Recycling Updates

Due to poor market conditions in the recycling industry, the City will be making periodic changes to its recycling programs. This webpage will be updated to provide the latest information on changes to either the curbside recycling program or at the Recycling + Environmental Resource Center (Recycling Center).

Questions? For more information contact us at (510) 215-4350 or email us!

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Recycling Center (7501 Schmidt Lane)

Recycling Center No Longer Accepting the Following Materials, Effective Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Rigid or Hard Plastics: Examples include but are not limited to: plastic tubs, trays, clam-shells, electric appliances, furniture, pipes, toys, play structures, etc.  

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Plastic Film: Flexible plastics of all colors and configurations. Examples include but are not limited to: bags, bubble wrap, shrink wrap, envelopes.

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Cartons: Examples include but are not limited to: milk, juice, aseptic containers, tetra paks, etc.


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Disposal Options:  At this time, residents can dispose of bulky scrap plastic items either through their Free Annual Bulk Garbage Pick-Up or at the local Transfer Stations. For more information:

  • Free Annual Bulk Garbage Pick-Up: Call East Bay Sanitary at 510.237.4321.
  • Golden Bear Transfer Station, 1 Parr Blvd., Richmond: Call at 510.970-7260. Fees apply.
  • Berkeley Transfer Station, 1201 Second St., Berkeley: Call at 510.981.7270. Fees apply.

Recycling Center Still Accepting

At this time, there are no other changes to the offerings at the Recycling Center. Along with other items listed here, the Center will continue to accept: 

  • Narrow-Neck Plastic Bottles: Container mouth is smaller than the base. Examples include: soda bottles, water bottles, detergent  and kitty-litter containers, personal care bottles like shampoo, etc.
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El Cerrito Curbside Recycling Program

Below are some tips that will support El Cerrito's curbside recycling program as the City navigates through the disruptions in the international recycling markets.

  • Empty, Clean and Dry: Avoid contaminating good recycling materials by adding containers that have food. Fluids, or powders that could spill onto other materials. Please only put Empty, Clean and Dry containers in your grey recycling cart. Empty, Clean, Dry containers don’t have to be spotless, just free of anything that could leak or smear onto other items as it gets handled and crushed.ECD graphic
  • Avoid Plastic Bags and Plastic Packaging: At this time, plastic bags and many types of single-use plastic packaging (except narrow-neck bottles) have no market for recycling. In order to support our recycling programs, please avoid putting these items in your grey recycling cart.

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Reduce, ReUse … better yet, Refuse Excess Packaging

To avoid sending more materials to the landfill, consider:

  • Reducing the amount of plastic packaging in your life by selecting products in bulk or that use compostable packaging; bringing your own containers to the restaurant when getting take-out food; asking manufacturers of your favorite, but highly packaged, products to reduce their plastic packaging.
  • ReUsing plastic packaging, bags, and take-out containers to the greatest extent possible.