Dual Stream Recycling Pilot Program debuts


By Jessica Bukowski

The Mill Valley Refuse Service began requiring select Mill Valley, Tiburon, and Corte Madera neighborhoods to participate in a new recycling program, which will last from September 3 until December 29. The new program is called the Dual Stream Recycling Pilot Program, functioning by alternating the pickup of paper and non-paper recyclables.

According to the Mill Valley Refuse Service’s website, “The dual-stream collection method works well for other haulers and is one way we can lessen contamination levels in our recycling stream.” Each participating household has been provided with a new recycling bin dedicated to the program.

Many residents strongly oppose the newly implemented program. Strawberry resident Ken Sato said, “It’s very inconvenient because the provided bins are not big enough and they have no lids. It is also irritating to keep track of which bin has to go out for pickup. At times, it makes me just want to throw recyclables in the trash.”

The Mill Valley Refuse Service website states that if the driver responsible for transporting the recyclables deems a recycle bin to be “heavily contaminated with trash,” that household’s bin will not be dumped that week, unless a fee is paid. A violation notice will also be placed on the bin. Strawberry resident Misako Stewart reported that she found a violation notice on her bin for not participating in the program correctly. “I totally understand the reasons for separating the recycling, but we always end up with an extra bin of trash every week because we can’t put everything out,” Stewart said.

The Mill Valley Refuse Service has voiced its understanding of why residents may disapprove of the program. However, they plan on continuing the program for the initially planned amount of time, which will last until the end of the year. Addressing the general unhappiness of the participating neighborhoods, The Mill Valley Refuse Services’ website states, “We are dismayed that it has come to this, but it must be the responsibility of each of us to ensure a cleaner stream of recyclable material is delivered to the processing plants.”

Photo by Ethan Swope.