Raul M. Rojas, Director, Public Works
Illustration of the many ways that trash gets into creeks

Trash isn't just a problem, it's an ongoing social epidemic that is polluting our waterways. In an effort to combat this problem the EPA developed trash reduction requirements that would need to be implemented through municipal stormwater permits.

In California the Regional Water Quality Control Boards have been adding these requirements into regional stormwater permit renewals for large cities and urban areas (Los Angeles, San Diego, and the greater San Francisco Bay Area) over the last 10 years.

The State Water Board will now be adding these requirements into the statewide stormwater permit for all of the smaller municipalities (including here in Marin) when they reissue them in 2020.

In 2016 MCSTOPPP began working with our municipalities and developing regional partnerships to better prepare for this very large and expensive new program.



Clean Marin

Clean Marin logo

Be the Difference... Because Every Litter Bit Helps!

A Hub for the Clean Stewards of Marin

To reach our goal of keeping Marin litter free we are implementing a plan that brings everyone to the table so together we can break the life cycle of trash.

Clean Marin is a growing coalition of 20 agencies, volunteer groups, and non-profit organizations!

Clean Marin Action Teams

Clean Marin has developed four Action Teams to address the wide spectrum of activities that can be done by volunteers to affect change.

  • Volunteer Programs - Developing tools and providing support to encourage Clean Groups and plan cleanups throughout Marin.
  • Clean Highways - Working through volunteer and multi-agency partnerships to develop real solutions to reduce the trash load on our highways.
  • Outreach, Education, and Marketing - Developing web based and social media content, outreach materials and campaigns, and school and business programs to engage the public, promote events, and expand anti-litter campaigns.
  • Source Control - Assisting and expanding recycling and zero waste programs, developing model local ordinances and product bans, and improving consumer awareness.

Clean Marin Programs

Our goal is to collectively develop and improve tools and provide the necessary support so any group, business, or individual can participate in Clean Programs and make a difference in their community or neighborhood!

  • Adopt-A-Spot Program - Adopt a Spot today and play an active role in maintaining the beauty and cleanliness of your neighborhoods, parks, schools, creeks, shorelines and downtowns!
  • Clean Business Program - Take the Clean Business Pledge and take an active part in keeping your community clean!

Visit Clean Marin to learn more!

Trash Requirements

While the final new permit language is not expected to be out until late 2019 or early 2020, the preliminary requirements are as follows:

  • Capture all trash 5 millimeters (cigarette butt) and greater that enter enters a municipal storm drain system from all Priority Land Use Areas.
  • Priority Land Use Areas shall include commercial, industrial, high density residential and mixed use, and all transit stops.
  • To achieve this each permittee will need to install, operate, and maintain any combination of full trash capture systems, multi-benefit projects, other treatment controls, and/or institutional controls.
  • Each permittee will have 10 years to reach full compliance, with milestones such as demonstrating an average reduction of 10% per year.

MCSTOPPP will continue working with all of Marin's permittees to update and prioritize measures in their Trash Reduction Implementation Plans based on the final permit language. To meet these requirements many types of treatment and institutional controls will be considered and evaluated to determine their effectiveness such as:

  • Enhanced street sweeping
  • Designated street sweeping days and times
  • Trash cleanups
  • Individual catch basin trash capture devices
  • Large area underground treatment devices
  • Volunteer cleanup events
  • Clean business programs
  • Anti-trash ad campaigns
  • Stormwater bioretention facilities
  • Green streets projects

Visual Trash Assessments

To evaluate the amount of trash that is accumulating on our streets and sidewalks, an On-land Visual Trash Assessment is conducted for each street segment in Priority Land Use areas.

MCSTOPPP conducted thousands of dry and wet weather assessments in 2017-2018 on behalf of all 11 municipalities and the unincorporated county to develop baseline trash generates in all of their Priority Land Use Areas.

Trash Implementation Plans

Each municipality will need to submit a Trash Reduction Implementation Plan outlining how they will meet the requirements over a 10 year period.