • Liquids
  • Metals and foil
  • Milk Cartons
  • Plastic bags and containers – take food out of the plastic bag before throwing it into the compost
  • Plastic flower pots
  • Plastic trays
  • Polylactic acid (PLA) cups
  • Polystyrene
  • Rocks & dirt
  • Waxed paper

Where can I get a kitchen compost pail?

Zero Waste Marin gives out kitchen compost pails at many local events, including fairs, community events, and farmers’ markets.

You can also contact your local hauler to see if they provide compost pails.

Can I use BioBags?

Most green waste (which includes food scraps and food soiled paper) collected in Marin is delivered to WM EarthCare located in Novato, an Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Certified Program for organic farming applications. Biobags cannot be used by residents served by Marin Sanitary Service, Tamalpais Community Service District, Mill Valley Refuse, Rcology Sonoma Marin and Novato Disposal because the Biobags do not meet WM EarthCare’s standards for organic material, Visit WM EarthCare’s website to learn more.

The green waste from the communities of Sausalito and Marin City served by Bay Cities Refuse is delivered to the compost facility in West Contra Costa County; this facility accepts BioBags.

If you don’t want to put your food scraps directly into your kitchen counter pail, you can line it with old newspaper or a paper bag to help keep your pail clean.

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 food scraps until they are ready for the green cart!

How do I find out who my waste hauler is?

Please visit out Who is My Hauler page.