Three years after launching to create “public awareness about litter and its impact on our community and the environment,” local nonprofit organization Clean Mill Valley continues to honor local businesses that pledge to keep the exterior of their shop litter-free – and follow through on that pledge.

The organization did so again this month, heaping praise upon Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Playa Mill Valley and Joe’s Taco Lounge. Clean Mill Valley co-founder Joan Murray says Peet’s Coffee & Tea in downtown Mill Valley “deserves a gold star for their creative approach to eliminating coffee refuse and their diligence in keeping the heart of our town clean.” 

​Store Manager Matt Borello worked with Clean Mill Valley’s Jill Young and the City of Mill Valley Public Works Superintendent Denise Andrews to remove the city-owned garbage can, which was emptied each morning and “substituted it with an attractive Peet’s-owned garbage can that their staff empties multiple times each day,” Murray says. “This has reduced the paper products that often flowed onto our sidewalks and into our gutters. Thank you Matthew and your regional staff for making this happen. Kudos!”

Playa, the newest restaurant downtown, also earned praise form Clean Mill Valley “for their good care of the sidewalk in front of their restaurant. It’s a pleasure to have them as a new eatery in town.” 
Longtime Miller Avenue fixture Joe’s Taco Lounge also garnered acknowledgement for their longtime commitment to keeping their restaurant frontage litter-free. “With a public bus stop close by they are cleaning more than their share,” Murray says.

Clean Mill Valley currently has 154 merchants throughout the 94941 that have signed its pledge, which calls for merchants to take simple steps such as assigning employees to pick up litter around their business and properly dispose of and sort the litter; to contract with Mill Valley Refuse to provide garbage service for the business, per the City of Mill Valley’s Municipal Code; and to educate employees about the proper disposal and sorting of garbage. 

Merchants who participate in the program receive a Clean Mill Valley window sticker as well as recognition on both the Clean Mill Valley and Mill Valley Chamber websites.

“This is a fantastic program and we are so grateful for Clean Mill Valley’s dedicated efforts to rid our streets, sidewalks and waterways of litter,” said Chamber Co-Director Paula Reynolds. “We continue to wholeheartedly support this campaign and urge our Members to participate in it.”

For additional information about the program, contact Joan Murray at

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