Mandatory Commercial Recycling

California disposes 40+ million tons of waste per year, which is more than the national average per capita. The state has set a goal that not less than 75% of solid waste generated shall be source reduced, recycled, or composted by the year 2020. Marin County has a higher diversion goal of 94% by the year 2025. In order to reach its goal, the State of California passed Assemble Bill 341, which mandates that commercial and public entities which generate over 4 cubic yards of waste every week are required to recycle as of July 2012. Additionally, multifamily residences (apartment complexes) with 5 or more units are required to have recycling services.

How to up your recycling services

Visit Marin Sanitary Service (MSS) to sign up for recycling services and keep resources out of the landfill. MSS also provides free outreach materials for employees, customers, and tenants. They can help by providing resources you need to set up a successful recycling program, including Bilingual Signage, Apartment Recycling Tips and Business Recycling Tips.

Recycling ROI examples:

Source separation of recyclable materials from solid waste and proper disposal of larger items may reduce your waste hauling bill.

  • A 35 unit multifamily residence with no previous recycling signed a recycling contract with Marin Sanitary Service and conducted residential outreach about ways to recycle. They decreased their garbage service by one cart for a savings of $88.98 per month or 6%. If they continue to reduce their garbage down to the minimum service level, they could save $532 a month or 33%.
  • A waste audit of a 20,000 square foot medical office discovered that all of the separated recyclable materials were eventually being placed into the garbage dumpster by their janitorial service.  After revamping their recycling program and explaining it to all of the tenants, they were able to reduce their garbage generation from 10 cubic yards per week to only 5 cubic yards per week, for a savings of $570 a month, or 50%!
  • For schools, implementing an intensive recycling training and education program can significantly reduce waste, along with an organics program. Including organics and composting services helped one San Rafael school save $1,025 a month, or 73%!

Although these examples are estimates and results vary by individual accounts, increased recycling and waste diversion is clearly good for the bottom line. Contact MSS to learn how to do your part and help Marin achieve Zero Waste in 2025.

This is a great video that demonstrates proper recycling habits at work:

Construction & Demolition Recycling

Businesses can also help the city reach its Zero Waste goal through the diversion of construction and demolition waste. Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste constitutes approximately 16% of material landfilled in Marin County and a similarly large portion of the waste stream in the City of San Rafael. Additionally, C&D waste reduction has been proven to increase site and worker safety while being cost effective.

It is possible to divert 100% of asphalt and concrete and at least 70% of all remaining debris. Check out the Marin Resource Recovery Center or the Redwood Landfill Recovery Center for more information.

Review the the City of San Rafael Municipal Code regulating C&D debris.

 Did you know?

Local roofers can now recycle composition shingles at Marin Sanitary Service (MSS). The Marin Builders Association in partnership with Marin Sanitary Service and Zero Waste Marin has launched a pilot project called Roofs to Roads.

The discarded roofing shingles will be turned into a renewable asphalt base or hot mix additive for paving. More than 4,800 tons of roofing shingles are dumped in Marin landfills every year, which detracts from Marin County’s zero waste goal for 2025. Roofs to Roads takes a plentiful waste stream and turns it into a recyclable resource that will prevent the use of new materials.

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