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Marin Sanitary Tour Details

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Area 1: The Classroom

Students begin the tour in the Environmental Classroom with a hands on lesson about the 4 R’s — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. MSS believes that education is the cornerstone of action and understanding. Students will understand why it is important to conserve the Earth’s natural resources and will learn simple measures they can take to decrease their carbon footprint and be leaders in Marin’s Zero Waste movement.

Students will then put on safety gear (hard hats and high visibility vests) and be ready to depart on the tour.


Area 2: The Marin Recycling Center

At the Recycling Center students see firsthand how paper, glass, cans, and plastics are sorted after being collected curbside from the blue and brown bins. The group will walk below the moving belts to see our professional hand sorters in action. Students will also get the chance to get up close and personal to two thousand pound bales of sorted commodities before they are shipped across the globe to be manufactured into new items.


Area 3: The Transfer Station

The Transfer Station is where residential and commercial garbage is dumped before it is carried offsite to the landfill. The garbage is dumped into a large pit, then bulldozed and compacted before being loaded into large cargo trucks destined for the landfill.


Area 4: Marin Resource and Recovery Center (MRRC)

All public and all “dry” commercial waste is brought to the MRRC (sometimes called the “indoor dump”). Here the waste is sorted using a variety of techniques, including using machines, bulldozers, and hand sorters. Marin Sanitary Service is dedicated to sorting out as many recoverable as possible and is currently at a 75% diversion rate in the MRRC; this means that 75% of everything that is carried into the building is diverted away from the landfill and recycled.

As students exit this area they will briefly stop at the Household Hazardous Waste facility to hear an explanation of its purpose and importance, as well as how it functions.


Area 5: The Flying Can Ranch

The Ranch is the last stop, where the pigs and other farm animals live. Everyone enjoys this part of the tour, not just because the children get to feed the animals, but it is important to find out why we raise them and what important role they play in Marin reaching it’s Zero Waste goals.

The tour concludes back in the classroom for a review about recyclables and a short question and answer session.



The tour is offered at no charge for schools and members of the community. Please call Zoe Pearl the Education Coordinator at (415) 458-5539 or email her at zoe.pearl@marinsanitary.com for more information.


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