Marin Sanitary Service is providing two new services this year to its ratepayers in Fairfax. The free hazardous waste pick-up has been replaced by a Curbside Cleanup day and two free scheduled Bulky Item Collections.
Curbside Cleanup: On curbside cleanup days, you can put out up to fourteen extra 32-gallon bags or cans (2 cubic yards) of garbage, recycling, and/or yard/food waste. Bulky items like mattresses, appliances, and furniture will NOT be collected during curbside clean-ups. The next curbside cleanup will be on your regularly scheduled collection day between September 26-30. If you are a Marin Sanitary Service customer, and do not live in Fairfax, your curbside cleanup may be scheduled for a different week. See this link for more details. (Note: Residents in the unincorporated areas of Fairfax are not serviced by Marin Sanitary Service and will not receive this service.)
Bulky Item Collections: Residential customers may receive two free scheduled bulky item collections per year of up to two items each time. Any item over 60 pounds or 6 feet will be subject to an additional fee to cover equipment and labor. Call Marin Sanitary Service customer service department at 415-456-2601 to get a quote or schedule your collection. A 24-hour notice is required for special pick-up requests. The quote given over the phone may change after the driver assesses the load.
This year Sustainable Fairfax is taking extra steps to reduce landfill waste at Streets for People. We are excited to share with you two simple ways to help reach our goal.
Reduce waste by bringing your personal reusable water bottle to the US Pure Water station, and earn a Fairbuck souvenier. Learn about the recent completion of the Fairbuck project here.
Streets for People is an opportunity to build personal relationships with the people in your community. One way we connect with each other is by eating together! We ask you to think of “to-go” as “to-stay,” and use the Sustainable Fairfax cutlery at the event: real utensils, just like home.
There will be baskets of cutlery at the Mana Bowls and Grilly’s booths for you to use. You can drop off your used cutlery at collection buckets located at the food tables and in the street.
Have you seen the sparkling new public waste and recycling receptacles in downtown Fairfax? What an improvement! Thanks to the Town of Fairfax, Marin Sanitary and Sustainable Fairfax for working together to make this happen.
IMPORTANT: The brown recycling receptacle is NOT for paper! Please use the brown receptacles for recyclable plastic bottles & containers (not plastic wrap!), glass bottles (you can keep the lid on) and aluminum cans. Its ok for your plastic containers to have some food on them, but wipe them out if you can.
WHAT GOES WHERE?
–PAPER CUPS. As at home, paper cups should go in the grey curbside landfill cart because they are often lined with plastic (the plastic lids can go in recycling).
–BIOPLASTICS. Bioplastics, also known as “compostable plastic,’ must be put in the grey landfill carts. These materials are not accepted our composting facility, Redwood Landfill, because the material does not breakdown fast enough for commercial composting.
–NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES. Clean paper can be recycled at home in the blue side of your curbside recycling cart, or in the paper recycling bin at the business you visited if they have one.
— SOILED NAPKINS & FOOD SCRAPS. Soiled napkins and food scraps go in the compost bin at the business you visited if they have one, in your green curbside yard & food waste cart at home, or (as a last resort) the grey landfill cart. There will not be public compost receptacles downtown because of the high contamination rates in public areas.
REFUSE PLASTIC & SINGLE-USE CONTAINERS WHEN POSSIBLE! Please remember that recycling is not the solution to our waste problem. There is a shrinking market for recycled plastic, not to mention the energy required to recycle. It is always best to ask the café or restaurant for reusable cups, utensils and containers or bring your own.
Let us know if you have any questions! Write SustainFX@gmail.com
I am a youth intern for Sustainable Fairfax. Recently I have worked on the Town of Fairfax’s zero waste initiative. Fairfax has a goal to divert 94% of the waste from landfill by 2020, five years ahead of Marin County. Keeping food waste out of the landfill is vital in order for Fairfax to reach that goal, considering food waste makes up 30% of landfill waste. Decomposing food in the landfill generates large amounts of methane, which is21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Globally, 50-70 million tonnes of methaneis produced from the landfill each year; this is a significant amount we can decrease.
Marin Sanitary Service has been working with the Town of Fairfax and Sustainable Fairfax to tackle the food waste problem at the commercial and residential levels. Thanks to Kim Scheibly of Marin Sanitary I received insider information about services they provide for businesses and residents to reduce landfill waste.
Businesses: Ms. Scheibly explained how businesses can decrease the food waste sent to landfill by participating in the Food 2 Energy program which uses a bio-digester to convert food waste to energy. The biofuel produced goes to powering the wastewater management services provided by the Central Marin Sanitation Agency. Food 2 Energy is paid for by business customers based on the size of their bin and number of collections, just like garbage. However, the cost for the Food 2 Energy collection service is over 50% less than the cost of the garbage service. This program is very popular with Fairfax businesses and has received positive feedback. So far Fairfax’s Mana Bowl, Peri’s, Cafe Lotus, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Sorella Cafe, Grilly’s, Red Boy Pizza, Coffee Roastery, Hummingbird, Taste Kitchen and Table and Ghiringhellis Pizza have committed to this sustainable initiative. According to Ms. Scheibly, there has been positive feedback from all of the business customers.
Residents: Food 2 Energy cannot be used on a residential scale because it is easily contaminated, but Fairfax residents interested in diverting their food waste from landfill can use the curbside composting service supplied by Marin Sanitary. Ms. Scheibly informed me that they switched compost facilities from Northern Recycling Compost in the East Bay to Redwood Landfill in Novato which recently expanded its composting operations. This allows Marin Sanitary to increase efficiencies and save money and fossil fuel on food waste transportation. The residential curbside composting works best for methane reduction when yard waste and food are mixed because the yard waste absorbs the methane from the food waste. This also solves some of the issues of odor and what many refer to as the “ick factor.”
As a bonus, Fairfax residents participating in curbside composting can save money on their garbage bill by converting to a smaller landfill cart. Residents also benefit from the free compost deliveries made by Marin Sanitary to the Fairfax Pavilion parking lot several times a year pursuant to the franchise agreement with the Town; sign up for the Sustainable Fairfax e-newsletter to be notified of these deliveries. There has been success with this diversion strategy according to Ms. Scheibly who reported many residents converting from 64 gallon to 32 gallon landfill containers. Twenty gallon landfill carts are also available.
It is important to note that all food items should be disposed of in the green cart, including meat, bones, and dairy products. The high temperature used in commercial composting allows these materials to break down quickly, unlike the process for backyard composting. Soiled paper, pizza boxes, napkins and paper towels can also go in the green bins. Unfortunately compostable plastics must be disposed of in your landfill cart, because these materials do not break down fast enough for commercial compost in Marin.
Marin Sanitary is currently working to expand multi-family curbside composting. I worked with Sustainable Fairfax on outreach to multi-family homes. The feedback and data collected ensured the system was working and we received positive feedback from all of the apartment complexes we visited. Marin Sanitary and Sustainable Fairfax continue to do outreach to educate residents about composting to help reach Fairfax’s diversion goal.
We all know climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society. Future generations will be affected by the progress we make today, and by working together we can ensure a safer, cleaner environment. Residents and business owners can take significant action against climate change through diversion of food waste from the landfill. For more information, visit http://marinsanitaryservice.com or write to Sustainable Fairfax at SustainFX@gmail.com
By Kanya Hart, Drake High School Senior & Sustainable Fairfax Zero Waste Intern
During the holidays we all let go a little. But it doesn’t have to be expensive, on our wallets or the Earth. According to Nielsen.com, Americans buy 598 million pounds of candy each year that have to be trucked or flown cross-country and internationally for purchase. Not only do Americans generate tons of waste from each individually wrapped candy, but are additionally paying for the carbon emissions from transportation to the store. You can help the Earth and celebrate this Halloween without stressing your wallets.
Here are some fun ideas for a sustainable Halloween:
- Avoid the big box stores and pick up a last minute costume (and homemade crafts) at the Fairfax Community Church Parking Lot Sale on Saturday, October 31, 10am – 4pm.
IDEAS FOR TREATS
Celebrate the harvest season by buying local, fair trade, organic products
- collect stones, leaves, berries, pressed flowers and acorns to draw, glue or decorate for personalized treasures
- give out seasonal seed packets (Pick up at O’Donnell’s Nursery or the garden at Fairfax Lumber Hardware)
TRICK OR TREAT BAGS
Purchase an organic pumpkin right off the vine at Nicasio Pumpkin Patch only 20 minutes from town
- every weekend in October, 10am – 6pm
- hayrides, BBQ, face-painting, a giant slide, music and special weekend activities
- Engage in a fun art project with leftover candy wrappers and make bracelets, purses and other jewelry, or decorate household items
- Take one last picture and bring your pumpkin to Marin Sanitary Service on November 7th for a free facility tour and compost container
- Donate your costumes and decorations to Goodwill or store them in your closet for next year
OTHER GREEN TIPS
Remember to buy as little as possible! Reuse materials in fun creative ways and share ideas with others. At the end of the day the most rewarding experiences are made in a community.
See you in Town and Have FUN!