Are you enjoying the sunshine, and feeling motivated to clean out your garage, shed, or closets? Here are some resources to help you discard unwanted items.
Choose the Reuse option when possible. Do you think the items might be useful to someone else? RecycleWhere is an online wizard (a project of StopWaste, SF Environment, and Zero Waste Palo Alto) that offers reuse as well as recycling resources for a wide variety of items. Type in the material you no longer want, as well as your zip code, and find organizations and agencies that will help you move the materials along:
Waste less, recycle more. Berkeley residents and businesses can use the weekly curbside recycling pickup for moving along paper and cardboard, as well as many metal, glass, and plastic household containers. For big cleanings, you may need to schedule a bulky waste pickup. “The City of Berkeley offers 1 Bulky Waste Pick-up per calendar year for single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings up to 4 units. Advance appointments are required, and must be scheduled by the property owner. Bulky appointments are made for Wednesdays only.” Check out the website for contact information and details of materials accepted for Bulky Waste Pick-up.
Not in Berkeley? Not sure what the recycling guidelines are for your city? Check out Recycling Rules Alameda County for a city by city list for the county: www.recyclingrulesac.org
Drop it off for items not accepted for curbside pickup. There are drop off recycling and reuse centers in the area:
- Urban Ore makes pickups and receives reusable items at its 3-acre facility at 900 Murray St, Berkeley. Staff will screen materials to take what will resell and be reused, and they will accept some recyclables and scrap as a customer convenience.
- Berkeley Recycling Center accepts fluorescent lightbulbs and batteries from Berkeley residents, and a variety of other recyclables.
- The Computer & Technology Resource Center accepts e-waste for recycling, and also gives free computers to schools, non-profits and individuals. Details on their services and programs here.
- El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center is community recycling center that accepts e-waste, scrap metal, block Styrofoam, and much, much more. Best of all, they have an Exchange Zone where you can donate or adopt books, garden supplies, and other useful household items!
Do you have some household hazardous waste you need to dispose of safely? Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste accepts paint, household chemicals, batteries, electronics, motor oil, medicine, and more from Alameda County households — there are four drop-off locations within the county.
For mobile one-day drop off events (great motivation to get through your cleaning project!), check the schedule here.
In search of resources not covered on this list? Contact us and we will do our best to connect you with the information you seek. We wish you a safe, healthy, and zero waste May!
The Ecology Center’s Education & Engagement Program offers free fact sheets, phone and email help desk services, and gathers their frequently asked questions for blog posts like these. This program is here to help you with your environmental questions!
[Photo credit: jchapiewsky on Flickr]
You might want to mention Berkeley’s contracted reuse program, Urban Ore. Urban Ore not only salvages at the City’s transfer station, it also makes pickups and receives dropoffs at its 3-acre facility at 900 Murray St. in Berkeley. Hours for dropoffs are 8:30AM-5:00PM Monday-Saturday, and 10:00AM-5:00PM Sunday. The store stays open until 7:00PM every day for convenient shopping. Staff at the receiving door will screen materials for reusability as-is, and they will accept some recyclables and scrap as a customer convenience.