Items NOT accepted at the El Cerrito Recycling Center

IMPORTANT UPDATES: Starting Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the Recycling Center will be accepting Styrofoam -- ONLY from El Cerrito residents, and ONLY on THURSDAYS. Proof of residency is required. The Admin Office will also again accept fluorescent light bulbs, sharps, and pharmaceuticals from non-residents, for a fee.

Unacceptable Items

Please use our helpful Resource Information Guide or the RE:Source website to find reuse and recycling options for items we cannot take that are included below.

  • Air Conditioners - Take to Berkeley Transfer Station or Golden Bear Transfer Station - the metal will be recycled
  • Appliances - stoves, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. - Take to Berkeley Transfer Station or Golden Bear Transfer Station
  • Appliances - plastic rich, non-electronics like coffee makers, vacuums etc.
  • Audio Cassette Tapes
  • Automotive tires - Take to a tire recycler like a Don's Tires or a Big O Tires etc.
  • Automotive fluids like coolant, gasoline etc - residency restrictions apply, accepted Tuesdays Only
  • Ballasts from electrical lighting fixtures - West Contra Costa residents can take to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility at 101 Pittsburg Ave, Richmond - Wed thru Sat - 9 to 4 PM
  • Building materials
  • Bricks, pavers, broken concrete, ceramics
  • Calculators - if digital may be eWaste - confirm at our business office
  • Carpeting, carpet padding, rugs
  • Cartons - recyclable at curbside in El Cerrito - Please rinse
  • Explosives
  • Fiberglass
  • Foam Rubber
  • Furniture, such as: Sofas, Chairs, Shelving, Tables, Bed Frames, etc., unless made of metal, then can be put in scrap metal bin
  • Garbage, Construction Debris - Take to Berkeley Transfer Station or Golden Bear Transfer Station
  • Green Waste: Wood, Grass, Yard Waste, Dirt, Food Scraps - utilize your curbside green waste program (plain wood only)
  • Mattresses, Box Springs, Futons - WCCC residents can take to 101 Pittsburg Ave, Richmond FREE - Wed thru Sat - 9 to 4 pm
  • Microwaves - WCCC residents can take to 101 Pittsburg Ave, Richmond FREE - Wed thru Sat - 9 to 4 pm
  • Mirrors of any type
  • Paint of any type - residency restrictions apply, accepted Tuesdays Only
  • Food-soiled Paper, Plastic, and Cardboard (please compost food-soiled paper products.); (bio-waste is landfill like "Kleenex" tissues, full dog poo bags, soiled kitty litter etc.)
  • Peanuts - any type of packaging peanuts. Some packing stores accept these for reuse. Call first.
  • Plate, Sheet or Tempered Glass
  • Plexiglass
  • Plastic Film and Hard Plastic - any kind of flexible plastic (like bags, bubble wrap etc.) or rigid plastic (PVC, stapler etc.)
  • Pressurized Tanks: Propane, Acetylene, Helium, Nitrous Oxide, or Aerosols - Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Satellite available on Tuesdays -- residency restrictions apply
  • Pyrex glass
  • Refrigerators, water coolers, air conditioners, freezers - Take to Berkeley Transfer Station or Golden Bear Transfer Station
  • Smoke Detectors - ionized (radioactive) can be accepted at the HHW Satellite available on Tuesdays or in Richmond Wed thru Sat
  • Toilets - try a second hand store like an Omega Salvage etc. if reusable
  • VHS Tapes
  • Waxed Paper, Waxed Cardboard - please compost
  • Wood: lumber, plywood, particle board, broken furniture - can possibly be upcycled 
  • Zip disks

disposal options 

Residents and businesses can arrange for disposal of certain items not accepted at the Recycling Center through their FREE Annual Bulky Garbage service or at a local Transfer Station, such as those listed below. Please strive to Reduce, Reuse...and better yet, Refuse items that are hard to recycle.  

The Golden Bear Transfer Station and West Contra Costa County Landfill are located at 1 Parr Boulevard in Richmond. The Berkeley Transfer Station is located at 1201 Second Street in Berkeley.

For additional resources and information on recycling, check Recyclemore (Contra Costa County) and Stopwaste (Alameda County). For information on where to properly dispose of household hazardous waste, check West Contra Costa County HHW or Alameda County HHW. (Proof of residency is required at HHW facilities.)

The Recycling Center does not buy back any materials from the public. For the locations of California Refund Value (CRV) Centers, check CalRecycle.