Drop-Off Materials Accepted

10-5-19 We are unable to take Styrofoam until the machine is repaired.  It may take up to 3 weeks. Please call first to verify it has been repaired.  We apologize for the inconvenience. 


Cardboard, Glass, Metals, Paper, Plastic:

  • Cardboard: Corrugated boxes. Must be broken down and flattened.  (FYI:  Fees apply to salvage cardboard.          Please ask office staff directly.  Thank you.)
  • Glass Containers: Bottles and jars, rinsed clean and sorted by color.
  • Hard Plastics: No longer accepted as of May 15, 2019.
  • Mixed Paper: colored paper, cereal boxes, newspaper, shredded colored paper, file folders, junk mail, envelopes, photographs, etc.
  • Plastic Beverage Containers:  Narrow-neck plastic beverage bottles, free of liquid.
  • Other Plastic Bottles: Narrow-neck bottles that contained household  supplies, such as detergent, kitty litter, motor oil. Must be empty. That is, no residual product inside. 
  • Plastic Film: No longer accepted as of May 15, 2019.
  • Scrap Metals: Aluminum, Steel, Tin.  Examples include:  cast Iron; large appliances: washers, dryers, stoves, and hot water heaters. (NO refrigerators or air conditioners)
  • White Office Paper:  All white (bond) paper - collected in a separate container to preserve highest value

Electronic Waste

NEW POLICY: Due to changes in global recycling markets, the only materials eligible for electronics (e-waste) recycling are:

  • AC Adaptor
  • Audio Equipment
  • Cable and Cable Boxes
  • CD and DVD Players
  • Tel and Cell Phone
  • Computer (CPU) and Computer Monitor
  • Extension Cord
  • Greenboard
  • Holiday Lights
  • Laptop Computer
  • Modem
  • PDA
  • Power Strip and Power Supply
  • Tablet
  • TVs (NO DLP) (Wood OK)
  • VHS Player
  • Video Equipment
  • Wiring
  • Zip Drive

Please do not place other types of household appliances (air filters, electric blankets, etc.) in the E-waste Bin.  At this time, the Center does not accept predominantly plastic electric appliances. Predominantly metal electric items can go in the Steel Bin. Questions? Please ask office staff.

difficult to Recycle Items:

  • Automobile Batteries: lead-acid cell.
  • Batteries: Alkaline, NiCad, lithium, and auto batteries.
  • Bicycles: Bicycle and bicycle parts - bin for donations / exchange. No Salvage Permit necessary.
  • Books: Bring to the Exchange Zone.
  • Cartons: No longer accepted as of May 15, 2019.
  • Corks: Bring to the Exchange Zone.
  • Electric Appliances: If item is mostly metal, (Examples: electric mower, metal table lamp, etc.), put in Steel bin. If item is plastic-rich, we can cut off and recycle the cord, but cannot accept the rest of the item. If item is in good, working condition, on-site St. Vincent de Paul accepts small household appliances + home stereo equipment for reuse. Questions?  Please ask office staff.
  • Exercise equipment: Scrap metal.
  • Eyeglasses: Lions Club Donations - bring eye wear into the office to donate to this program.
  • Fluorescent tubes and CFLs: are part of the Contra Costa County Household Hazardous Waste ProgramAs a convenience, we accept CFLs from residents within the RecycleMore service area.  Fees apply for large quantities: 30 feet or more of tubes or 15 or more bulbs. Fees apply to any fluorescent bulbs from customers outside the RecycleMore service area. Fees are subject to increase each fiscal year. Please see office staff to pay fees or to ask questions. 
  • Food Donation: Non-perishable, unopened donations for the Contra Costa Food Bank, within a year of listed date accepted. No glass containers.
  • Hangers: All types of clothes hangers; bring to the Exchange Zone.
  • Home Health Equipment: Ask office staff for resources.
  • Sharps and Syringes:  Must be in a thick plastic container with a screw top lid.  Bin always locked so seek staff for assistance (office and/or yard).
  • Pharmaceuticals: Remove excess packaging; empty pills into Ziploc-type bag for disposal; mix pills together. Liquids, creams, inhalers do not need to be bagged. Check online for more information on how to use the disposal bin and a list of EBMUD and BayWise disposal sites. Recyclemore.com has additional drop-off locations. Bin always locked; seek staff for assistance (office and/or yard). Fees apply for customers from outside the RecycleMore service area.
  • Packaging for Reuse: flattened cardboard boxes ONLY, no peanuts (take to UPS or FedEx).
  • Plate glass:  No longer accepted as of March 7, 2016.
  • "Styrofoam": ONLY white block polystyrene foam (sometimes marked with a # 6) - no food containers, no peanuts, no other types of foam, and no saran wrapping material. Fees apply for customers from outside El Cerrito. AS OF 10/5/19, TEMPORARILY NOT ACCEPTING STYROFOAM UNTIL PROCESSING EQUIPMENT IS REPAIRED.
  • Textiles: Clothing, shoes, and household linens in clean, dry, reusable condition can be donated to the Donation Station, receipts available or are accepted in the USagain green and white bins.  Including: pillows, towels, sheets, and machine washable rugs.
  • Toner Cartridges: Place in E-waste Bin
  • Used cooking oil: NO SOLID GREASE (please compost solids)
  • Used motor oil and filters: 5-gallon container maximum