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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.

Materials Accepted
All Curbside Recycling Materials
(small or large quantities) including:

  • Aluminum (cans, pans, and scrap), Tin, and Scrap Metals- clean and empty
  • Cardboard- must be broken down and flattened
  • Mixed Paper- white paper, colored paper, newspaper, shredded paper, file folders, junk mail, magazines, envelopes, etc
  • Glass Containers- bottles and jars rinsed clean
  • Hard Plastics or Plastic Food Containers- all clean plastics
  • Plastic Beverage Containers- all clean plastics, all #s
  • Plastic Chemical Bottles- all clean plastics that contained chemicals- (Must triple rinse)
  • Plastic Film and Wrapping- tightly bagged and tied off at the top- clean grocery bags, bread bags, cling wrap, etc
  • Soft Plastics and film- plastic bags must be tied tightly together in one plastic bag

Electronic Waste
  • Cameras and video equipment
  • Cell Phones
  • Computers, Computer Monitors, Televisions, laptops
  • Computer components and accessories
  • Electric shavers and toothbrushes
  • Food processors, rice cookers
  • Hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners
  • Ink cartridges
  • Lamps
  • Microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens
  • 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 (materials must be in good condition and reusable)
  • Art and office supplies
  • Corks
  • DVD/CD/VHS Players and discs/tapes
  • Garden pots
  • Hangers- metal, plastic, or wooden clothes hangers
  • Media- books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, audio tapes, video tapes
  • Reading Glasses- Lion’s Club drop-off box is located next to book exchange
  • Sporting goods
  • Tools and hardware


Hard to Recycle Items including:

  • Reusable Aluminum windows and screens
  • Appliances (small working)
  • Aseptic cartons (such as aluminum-lined soy-milk containers) rinsed
  • Automobile Batteries- lead-acid cell
  • Reusable Bath tubs, bathroom fixtures, sinks
  • Batteries- alkaline, NiCad, lithium, and auto batteries
  • Bricks, tiles, and cinder blocks (not broken or used)
  • Reusable Cabinets
  • Carpet (no area rugs or pads) [fees apply]
  • Cartons and aseptic containers (such as soy milk, milk, and juice containers with or without aluminum lining) - rinsed
  • Chemistry equipment
  • Clothing (Goodwill Trailer only)
  • Collectibles
  • Exercise equipment
  • 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).
  • Reusable Furniture- home and office
  • Home healthcare equipment
  • Housewares
  • Unused Insulation
  • Lumber and plywood (untreated or used) dimensional, and at least 5 feet long
  • Medicinal sharps (in approved containers)
  • Musical instruments
  • Non-perishable food for the Contra Costa Food Bank
  • Pharmaceuticals (pills, creams, bottles with liquid BAGGED separately)
  • Packaging materials
  • Plate glass (no mirrors)
  • Scrap Metals- including bicycles, bike parts, dishwashers, dryers, stoves, washers , and water heaters (nothing with CFCs)
  • Sewing machines
  • "Styrofoam" - clean white block styrofoam, no packaging peanuts, no cups or food containers.
  • Textiles/Scrap Clothing & Shoes (Goodwill trailer only)
  • Toys and books
  • Used cooking oil
  • Used motor oil and filters- 5-gallon container maximum
  • Video game consoles

Materials NOT Accepted
  • Refrigerators, Air Conditioners
  • Chemicals and other Household Hazardous Waste
  • Gas Tanks, 55-Gallon Drums, Pressurized Cans or Tanks
  • Household Paint (interior & exterior)
  • Wood, Grass Clippings
  • Yard Waste, Dirt
  • Ashes
  • Any type of Mattress, Box springs
  • Glassware, Mirrors, Ceramics, Pyrex
  • Waxed Paper, Waxed Cardboard
  • Compost
  • Tires
  • Food Scraps
  • Food Soiled Paper & Cardboard
  • Garbage

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 a free, community-run materials exchange. The Exchange Zone accepts reusable and gently-used materials. For a complete list of materials accepted at the Exchange Zone, please see above.
Visitors are welcome to take up to one box of materials from the exchange zone per day.

Mulch and Compost for Sale
The Center now sells recycled mulch and compost produced locally from waste materials. Compost and mulch 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:
-Most materials free of charge (see above for special circumstances)
-Supervise your children and leave pets at home
-Place accepted items in designated areas only
-Parking in the facility is limited to 30 minutes
-Notify staff of issues and call 911 in an emergency
-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

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