Background on the Recycling + Environmental Services Center
Click here for Drop-Off Recycling Center page - items accepted, etc.
The El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center is a unique community resource that provides El Cerrito and area residents and businesses a place to recycle a wide range of conventional and hard-to-recycle items, to exchange reusable items and to obtain information about other environmental concerns and efforts. The RERC Center was rebuilt in 2011-2012 to serve as the sustainability hub for the City’s environmental mission and programs, and is home to the City’s Environmental Services Division and curbside recycling operation. The new Center strives to be a one-stop shop for residents and businesses interested in sustainability topics from energy efficiency, to Earth Day, to transportation. The City's Drop-Off Recycling Center accepts a wide variety of recyclables including some hard-to-recycle items such as block styrofoam, plate glass, and carpet.
The Center serves as the City’s environmental heart, and also as an example of green building for residents and businesses alike. The Center has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED Platinum is the highest certification level available through the USGBC and the Center achieves this honor through a number of innovative and time-honored green building measures. With 10 kilowatts of solar power, the Center produces enough energy to power all of our office building and approximately 30% of our site energy needs. Additionally, the building is designed to maximize the availability of natural light reducing the need for artificial lighting and saving energy. All the rainwater that falls on the roof of our large operational structure is captured and stored in an 11,000 gallon tank to flush the Center’s toilets and irrigate the Center’s native plant gardens. Finally, rainwater from the site’s grounds is filtered through natural bioswales: built-in landscaping elements that remove and mitigate pollution before water enters storm water systems. To learn more about the City's prestigious LEED Platinum achievement, read the press release.
Potential future projects at the Center include installing public electric vehicle charging stations and expanding the solar array.
The City of El Cerrito is unique in operating its own Recycling Center to support residents and businesses to reduce their landfill waste to the maximum extent possible. Operated by the City's Environmental Services Division, the center was founded as E.C.ology by community volunteers in 1971 and began being operated by the City in 1977. Learn more about the history of the Recycling Center and the process that led to its construction. There is also an informative video that includes the Center's grand opening after reconstruction.