Novato Sanitary District | Creating Worth From All of Novato's Waste

Business Hours

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(415) 892-1694
We are on the job
24 hours a day,
365 days a year.
We Are a Green Business

Solid Waste Management

Novato Disposal has been providing solid waste services to the Novato community since 1978. Since that time we have maintained the lowest garbage rates in Marin County. In 1982, we established the first curbside recycling program in Marin County. We are proud to continue to offer the best prices and most innovative service in the county.

Click here for more information about Curbside Recycling

Zero Waste Plan with Novato Disposal to Achieve Radical Increases in Recycling and Composting at minimal Cost to Novato Customers.

In 2011, Novato Sanitary District amended its Franchise Agreement with Novato Disposal to make major progress toward achieving Zero Waste Goals at minimal cost to Novato residents. The purpose is to take 80% of the trash collected and recycle, reuse or compost it, keeping it out of the landfill.

Novato Sanitary District is the first community in Marin to formally incorporate zero waste goals in a franchise agreement and have a specific plan to achieve them. We are very proud of that.

The contract requires Novato Disposal to meet a series of performance goals, including achieving 60% diversion by 2015, 70% diversion by 2020, and 80% by 2025.

Novato Disposal has already taken steps to implement school and residential single-family food waste composting. The contract requires the company to expand food waste composting at apartments and condominiums. The company will also increase recycling at commercial buildings and to multi-family customers. Large scale supermarket and restaurant Food waste recycling is planned to begin soon.

Novato Disposal's rates are already among the lowest in the county—about 20% to 40% below what most other communities are paying. As part of the amendment, the Company agreed to implement these new residential programs without any increases, except for inflation.

An important aspect of the contract extension from 2015 to 2025 is that Novato Disposal will implement the major expansion of zero waste residential programs at no additional cost to the community. This includes expanded curbside recycling, expanded food composting, and on-demand pickup of bulky items. The economies of scale and guaranteed stream of compostables and recyclables helps keep program costs down, and be a cost effective way to achieve the dramatic improvements of the zero waste program.

Another way the District plans to help increase Novatans' recycling will be to allow customers, at their convenience, to just call in and have bulky items picked up several times a year at no charge. This will replace the former spring and fall cleanup days during which residents set large, bulky items at the curb.

Just call Novato Disposal at 897-4177 to schedule a pick up.

Got Questions?

Click on the questions below or call us at
(415) 892-1694

Questions and Answers About Sanitary District's Low Cost, Zero Waste Program

A: Solid waste franchise agreements do not normally need to undergo an environmental impact study. Specifically, this agreement is not required to undergo environmental review because NSD is contracting for hauling services and there are no project specific facilities or impacts anticipated.

A: Exclusive franchise agreements are very typical for solid waste contracts because of the large number of trucks, large numbers of employees needed, time necessary to set up quality customer service programs and landfill arrangements. It just isn’t cost effective to have short term agreements or multiple franchisees.

Regarding the proposed contract extension, this was designed to benefit the entire Novato community. The key to the arrangement is that in exchange for the contract extension, Novato Disposal is able to implement the major expansion of zero waste programs at almost no additional cost to the community. This includes expanded curbside recycling, expanded food composting, and on-demand pickup of bulky items. The economies of scale and guaranteed stream of compostables and recyclables helps keep program costs down.
There simply is no other cost effective way to achieve the dramatic improvements that will be brought by the zero waste program without this agreement.

A: Novato Disposal’s rates are the lowest in the county—about 20% to 40% below other similar services. Under the proposed new contract extension, they would implement the zero waste program at practically no additional cost to the community. There will be a small increase in fees due to the cost of processing the material. In the case of food waste for residences there was a 1% cost increase or 17 cents per month on the average bill.

A: As the franchise manager, Novato Sanitary District has found Novato Disposal’s service to be excellent. Notably, a recent survey found 89% of Novatans to have a favorable or very favorable opinion of Novato Disposal.

A: The first Zero Waste Resolution was adopted in 2006 by a Marin County Board of Supervisors. The proposed solid waste franchise update was first discussed at a public meeting of the District Board of Directors in November 2010. It has since been discussed at many public Board meetings of the Board of Directors, in the press and in the District’s most recent newsletter and website.

  • Board of Directors President appointed Ad hoc Solid Waste Franchise Update Committee, November 8, 2010
  • Novato Disposal Letter requesting consideration of a franchise extension, November 18, 2010
  • Board of Directors discussed Franchise Amendment for Zero Waste but deferred a decision to set the date for the public hearing until the meeting on December 13th.
  • December 13, 2010, Board of Directors set the date for the Public Hearing for January 24, 2011 for the Franchise Update.
  • January 19, 2011, the Ad hoc Solid Waste Franchise Update Committee held a public workshop on the proposed amendment for Zero Waste
  • January 24, 2011, the Board of Directors held a public hearing on the Solid Waste Franchise Amendment. A partial draft agreement covering the changes was made available.
  • February 14, 2011, a working draft of the Franchise Agreement amendment was made available to the Board and to the public and discussed.

"This new agreement locks in about the lowest rates in the County and maybe even the North Bay, while also making it possible to achieve leading rates of recycling and composting. It is really a fantastic deal for our community."