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El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center
Hours and Location

Daylight Savings, Drop-off Hours
February 2 through October 31

Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 5:45pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am to 4:45pm

Winter, Drop-off Hours

November 1 through February 1
Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am to 4:45pm

Operations + Environmental Services
Administrative Business Office Hours

Daily: 9:00am to 5:00pm,  510-215-4350.

The Recycling Center and Offices are closed on the following holidays:
New Year's Day, Dr. MLK Jr. Birthday, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day (and the day after), Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day, and starting at Noon on New Year's Eve Day. 

With the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day, if one of the above holidays falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Center will be closed on the following Monday (in most cases, pls. check).

For a list of items NOT ACCEPTED at the El Cerrito Recycling Center and other resource contacts - see below. The Center does not buy any materials.

Materials ACCEPTED at the Drop-off Recycling Center
  • Cardboard: boxes must be broken down and flattened
  • Glass Containers: bottles and jars rinsed clean and sorted by color 
  • Hard Plastics: clean plastics containers, furniture, pipe, toys, etc.
  • Mixed Paper: white paper, colored paper, newspaper, shredded paper, file folders, junk mail, envelopes, etc.
  • Plastic Beverage Containers: clean plastics, all #s
  • Plastic Chemical Bottles:  plastics that contained chemicals, oils. (must be triple rinse)
  • Plastic Film: tightly bagged and tied off at the top; CLEAN grocery bags, bread bags, cling wrap, etc.  Non-rigid plastics, pls check w.staff.
  • Scrap Metals: Aluminum, Steel, Tin; large appliances: washers, dryers, and hot water heaters.  (no refrigerators or air conditioners)

Electronic Waste: [no fee]
  • Appliances: Microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens (small plug-in appliances)
  • Cameras and video equipment (including digital and disposable)
  • Cell Phones, Chargers, etc.
  • Computers, Computer Monitors, Televisions, Laptops, hardware, etc.
  • Digital Thermometers
  • Electric Shavers and Toothbrushes
  • Hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners
  • Ink cartridges, toners
  • Printers, Copy Machines, Scanners, and Fax Machines
  • Radios, stereo equipments
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Video games and consoles
  • Wiring and cables

The Exchange Zone  

The Recycling Center's Exchange Zone area promotes the exchange of re-useable items.
We can not accept any type of hazardous waste in the Exchange Zone area. 
Do not take more than 1 file box of items from the Exchange Zone per day. 
NO DUMPING of large bulky or broken items, carpet, food, mattresses, medicine, or  VHS / cassette tapes
  • Art and office supplies
  • Corks:  barrel for corks
  • Garden pots - re-useable plastic and ceramic pots, planters.  Bin located by compost
  • Hangers: bin for metal, plastic, or wooden clothes hangers
  • Houseware: plates, cups, utensils, small appliances.
  • Media: Bins for Books, Magazines, CDs (we are temporarily not accepting VHS tape and cassette tapes as they damage processing equipment.)
  • Office Supplies: notebooks, paper, clips, pens, binders in good condition, etc.
  • Reading glasses: Lion’s Club donation drop-off box or office
  • Sporting goods: no large equipment
  • Small household items: lamps, small bookcases, trays. (no large furniture)
  • Tools and hardware
  • Toys and games
  • Hard 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
  • Carpet: Wall to wall carpet only - no area rugs or pads [fees apply, .10 sq ft]
  • Cartons and aseptic cartons, tetra packs: rinsed, wax and cardboard
  • Exercise equipment: scrap metal, Steel
  • Fluorescent tubes and CFLs:  residents of El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, and Hercules get free drop-off; businesses and residents of other cities charged a fee.
  • Food Donation: Non-perishable food donation for the Contra Costa Food Bank
  • Home healthcare equipment: scrap metal bin, Steel. 
  • Medicinal sharps: (in approved containers) locked container; please see staff for assistance
  • Pharmaceuticals: Remove access packaging; empty pills into ziplock bag for disposal - put all pills in one bag.  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.  Bin must remain locked; ask in yard staff for assistance or come into office for assistance.  Your patience is appreciated.
  • Packaging: flattened cardboard boxes and bubble-wrap ONLY, no peanuts (UPS will take peanuts)
  • Plate glass: Remove frames (no mirrors)
  • Reusable household materials: cabinets, fixtures, hardware. Urban Ore trailer
  • "Styrofoam": ONLY White block polystyrene foam  - No food containers, peanuts, other types of foam, or wrapping material. [no fee]
  • Textiles and Scrap shoes: Goodwill stores will accept CLEAN old clothing and shoes. Please bring items directly to GW main processing facilities, not trailers.
  • Used cooking oil: NO SOLID GREASE
  • Used motor oil and filters: 5-gallon container maximum

Items NOT ACCEPTED at the City's Recycling Center
  • Air Conditioners 
  • Ballasts from electrical lighting fixtures
  • Bricks, pavers, broken concrete, ceramics
  • Fiberglass
  • Foam Rubber
  • Paper, Plastic, and Cardboard with food waste; "Kleenex" tissues
  • Peanuts - any type of packaging peanuts.  Check with UPS or other packing stores to donate.
  • Garbage, Construction Debris
  • Green Waste: Wood, Grass, Yard Waste, Dirt, Food Scraps
  • Mattresses and Boxsprings
  • Mirror of any type
  • Paint of any type
  • Pressurized Tanks: Propane, Acetylene, Helium, Nitrous Oxide, or Aerosols
  • Plexi-glass 
  • Pyrex
  • Refrigerators, water coolers
  • Waxed Paper, Waxed Cardboard
  • Wood: lumber, broken furniture
  • Tires, auto or bikes
  • Toilets - Urban Ore store will accept toilets [fee applies]
  • VHS and audio cassette tapes (We are temporarily not accepting VHS tape and cassette tapes as they damage processing equipment. Please check back. Commercially recorded tapes can be donated at Goodwill.)

Options for disposing of items not accepted at the Recycling Center:
Note: fees may apply - call for details

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.

Tours of Center | Compost | Seed Library | Goodwill | Urban Ore
    Tours of Environmental Services and Recycling Center
    The Center offers free tours to the public on the first Wednesday of every month at 3:00pm, no reservation is necessary.  Tours lasts approximately one hour and space is limited.  Private tours are available for groups. Call the office 510-215-4350 or email for more information.  [fee applies]

    Compost for Sale
    The Center sells recycled compost produced locally from waste materials. Compost is sold for $1.50 per cubic foot (~7 gallons), prices include sales tax.  Twice a year in the early spring and late summer, the Center gives away compost to El Cerrito residents for free.

    Seed Library
    The "Seeds of El Cerrito" library has two free seed library locations - the lobby area of the Recycling Center's Administrative Office building, located at 7501 Schmidt and the El Cerrito Public Library, located at 6510 Stockton Avenue.  The seeds are available for everyone - there is no membership and you do not have to return seeds. 

    The El Cerrito Community Garden Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a network of Community Gardens in El Cerrito.  For more information, check their website.

    Goodwill  | Urban Ore
    The Center offers two on site trailers (Goodwill and Urban Ore) for donations of re-useable items.  The Goodwill trailers is staffed with Goodwill employees and keeps the same hours as the Drop-off Center.  The Urban Ore trailer is staffed on Thursdays and Fridays; other times the City staff can assistant customers.  Donations are at the discretion of staff. 

The Recycling Center's Rules and Regulations
  • Visits limited to 2 hours per person per day
  • Parking limited to 30 minutes in the Center, longer parking on Schmidt Lane
  • Supervise your children and leave pets at home or safely in your car
  • Do not take more than 1 file box of items from the Exchange Zone per day
  • Do not take any items from other customers or vehicles
  • Do not get in or move any equipment or enter staff areas
  • Do not take items without salvage permit if needed; please ask staff member.


Recycling+ Environmental Resource Center
ph: 510-215-4350

7501 Schmidt Ln.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Drop-off Hours 
Monday - Friday:
8:00am to 5:45pm
Saturday - Sunday:
9:00am to 4:45pm 
Office Hours
Daily: 9:00am to 5:00pm
City News
Register for the Fall Citywide Garage Sale
Register by Sept. 10th to host a garage sale at your home during the Citywide Garage Sale (on Saturday, Oct. 10th). Registration fees help cover the costs of advertising and promotion. Pick up the registration form at the Recycling Center or Register online
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