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!

"Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Recycling, Green Waste & Garbage Services in El Cerrito" for a full listing of services and materials accepted in each program (updated November 2019), click the photo below to view the English version.      

Thank you.

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recycling center

Drop-off Recycling Center (7501 Schmidt Lane)

As of Nov 1st, 2019 -  APPLIANCES and MICROWAVES are no longer accepted.

Due to recent changes in the recycling markets, we cannot currently accept Appliances, (such as: water heaters, stoves, washing machines, microwaves, etc.) City Staff is looking into options that would allow the Recycling Center to again provide this service.

Effective July 1st, 2019:


  • Styrofoam: 75¢ per pound, minimum charge 75¢


  • Fluorescent Tubes: 59¢ per linear foot
  • Compact Fluorescent Bulbs / CFLs: $3 per bulb
  • Pharmaceuticals + Needles/Sharps: $1 per disposal


  • Books-Large Quantities (1/4 cubic yard or more): $75 per cubic yard (Exchange Zone or Mixed Paper Recycling)


  • Extra Curbside Recycling Pick-up due to customer late set-out: $20 per pick-up

*RECYCLEMORE SERVICE AREA includes residents of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, and unincorporated Contra Costa County communities of Bayview, East Richmond Heights, El Sobrante, Montalvin Manor, North Richmond, Rollingwood and Tara Hills.

Payment methods accepted: Cash or Check made out to City of El Cerrito.

Drop-off 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.


Cartons: Examples include but are not limited to: milk, juice, aseptic containers, tetra paks, etc. (ONLY acceptable in the curbside program.)


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.
El Cerrito 96 Gallon Cart

El Cerrito Curbside Recycling Program

Due to the unprecedented downturn in international recycling markets, the City's Curbside Program is now being  charged a fee to have curbside recyclables processed. As a result, the City Council approved an IWM fee increase effective July 1, 2019, resulting in an average garbage rate increase of 2.3%. Follow this link to view new rates.

Follow this link for a CURRENT LIST OF MATERIAL ACCEPTED through the El Cerrito Curbside Recycling Program, effective July 1st, 2019. 

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.Empty clean dry jpg

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.
  • Avoid Plastic Bags and Plastic Packaging: At this time, plastic bags and many types of single-use plastic packaging (except narrow-neck bottles) have a poor market for recycling.

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