Greencycling/Composting and Recycling Tips

Our garbage company, Bay Cities Refuse, picks up “green waste” on Friday mornings and takes it to a large compost facility in Richmond where it is turned into gardening compost.  Green waste includes clippings from flower pots (but not soil) and left over food, including meat and bones, fish, fruit and vegetables, egg shells, bread and coffee grounds. As you probably know, when green waste goes into plastic bags and is put into landfill, it creates the harmful methane gas that contributes to global warming.

If you want to start composting household and garden green waste, please contactChairperson Jenny Stein at jennystein @ for program information. 

Things that CAN go into the Dark Green Waste Barrel include:

  • Soiled paper, like food containers, milk containers, tea bags and coffee filters, paper towels, ice cream containers and paper bags that hold your green waste
  • Vegetable and fruit peelings, cores and stems
  • Eggs and eggshells, natural corks, sawdust, wooden coffee stirrers
  • Garden waste, leaves and branches
  • Cooked and uncooked food scraps and leftovers, including meat, fish and bones

Things that CAN NOT go into the Dark Green Waste Barrel are:

  • Plastic, including plastic bags
  • Pet litter
  • Dirt and rocks
  • Hazardous waste
  • Metal or Glass
  • Construction materials

Trash Recycling
Things that CAN go in recycling bins include:

  • CANS – put all CLEAN metal and plastics in your recycling bins.  RINSE them before recycling.  Aluminum, tin and steel are all OK, but not pressurized cans or scrap metal.
  • CARDBOARD – Flatten all boxes, to leave room for other things to go in the bin. The garbage men will not take large boxes that have not been flattened or Styrofoam “peanuts”, so remove styrofoam from boxes before recycling. Waxed boxes like milk cartons also cannot be recycled.
  • CATALOGUES AND MAGAZINES — Go in the same bin with the cans, cardboard and boxes.
  • GLASS – such as CLEAN and RINSED bottles and jars.  Other types of glass like light bulbs, window glass, drinking glasses or mirrors must be taken to the free Hazardous Waste Facility in San Rafael (415 485-5806) because they contain lead and other contaminants.
  • NEWSPAPERS, JUNK MAIL, OFFICE PAPER – All of these can be added to the recycling bins, as long as the paper is clean.  Please, no nasty used tissues or dirty food containers.
  • PLASTIC CONTAINERS – RINSED plastics numbered 1 – 7 can go into the recycling containers.  NOT PLASTIC BAGS – Take those to the recycling bins at the grocery store.

Things that CAN’T go into your recycling bins but should be recycled:

  • BATTERIES –Can be recycled at Water Street Hardware in Sausalito, Ace Hardware on 101 North in Mill Valley, or the free Hazardous Waste Facility (415 485-5806).
  • BICYCLES AND PARTS – Can be taken to the Recyclery Thrift Shop at 610 4th Street in San Rafael.
  • CLOTHES AND SHOES – Call Goodwill and Salvation Army, which both have centers for clothing donations.
  • COMPACT FLOURESCENT BULBS AND FLOURESCENT TUBES – Can be recycled at Water Street Hardware in Sausalito, Ace Hardware on 101 North in Mill Valley, or the free Hazardous Waste Facility (415 485-5806).
  • COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS – TVs and computers have heavy metals and that must not go into landfills.  Take them to the Hazardous Waste Facility and recycle small electronics in the bins at Best Buy or Renew Computers in San Rafael.
  • PAINT, OIL AND SOLVENTS – Take them to the free Hazardous Waste Facility in San Rafael (415 485-5806)
  • PLASTIC BAGS – Nothing is uglier and more dangerous to water wildlife than drifting plastic bags.  Don’t put them in recycling containers where they will blow away or garbage landfills where they won’t ever decompose. Do take them to the recycling bins outside Safeway and Mollie Stones.
  • STYROFOAM – Recycle packing “peanuts” at the Ship n’ Mail shop and the UPS Store on Bridgeway.

Need to dispose of something else? Here are some helpful contacts:

  • SAN RAFAEL DUMP (415-485-5646) is at the end of Jacoby Street, off Anderson Drive in San Rafael.
  • SAN RAFAEL HAZARDOUS WASTE CENTER (415-485-5806) is right next to the dump.
  • TOXIC TAXI – (888-869-8294) for a small fee, you can call this service, run by the San Rafael Fire Department, to pick up as much as 35 pound of toxic materials for proper disposal. They will pick up almost anything except contaminated soil, asbestos, explosives, or medical and radioactive waste.
  • OTHER STUFF – consider the Marin County recycling website:, or iReuse, or listing it on

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