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What is the compost bin program? 

In an effort to help support compliance with the mandatory composting law, AB 1826, the City of San Rafael, in partnership with Zero Waste Marin, is awarding businesses that sign up with Marin Sanitary’s commercial composting service up to $600 in free indoor composting bins. 


Why do I need to sign up for composting?

State law AB 1826 currently requires all businesses that produce over a combined two cubic yards of solid waste (total of trash, recycling, and organics) per week to sign up for composting services. For reference, two cubic yards is about the size of a full-size pickup truck bed or 6 feet X 3 feet X 3 feet.

Starting January 2022, a new composting law known as SB 1383 will begin rolling into place. This more comprehensive law will require all businesses, regardless of weekly solid waste output, to sign up for composting services. Businesses that do not comply with the regulations will receive financial penalties starting in 2024.


Who is eligible? (businesses must meet both of the following requirements) 

  • San Rafael businesses that are currently non-compliant with mandatory composting laws, but are in the process of signing up for composting services through Marin Sanitary Service.
  • San Rafael businesses with fewer than 50 employees

Please note that businesses eligible for Marin Sanitary’s Food 2 Energy program are already entitled to receive two free indoor bins from Marin Sanitary and are therefore not eligible to receive bins from the City’s free indoor composting bin program 

For any questions or concerns about eligibility, please e-mail Travis Osland


What do I have to do to get the free indoor composting bins? 

Step 1Sign up for Marin Sanitary’s commercial composting service. To do so, please reach out to Marin Sanitary Service @ 415-456-2601 or commercialrecycling@marinsanitary.com.

Step 2After signing up with Marin Sanitary, you can then fill out the application to order the bins. The application shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes: application link. 

Step 3Shortly after ordering your bins, a Marin Sanitary Service representative will reach out to schedule an on-site visit to help you get your bins setup properly, provide educational material, and answer any waste-related questions that you may have. 

For any other questions or concerns about the program, e-mail Travis Osland


What bins are available? 

Each qualifying business is eligible to receive up to $600 in free indoor green bins. We just ask that you help us to benefit more local businesses by only ordering the amount of bins that you actually need. 

Please refer to this table below for the available bin options


Advantages of this bin  



Desk side 7 gallon bin
  • Inexpensive  
  • Clear Coloring  
  • Good for office-spaces  
7 Gallons  


10.5" w x 14.25" l x 15" h  

23-Gallon Slim Jim Container with Charcoal Lid 







Optional Dolley  

  • Space-saving slim design  
  • Lid to contain odors and keep out pests  
  • Clear signage  
  • Optional dolley can help to increase longevity  
23 Gallons  


11" w x 20" l x 30" h  

$124 for bin  

$80 for dolley  

12-Gallon Step-On Bin

  • Slim profile  
  • Lid contains odors  
  • Step-on opening makes it hands free  
  • Complies with OSHA regulations  
15”L x 16.25”W x 23.63”H  $120  
  2.25-Gallon Portable Kitchen Compost Bin
  • Small size is great for kitchens/break rooms and other tight spaces  
  • Carbon filters and lid are great for containing odors   
  • Portable handle makes it easy to take out  
  • Inexpensive  
9" w x 8.5" l x 11" h  $10 for bin  

$6 for optional set of carbon filters 



When can I apply and when will I get my bins? 

The application will remain open until funds run out or until May 31st, whichever comes first. If you want to ensure that you get your bins, get signed up with Marin Sanitary and fill out your application ASAP!  

Applications will be reviewed once a week, and shipping times range from 3-5 business days, so once you've submitted your application, you can expect to receive the bins within a total of 5-10 business days   


Other Requirements to Get Your Bins Set-Up

While you're waiting for your bins to arrive, we do require that you take these four, relatively painless steps to ensure that your bins are used to their full potential. All of this material will also be sent out in a post-application e-mail.

  1. Marin Sanitary Service/City of San Rafael Site Visit 

    • To ensure proper usage of the composting bins at your site, we require that you allow a Marin Sanitary Service employee and potentially a City Employee come out to help get your bins get set-up and provide relevant educational material. You can expect a call/e-mail from Ruben Hernandez from Marin Sanitary Service to arrange this visit in the coming days. This visit will be performed in a COVID-19 safe manner.  

2. Communicate Educational Material to Employees 

    • Bonus: this guide also has some great tips about how to keep your compost bins clean! 

3. Post Flyers/Posters on Indoor Compost Bins to Clearly Label Them 

  • To promote continued proper usage of your indoor composting bins, we’d also ask that you print out and post flyers/stickers on your bins that clearly show what goes in the bins. Both of these links below also have flyers for your other landfill and recycling bins so that you can keep the labels consistent! Marin Sanitary’s flyers are a bit more thorough, but we think our own flyers we use at the City are a bit more aesthetically pleasing 

4. Check Outdoor Compost Bin After First Week 

  • After your first week of composting at your business, we’d like to ask that you also do quick visual check of your outdoor landfill and compost bins to see if everyone at your site is sorting their organics properly. If you notice a lot of non-compostable material in your compost bin or a lot of compostable material in your landfill bin, we’d ask that you please re-educate your employees about proper composting practices. 


If the application link is closed before May 31, the program funds have run out.

If the application link is closed that means that we have unfortunately run out of funds at this time to support the program. We would love to support as many businesses as possible, but there is only so much money set aside to fund the program. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you and/or your business. 

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