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BioBags: Why Can't We Use Them?

What is compostable?

Biobags are not recyclable or fully compostable. The plastic falls apart, but it does not fully biodegrade at Bay Area compost facilities that make organic compost. Materials accepted in the green cart include food, food soiled paper, and yard waste.

  • Rule of thumb for biodegradable and compostable items - if it looks like plastic and feels like plastic, it is not compostable

Some alternatives to using Biobags:

  • Put your food scraps directly into your kitchen counter compost pail, then directly into your green cart
  • Line the counter compost pail with leaves, old newspaper or a paper bag to help keep it clean (the counter compost pail is dishwasher safe)
  • Wrap your compostables in newspaper and place them in the freezer until garbage day

TCSD collects materials from your green cart where it is then transloaded  to WM EarthCare, an Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Certified Program for organic farming applications, located in Novato. Biobags cannot be used by residents served by Marin Sanitary Service, Tamalpais Community Services District, Mill Valley Refuse, Recology Sonoma Marin and Novato Disposal because they do not meet WM EarthCare’s standards for organic material.

Visit WM EarthCare’s website to learn more. Composting and recycling guidelines can seem particular at times because each facility is run differently with different equipment and different markets, and those markets are constantly evolving.

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