Turn Down the Volume on Waste!

Many items these days arrive swamped in unnecessary packaging, are used once and then get tossed. Too often, these “convenient” items lead to an inconvenient problem: Waste! This stuff takes up a lot of space in the landfill. Often it doesn’t make it to the landfill and instead becomes ugly and unhealthy pollution. We can reduce the amount of waste.

Turning down the volume means:

  • Selecting reusable solutions for everyday products,
  • Thinking through a product’s life and contents, then buying wisely and
  • Choosing reduced packaging.

Learn easy and economical ways to turn down the volume on waste: https://zerowastemarin.org/replace/


Effective September 2021

New Regulations Impacting Residential Service

Bay Cities Refuse has been working with The City of Sausalito and the Sausalito Sustainability Commission on complying with a new State regulation, SB 1383. Your current bill in part reflects an increase to provide for services related to this compliance. Details about SB 1383 are provided in the September 2021 newsletter.

Preparing for mandatory composting, improved sorting, and your three-bin system:

SB 1383 focuses on the elimination of methane gas created by organic materials in landfills and requires that clean streams of organic material be collected, recovered, and recycled into new end-products like compost or biofuel. The quality of the end-product is determined by the quality of the material collected, so residents and businesses must properly sort materials, and containers will be monitored for contamination. A three-container collection system will allow Sausalito to comply with SB 1383 by aligning collection programs with local waste processing facility infrastructure. All State jurisdictions will be required to provide:

Standardized colors of residential and business containers and2. Container labels on all containers. In the three-container system, residents and businesses in Sausalito must separate organic waste, traditional recyclables, and items to be landfilled.

  • GREEN CONTAINER: Limited to food waste, yard waste, green waste, other organic materials.
  • BLUE CONTAINER: Allows for traditional recyclables, such as bottles, cans, and plastic, and organic waste such as paper and cardboard.
  • GRAY CONTAINER: Limited to waste that is not organic or recyclable.

In short, SB 1383 makes it unlawful to throw food waste in the garbage, and imposes requirements on the City, its businesses and residents, and the hauler, including record keeping, labeling, contamination monitoring and education and outreach.

What to Expect Next

In Sausalito we already have an organics collection program in place, but we do not have the gray cart for landfill/garbage. Bay Cities will be providing a gray cart to all residents to complete the Standardized color collection system requirement of SB 1383. Carts have been ordered and we expect to be delivering to residents in the month of November. Additional information will be forthcoming so your household may prepare. There will be no changes to collection procedures by Bay Cities. Customers may continue to place containers in their traditional location as they are now. We will work with customers as needed who may have questions as we move forward. After your new cart is delivered, Bay Cities Refuse can haul away your old can to be recycled, and the plastic can be used in the production of new carts.

If you are currently placing organic waste, especially food waste in your green bin continue to do so, and if not, now is a good time to start. As of Jan. 1, 2022, SB 1383 will make it mandatory to do so. As a reminder, organic waste refers to food waste (including vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, meat, dairy, bones and rotting food), food-soiled paper, (including soiled pizza boxes, coffee filters, and paper napkins) and yard trimmings.

More Information About SB 1383

The State has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve human health, and create clean jobs that support resilient local economies. Implementing the statewide plan under SB 1383 will reduce short-lived, harmful, super pollutants with significant global warming impacts, and is essential to achieving California’s climate goals.Organic waste in landfills emit 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings, soiled paper and soiled cardboard, make up half of what Californians send to landfills. In 2016, the State passed SB 1383 which focuses on the reduction of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants and the elimination of methane gas created by organic materials in landfills. From 2016-2020, the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) worked to further develop these regulations to achieve these goals. SB 1383 affects all California residents, including single-and multi-family homes and commercial. The new regulations were finalized by CalRecycle in November 2020 and take effect in January 2022, making it mandatory to compost organics and including enforcement and penalty provisions.

Commercial Mandatory Recycling /Composting Laws

The Sausalito ordinance is part of a county-wide effort and our Sustainability Commission wouldlike to collaborate with you in preparation for the Marin County foodware ordinance, which will soonprohibit single-use plastics at food establishments. Both the Sausalito ordinance and the proposedMarin County ordinance state that all food businesses are required to make the move awayfrom disposable single-use plastic to non-plastic alternatives like those made of fiber.Specifically, businesses will be required to switch from plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery,and plastic clamshells. Non-plastic alternative items should only be provided upon request. Read More

Complying with California Mandatory Commercial Recycling & Composting Laws: AB341 & AB1826

According to the State of Recycling in California Report written by CalRecycle in March 2015, businesses generate nearly three-fourths of the solid waste in California. Much of this is readily recyclable, as the majority of California’s waste stream is made up of food, organics, paper, and plastic. California is one of the first states in the nation to enact a statewide program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills. AB 341 also establishes a state-wide goal to divert 75% of solid waste away from landfills by the year 2020. By recycling you effectively reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Mandatory Commercial Recycling (MCR)

AB 341 was adopted into California Law in 2012 to enhance systems that capture recyclable materials from the commercial sector. It requires businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, including schools, to arrange for recycling services or self- haul to a recycling center. It also requires that multifamily complexes with five units or more arrange for recycling services or self- haul to a recycling center. The full text of AB 341 and FAQs can be found here.

Mandatory Commercial Organics (MORe)

AB 1826, the Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling Bill, became effective January 1, 2016. Over time, it requires more and more businesses to subscribe to commercial organics collection programs; see the implementation timeline below. Every hauler in Marin offers commercial organics programs. More information about the law including FAQs can be found here.

Implementation Dates & Thresholds:

  • April 1, 2016 – eight cubic yards of organic waste/week
  • January 1, 2017 – four cubic yards of organic waste/week
  • January 1, 2019 – four cubic yards of solid waste/week

Why Divert Organics from Trash?

Diverting organic material is arguably more important than diverting recyclable material because when organic materials enter the landfill, it breaks down and releases a gas known as methane.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change in the same way that CO2 does, but has a warming effect 34 times stronger than CO2. Composting one ton of organic waste has the same emission reductions as taking a car off the road for two months.

In addition to diverting waste from landfills and reducing harmful emissions, finished compost has many environmental benefits as a soil additive, including reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, improving soil water retention, and assisting in erosion control.

EARTH DAY is approaching and now is the time to think of how you can make a difference going forward:
•Reduce the amount of material you put in the Landfill.
•Separate your Compostables from your Landfil.
•Reuse composted material in your garden.

•Bring your own bags and buckets and scoop what you need from the wooden compost bin at MLK Park parking lot (by the tennis courts) off Coloma Street.
•Open daily, FREE!

Factoids, Tips & Tricks

Did you know that food scraps and other organic materials in the landfill contribute to the single largest direct human source of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas? Help make a positive environmental impact by properly diverting food scraps and other organic materials into your GREEN bin to be composted.

•25-30% of items in our local garbage are food and other organic materials. Diverting these materials to your green compost bin saves room in your garbage and the landfill.
•Food scraps, food-soiled paper products, such as paper plates & cups, paper towels, pizza boxes and yard trimmings all belong in the green bin.
•Bones, fish, shellfish and their shells? Skip the garbage and make sure all these items go into your green compost bin.
•Food soiled cardboard and paper takeout containers can all go into the green compost bin.
•Did you know that natural (plastic-free) wine corks can go into the green bin?
•Coffee grounds, coffee filters and tea bags are all green compost bin approved.
•Uncoated wooden items like chopsticks, coffee stirrers, toothpicks and popsicle sticks can be thrown into the green bin.