What Can and Can’t You Recycle in Marin County?

by | Jan 9, 2016 | Latest Post

As a sustainable moving company, Good Green Moving gets asked all kinds of questions about recycling almost every day. In particular, callers want to know what can you actually recycle in Marin County? Where can you recycle it? And what can’t you recycle?

What is Recyclable in Marin County?

First of all, Marin Recycling Center at 535 Jacoby Street, San Rafael, 94901 is Marin County’s processing facility for all residential and commercial recyclable materials collected in the blue dual sort carts at the curbside. In addition to processing all curbside recyclables, the Buy Back center inside the Marin Recycling Center will pay you for certain recyclable items.

What is Recyclable in Marin County?

Marin Recycling Center accepts the following:

  • Aluminum and tin cans
  • Glass bottles
  • Plastic bottles that are California Redemption Value (CRV) (See this list for more information)
  • Newspapers, waste paper and cardboard
  • Other materials that can be sold at Marin Recycling include scrap aluminum, copper, brass, steel and cardboard bundles of 300 pounds or more, but each must be pre-sorted so they can be weighed for their different values.
  • Finally, Marin Recycling also accepts old cars for dismantling and recycling for a nominal fee. For more information, call 415-453-1404, extension 3233.

Can I Recycle Electronics in Marin County?

eWaste is an industry that’s growing exponentially year after year. eWaste includes just about anything that you can plug into a power outlet or runs on batteries, such as:

  • Monitors/TVs
  • Flat screen monitors and TVs
  • Computers
  • Keyboards
  • Laptops and accessories
  • Cell phones, PDAs and cameras
  • Wires and cables
  • Desktop and floor-model printers
  • Scanners, fax machines and copiers
  • Audio/video equipment
  • Microwaves and toasters
  • Uninterruptible power supplies
  • Other small items

Places in Marin County where you can recycle eWaste include:

Renew Computers, founded in 1988, is the largest independent electronics recycling company in Marin County. Last year, Renew Computers reused or recycled over one million pounds of electronic waste. Of that, all electronics donated were processed within the U.S. or by a certified recycler. No items will ever end up in a landfill. It’s located at 446 DuBois Street, San Rafael, CA 94901.

Mike Reynolds, Operations Manager, said: “My Dad built this family business when people were just starting to recycle electronics. We’re proud to be the first and look forward to serving Marin County residents for years to come. We donated 40 computers to an elementary school. We are very big on reusing computers and working with nonprofits and their clients, College of Marin, and other groups to enable more people to use computers.”

Computers and Technology Resource Center, is a Bay Area non-profit ewaste collector with its main office in Marin and a branch office in Berkeley. Founded in 1994, it collects all types of ewaste donations and donors can qualify for a tax deduction. This resource center refurbishes used computers from businesses and individuals to donate them back to the community to bridge the digital divide. It’s located at 42 Digital Drive, #3, Novato, 94949.

“We started by pulling computers out of dumpsters and getting them working again. People come to us because they like the fact that we try to reuse anything we can. We’d rather reuse than recycle. We’ve given away an average of about 500 computers per year since 1994 to low-income families because anyone who needs a computer can complete a form on our website to qualify for one.” – Ron Berry, Manager.


What Recycle Items Can’t Be Picked Up Curbside?

Marin Resource Recovery Center at 565 Jacoby Street, San Rafael, 94901 accepts all types of non-hazardous commercial and residential solid waste including yard waste; construction, demolition and debris; dirt, rock, concrete, asphalt and brick; as well as bulky items (mattresses, furniture, all appliances, carpets, toilets, cars and truck tires up to 41 inches in diameter).

So as you can see, you can recycle just about anything you want in Marin County, from computers to computer paper, and from scrap metal to tin cans.

What Can You Not Recycle in Marin County?

  • Large appliances
  • Washing machines
  • Stoves and furnaces
  • Appliances containing gas or liquids
  • Air conditioners
  • Refrigerators
  • Oil heaters
  • Household (alkaline) batteries
  • Liquids of any type
  • VHS and Audio Tapes
  • Devices containing mercury
  • Smoke alarms
  • Florescent bulbs

What is Illegal to Recycle in Marin County?

Throughout California, it is illegal to recycle or dispose of hazardous waste in the garbage, down storm drains, or onto the ground. Chemicals in illegally or improperly disposed hazardous waste including motor oil, paint, electronic devices or batteries can be released into the environment and contaminate our air, water, and possibly the food we eat. And by throwing hazardous waste in the garbage, you can cause additional hazards to your garbage handler. For more information, contact California Recycle here.