Novato Sanitary District

What Goes Where?

Find out how to properly dispose of your items by viewing the tabs below or by searching for an item (last tab). You can also view or download the printable sorting guides. If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for, please reach out!

We accept all food scraps, soiled paper, and plants in the green compost cart. Please do not place compostable material in plastic or compostable plastic bags, as the current regional compost facilities are unable to process those materials. Paper bags are acceptable.

Accepted Compost Materials
Unaccepted Compost Materials
Food Scraps

  • Bread, grains and pasta
  • Coffee grounds with paper filter
  • Dairy
  • Eggshells and eggs
  • Fruit (pits and shells too)
  • Leftovers and spoiled food
  • Meat (including bones)
  • Seafood (including shellfish)
  • Tea and tea bags
  • Vegetables

Food Soiled Paper

  • Coffee filters
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Paper cups and plates (without film plastic liner)
  • Paper bags, napkins, tissues and towels
  • Paper take-out boxes and containers
    (without film plastic liner)
  • Tissues
Plants

  • Branches and brush
  • Flowers and floral trimmings
  • Grasses and weeds
  • Leaves
  • Tree trimmings (less than 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet long)

Other

  • Hair, fur, and feathers (non-synthetic)
  • Shredded paper
  • Wood – small pieces of lumber or sawdust from clean wood only (no plywood, press board, painted, stained or treated wood)
  • Wooden chop sticks and coffee stir sticks

  • Aluminum foil or trays
  • “Biodegradable” and “Compostable” labeled plastics (bags, utensils, cups)
  • Cat litter or animal feces
  • Ceramic dishware or glassware
  • Clothing, linens and rags
  • Cooking oil
  • Corks – Natural
  • Corks – plastic
  • Diapers
  • Dirt, rocks or stone
  • Flower pots or trays
  • Foil-backed or plastic-backed paper
  • Glass, metal or plastic not labeled “Compostable”
  • Juice or soy milk type boxes with foil liner
  • Liquids or ice
  • Plastic bags, wrappers or film
  • Recyclable/clean cardboard or paper
  • Styrofoam
  • Waxy paper milk and juice cartons/cardboard
  • Wood – plywood, press board, painted or stained wood
  • Oleander, Poison Oak, Yukka tree trimmings, Bamboo, Cactus, Palm fronds

Please do not place recyclable materials in plastic bags, as the recycling facility is unable to process those materials. Paper bags are acceptable.

Accepted Recycling Materials Unaccepted Recyclables
Glass (no liquids or food)

  • Glass bottles and jars only (metal caps and lids too)

Metal (no liquids or food)

  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil and trays (ball foil up to softball size)
  • Caps and lids from bottles, jars and steel (tin) cans
  • Paint cans (must be empty or dry)
  • Spray cans (must be empty)
  • Steel (tin) cans

Plastic bottles, tubs, and jugs (rinsed)

  • Bottles (leave caps on)
  • Containers and clam shells
  • Laundry detergent bottles
  • Tubs and lids (yogurt containers and Tupperware)
Paper (clean, dry and unsoiled)

  • Bags (paper only, no plastic)
  • Cardboard (non-waxed)
  • Cereal boxes
  • Computer and office paper
  • Egg cartons
  • Envelopes (windows okay)
  • Juice or soy milk type boxes with foil liner
  • Junk mail and magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Packing paper
  • Phone books
  • Sticky notes
  • Waxy paper milk or juice cartons
  • Wrapping paper
    (non-metallic)

  • Batteries
  • Ceramic dishware or glassware
  • Clothing, linens and rags
  • Coat hangers
  • Electronics
  • Foil-backed or plastic-backed paper
  • Food scraps
  • Glass mirrors and windows
  • Incandescent light bulbs,
    Fluorescent light bulbs and HIDs
  • Plastic bags, wrappers or film
  • Plastic items mixed with metal, fabric or rubber
  • Plastic labeled “Compostable” or “Biodegradable”
  • Scrap metal
  • Shredded paper
  • Soiled paper
  • Styrofoam
  • Waxed cardboard and paper
  • Wood
  • Yard trimmings

Few materials, once used, are actually trash. Among such materials are non-recyclable plastics and other complex materials that were not designed to be recycled.  See the list below for an overview of materials that belong in your garbage bin.

Accepted Landfill Items Unaccepted Trash Items
  • Cat litter and animal feces (bagged)
  • Ceramic dishware or glassware
  • Clothing linens and rags
  • Cigarette Butts (extinguished – run under water prior to disposal)
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Foil-backed or plastic-backed paper
  • Glass mirrors and windows
  • Incandescent light bulbs
    (no fluorescents or HIDs)
  • Mylar (shiny metal) bags (potato chips, candy bars, balloons, etc)
  • Pens and pencils
  • Plastic bags, wrappers and film (not labeled “Compostable”)
  • Plastic items mixed with metal, fabric or rubber
  • Plastic labeled “Biodegradable” only
  • Rubber bands
  • Six-pack ring holder – please cut up
  • Sponges
  • Styrofoam™
  • Twist Ties
  • Wood – small pieces of plywood, press board, and painted or stained wood

  • Appliances
  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Construction debris
  • Cooking oil and grease
  • Dirt, rocks or stone
  • Electronics
  • Fluorescent or HID light bulbs
  • Household hazardous waste or chemicals
  • Large items (furniture, metal, plastic, wood)
  • Liquids or ice
  • Motor oil
  • Needles or syringes
  • Paint
  • Toys with electronics or batteries

It is illegal to put items such as electronics, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, pesticides, and other chemicals in the trash. When household hazardous wastes end up in a landfill, they can cause serious threats to humans, wildlife and the environment.

RESOURCES

Toxics: The Novato Sanitary District operates a drop-off facility for household hazardous waste. Located at the Novato Recycling Center, 7576 Redwood Blvd., the facility is open on the first and third consecutive Sunday and Monday of each month from 8:30-1:30. For more information, please call (415) 892-7344 or visit http://www.novatosan.com/green/learn-more

CFLs: The Novato Recycling Center at 7576 Redwood Blvd. will accept fluorescent tubes and CFLs for recycling during normal business hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10-4.  There are also many locations in Marin County that will accept fluorescent lights for recycling. Search here to find the location nearest you.

Sharps and Medications: View info about Safe Medication & Sharps Disposal locations


Electronic Waste
: The HHW Facility now accepts all types of electronics, including computers, TVs, small household appliances, and microwaves. No large appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves, or washer/dryers. North Bay Conservation Corps offers free pick-ups of E-Waste. Call them at 415-454-4554 to schedule a pick up. Click here to search for additional recycling options.


  • Batteries:
    The Novato Recycling Center at 7576 Redwood Blvd. accepts all types household batteries for recycling during normal business hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10-4. There are also many locations in Marin County that will accept batteries for recycling. Search here to find the location nearest you.

  • Motor Oil
    : The Novato Recycling Center at 7576 Redwood Blvd. accepts used motor oil and filters for recycling during normal business hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10-4.  There are also many locations in Marin County that will accept motor oil for recycling. Most locations also take filters. Search here to find the location nearest you.