Items NOT accepted at the El Cerrito Recycling Center
As of May 15, 2020: In response to COVID-19 and in compliance with the shelter in place order, the Recycling Center is operating with limited hours and services. We are currently not accepting any Styrofoam. The Exchange Zone is closed, and we are not accepting pharmaceuticals, sharps or fluorescent light bulbs from customers outside the RecycleMore Service Area.
Effective May 15, 2019, the City's Recycling Center no longer accepts Plastic Film and Hard Plastic - any kind of flexible plastic (like bags, bubble wrap etc.) or rigid plastic (PVC pipes, plastic appliances, tubs, storage containers, yogurt containers, etc.). The Center still accepts Plastic Bottles (narrow-necks bottles of all kinds and colors).
- Please use our helpful Resource Information Guide to find 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 - water heaters, stoves, dishwashers, etc. - Take to Berkeley Transfer Station or Golden Bear Transfer Station
- Appliances - plastic rich, non-electronics like coffee makers, vacuums etc.
- 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 - Take to the 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 - HHW Satellite available on Tuesdays
- 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 - Commercially and home recorded tapes can be donated to onsite donation trailer
- Waxed Paper, Waxed Cardboard - please compost
- Wood: lumber, plywood, particle board, broken furniture - can possibly be upcycled
- Zip disks, audio cassette tapes - check with our onsite donation trailer (cassette tapes can be reused)
Residents and businesses can arrange for disposal of 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.