News Flash

News and Events in the Community

Posted on: November 5, 2019

A Message About Dual-Stream Recycling

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Please read the following important message regarding dual-stream recycling that Mill Valley Refuse Service (MVRS) suggested we share with you. 



"We at Mill Valley Refuse realize we’re on a rocky road towards acceptance of dual stream recycling collection by our customers. I’d like to address some of the most common complaints we’re receiving about dual stream collection so far.

Most of the calls are about recycle carts not being dumped for one of the following three reasons:

  1. Carts have the wrong material put out that week (i.e. Paper on the Container week and visa-versa).
  2. Carts are still filled with single-stream material (i.e. paper mixed with containers).
  3. Contamination (i.e. trash items) in the recycle cart.

We picked up carts with the first two problems during a grace period for the whole month of September. Loads were dumped during this time to the single stream processor in San Jose. Now our drivers must deliver only properly separated loads to the dual stream processing plant in San Rafael, so they can no longer pick up improperly sorted carts.

The really big issue is the third reason carts are not being picked up—contamination. This is not a result of dual stream sorting. Contamination in the recycle carts existed long before and was actually a reason to move to dual stream recycling. We are taking contamination seriously and will continue to monitor and enforce the collection of clean recycling materials in the foreseeable future.

The good news is that the majority of our customers (your neighbors) are doing great with dual stream sorting. Initial reports from the Marin Sanitary processing plant are that our separated loads are very clean. 

However, contamination in the forms of outright trash or a misunderstanding of what is actually a recyclable item frequently occurs. Which brings me to a common—but erroneous—complaint about dual stream recycling: that dual stream has changed the rules about recycling. The truth is that more carts on the Container Week are being tagged simply because trash items are much easier to spot now that paper is no longer hiding the trash items. 

Clearly plastic items are giving people the most trouble. Keep it simple by only recycling plastic bottles, jugs and tubs. All plastic bags, plastic wrapping, and ANY other forms of plastic that aren’t in the shape of a bottle, jug or tub should be put into trash. And please don’t bag any recyclables. Dump all items from bags into the Container cart and put paper bags into the Paper cart.

Also, when we say no 'coated paper,' we are referring only to waxy coatings—like milk cartons. Glossy magazines and cereal boxes are not considered coated paper and are OK to recycle.

I understand the alternating-week collection of the Paper and Container carts adds an added detail to your waste collection service, but the calendar with the week-to-week schedule is available on our website, and if you prefer not to think about it, you can just put out both carts and our driver will dump the correct one for that week.

Please understand we are committed to dual stream collection and will continue our efforts to make the rules about what goes into which cart as clear as possible.  

Our updated website will answer virtually all your recycling questions. Please visit us at www.millvalleyrefuse.com. If you want to discuss specific issues, email me directly at jiavarone@millvalleyrefuse.com. Thank you." 


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