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The El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center
Location: 7501 Schmidt Lane (map)
From San Pablo Avenue, turn east onto Schmidt and continue all the way until the end of the street. The Recycling Center is located on the left.

The Recycling Center does not buy back bottles and cans from the public. For CRV centers, visit the State of California website.

Environmental Services Office Hours
Daily: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Recycling Center Drop-off Hours
February 2 through October 31, 2014
Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 5:45pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am to 4:45pm

Winter Drop-off Hours
November 1 through February 1,  2015
Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am to 4:45pm

Center and Offices are closed on the following holidays:
New Year's Day, Dr. MLK Jr. Birthday, President's Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day (and the day after), Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, and starting at Noon on New Year's Eve Day. 

With the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, if one of the above holidays falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Center will be closed on the following Monday (in most cases). For the most up-to-date closure information, please see our Activities Calendar or call 510-215-4350.

Materials Accepted

Drop-off Recycling Center Accepts:

  • Scrap Metals: Aluminum, Steel, Tin, including large appliances: washer, dryer, and hot water heaters.
  • Cardboard: must be broken down and flattened
  • Mixed Paper: white paper, colored paper, newspaper, shredded paper, file folders, junk mail, envelopes, etc.
  • Glass Containers: bottles and jars rinsed clean and sorted by color 
  • Hard Plastics: clean plastics containers, furniture, pipe, toys, etc.
  • Plastic Beverage Containers: clean plastics, all #s
  • Plastic Chemical Bottles:  plastics that contained chemicals, oils. (Must triple rinse)
  • Plastic Film: tightly bagged and tied off at the top; clean grocery bags, bread bags, cling wrap, etc.

Electronic Waste
  • Cameras and video equipment
  • Cell Phones
  • Computers, Computer Monitors, Televisions, Laptops, hardware, etc.
  • Electric shavers and toothbrushes
  • Appliances: Microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens
  • Hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners
  • Ink cartridges, toners
  • Phones and answering machines
  • Printers, Copy Machines, Scanners, and Fax Machines
  • Radios, stereo equipments
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Video games and consoles
  • Wiring and cables

The Exchange Zone
All donated items left at the Exchange Zone must be in good condition.  Please ask for assistance in the Administrative Office or call us with questions regarding Exchange Zone donations.  We can not accept any time of hazardous waste in the Exchange Zone.
  • Art and office supplies
  • Corks
  • Garden pots
  • Hangers: metal, plastic, or wooden clothes hangers
  • Media: Books, Magazines, CDs (we are temporarily not accepting VHS tape and cassette tapes as they damage processing equipment.)
  • Reading Glasses: Lion’s Club drop-off box
  • Sporting goods
  • Tools and hardware
  • Small household items
  • Toys and Games
  • Houseware

  Hard to Recycle Items:

  • Aseptic cartons: (such as aluminum-lined soy-milk containers) rinsed
  • Automobile Batteries: lead-acid cell
  • Reusable cabinets, fixtures, tiles, hardware. Urban Ore trailer
  • Batteries: Alkaline, NiCad, lithium, and auto batteries
  • Carpet (no area rugs or pads) [fees apply]
  • Exercise equipment: scrap metal
  • Fluorescent tubes and CFLs:  residents of El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, and Hercules get free drop-off; businesses and residents of other cities charged a fee (call 510-215-4350 for details).
  • Home healthcare equipment, scrap metal bins. 
  • Dimensional new lumber and plywood and at least 5 feet long - Urban Ore trailer
  • Medicinal sharps (in approved containers) locked container; please come into office for assistance
  • Food Donation: Non-perishable food donation for the Contra Costa Food Bank
  • Pharmaceuticals:  (pills, creams, bottles with liquid BAGGED separately) - locked container - please come into office for assistance
  • Packaging materials: useable bubble wrap and bagged peanuts only.
  • Plate glass: Remove frames (no mirrors)
  • Bicycles:  Bicycle and bicycle parts donations
  • "Styrofoam": clean white block Styrofoam ONLY, no cups or food containers.
  • Textiles, Clothing, and Shoes: Goodwill trailer
  • Used cooking oil: no solid grease
  • Used motor oil and filters: 5-gallon container maximum

Materials NOT Accepted
  • Refrigerators and Air Conditioners
  • Pressurized Tanks: Propane, Acetylene, Helium, Nitrous Oxide, or Aerosols.
  • Household Paint
  • Green Waste: Wood, Grass, Yard Waste, Dirt, Food Scraps
  • Mattresses or Box springs
  • Mirrors, Ceramics, Pyrex
  • Waxed Paper, Waxed Cardboard
  • Foam Rubber 
  • Tires
  • Food Soiled Paper & Cardboard
  • Garbage
  • VHS and audio cassette tapes (We are temporarily not accepting VHS tape and cassette tapes as they damage processing equipment. Please check back.)

For information on where to recycle or dispose of materials not accepted at the Recycling Center, visit Contra Costa County's Complete Materials List.

Exchange Zone
The Recycling Center is also home to the Exchange Zone which encourage re-use of donated items. The donated items must be in good condition for re-use. There are bins for book donations, CDs and DVDs, magazines, hangers, and corks.   Please come into the administrative office with questions regarding donated items.  Please help us keep the area safe and clean for all visitors.  Visitors are welcome to take up to one box of materials per day.

Compost for Sale
The Center now sells recycled mulch and compost produced locally from waste materials. Compost and are sold for $1.50 per cubic foot (~6 gallons) and prices include applicable sales tax.

The Center periodically gives away compost to El Cerrito residents for free. Please see the El Cerrito City Calendar at for upcoming give-away dates.

Rules and Regulations:
  • Parking in the facility is limited to 30 minutes
  • 2-hour limit visit per day
  •  Notify staff of issues and call 911 in an emergency
  •  No dumping: please do not drop off items that the City does not accept
  •  Do not take any items without City permission
  •  Do not get in or move any bins or equipment
  •  Supervise your children and leave pets at home
  •  Place accepted items in designated areas only

Recycling+ Environmental Resource Center
ph: 510-215-4350

7501 Schmidt Ln.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Office Hours 
9:00 am - 5:00 pm 

Drop-Off  Hours
Monday through  Friday:
8:00 am - 4:45 pm
Saturday  &  Sunday:
9:00 am - 4:45 pm

Drop-Off  Hours
Monday through  Friday:
8:00 am - 5:45 pm
Saturday  &  Sunday:
9:00 am - 4:45 pm