Tips for Residents

Minimize Waste while spending more time at home. Moving toward zero waste may not be at the top of our to-do lists.

Making the Most of Our Food While Dining At Home

Let’s make sure we prevent food waste as much as possible. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Shopping: Make a list and check what foods you already have, maybe hiding in the back of your fridge or pantry, to avoid unnecessary purchases
  • Storage: Fridge, pantry or countertop? Where and how you store fresh produce really affects its shelf-life
  • Organize your fridge: Use clear, labeled containers to find and remember foods. Designate an area for most perishable items to use up first.
  • Leftovers: They’re are instant meals or can be the base for a new dish. Try fried rice or pot pie to use up ingredients.
  • Expiration dates: They mark peak freshness, but most foods are safe to eat beyond the “best by” date. Your senses can help you assess.

What to Do with Extra Bags and Boxes

Are you ordering in more during Stay-at-Home? As we get more deliveries and can’t use our reusable bags at stores, paper and plastic bags and cardboard boxes are piling up! Here are some tips:

  • Paper bags: Store and reuse them, for example to hold kitchen scraps for compost.
  • Plastic bags: They’re not recyclable in your curbside cart. Use them to store fruit and vegetables in the fridge and to dispose of pet waste. If you need to dispose of plastic bags, please bundle loose bags into one and dispose in your Landfill Cart or return to grocery stores that accept them.

  • Avoid bags: Many shoppers are choosing, when possible, to just put their items back into their cart or basket without taking a bag, and then pack up items in their car or bicycle.

  • Reuse boxes: Keep those boxes to store items, such as things you’re saving for donation later

  • Recycle boxes: Break them down to fit into recycling bins, making sure the lid closes.

Spring Cleaning?
Collect, Sort and Store

You may be more aware of clutter and be moved to remove! Are you looking at piles of items to donate or recycle? Many facilities that were closed during the Covid 19 shutdown have begun to reopen for drop-off. Please be sure to separate your items for donation from items for disposal. See the list of location here (make a new download link under the Resident Services tab.

Paint, batteries, bulbs, hazardous waste and e-waste can be disposed of at Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility

Tip: Save some of the cardboard boxes you have received from deliveries or online orders to store items. Make sure to label them clearly! 

Zero Waste Yard Work

For those of us lucky enough to have a yard, gardening can be a great way to get fresh air, relax and spend time with the family outside. Even better if your garden work creates zero waste or even reduces waste! It’s easy with these tips from Zero Waste Marin:

  • Yard and garden waste, such as clippings, flowers, grass and leaves, can go in your green cart.
  • Maybe now’s the time to start composting at home! Find tips and resources at
  • Time to move along those tired pots or that statue that no longer appeals? Collect them in your “to donate” box and find them a new.
  • Pet waste should always, always go in the garbage.

For more tips on how to minimize waste, visit