What Can I Drop off at the Berkeley Recycling Center?

If you are a Berkeley Resident, you wheel out your recycling carts to the curb each week where it is collected for processing by the Ecology Center or the City of Berkeley. Our trucks transport and empty your recycling at the Community Conservation Center’s (CCC) Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Second and Gilman St. where materials are processed, sorted, and prepared for shipment to markets. 

Drop-off

Although some items can’t be collected for curbside pickup, the CCC offers drop-off bins for several recyclable materials free of charge including:

  • VHS tapes
  • CDs
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Tool batteries
  • Automotive batteries
  • Books
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Small metal appliances (toasters, blenders, fans)

The CCC also offers drop-off for certain materials for a fee. Large appliances such as water heaters, stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and furnaces are accepted for a 20$ charge per appliance. 

Buyback

The CCC also provides a recycling buy back program, which allows community members to sell their high market value recyclables, separate from the drop-off. The buy back program is located next to the Recycling drop-off. Materials include mixed paper, aluminum cans, and #1 (PET) and #2 (HDPE) and they must be prepared prior to drop-off. Read more about the buyback program and material preparation here.

 

What is NOT ACCEPTED at the CCC?

Electronics: No Televisions, cellphones, ink cartridges, microwaves, stereos, radios, electronic toys
Computers: No Monitors, printers, CPUs
Refrigerated Appliances: No Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, microwave ovens
Asbestos: No insulation, heat ducting, old furnaces etc
Cylinders: No gas, propane or compressed air cylinders
Tanks and drums: No gas tanks. No 55-gallon drums unless cut in half or with visible four inch hole
Miscellaneous: No transformers, printed circuit boards, lead or heavy metals.

 

Where can I take the materials that can’t be recycled at the CCC? 

Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility
Much of the materials in this “other category” belongs under Household Hazardous Waste. According to the CCC, Household Hazardous Waste, sometimes called “Universal Waste,” (UW), are products that contain harmful chemicals which, if put in the trash, may harm people or the environment. UW may contain corrosive chemicals that can cause burns, as well as toxic metals like cadmium and lead. Selected HHW can be dropped off at Berkeley Recycling including Fluorescent bulbs, Household Batteries, Tool Batteries, Automotive Batteries, Appliances $20 per unit (no refrigerators), Light ballasts (labeled “PCB free”). 

Other Household Hazardous Waste listed below can be dropped off at the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

  • Paint, stain, varnish, thinner and adhesives
  • Auto products such as old fuel, motor oil, oil filters and batteries
  • Household batteries, fluorescent bulbs, cleaners and sprays
  • Garden products including pesticides and fertilizers
  • Home generated “sharps” waste in approved containers
  • Prescription and over the counter medicines, except for controlled substances

E-Waste Collective
If the item you’re trying to dispose of is electronic it can most likely be disposed of at the Alameda County Computer and Technology Resource Center, also known as the EWaste Collective. The EWaste collective is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that offers a training program, where volunteers learn to reclaim, refurbish, and restore computers for home, school, and office applications. Visit their website to see a full list of what they accept. 

Berkeley Transfer Station (w/ fees)

  • Refrigerated Appliances $43
  • Mattresses and Box Springs (1st 2 are free) $14
  • Automobile Tire $10
  • Propane Tank $20
  • TV/monitor/CRT per each item over 2 (1st 2 are free) $9

Visit their website to see a full list of materials accepted and fees.

 

We understand that remembering all of these recycling rules can be difficult. Make sure to check out our Resourceful App to make disposing of your household materials easier!


Thanks for reading, we want to wish you a Happy Plastic Free July! Check out our PFJ page for upcoming events surrounding the reuse movement, plastic-free initiatives and policy, and visit our Ecology Store for the latest plastic-free, sustainable products – take 15% of with PlasticFreeJuly at checkout (online or in-store)!


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18 thoughts on “What Can I Drop off at the Berkeley Recycling Center?

    • DO NOT PLACE IN BLUE CURBSIDE RECYCLING CART. Wire hangers are usually steel, and could be a part of any “drop-off” recycling load going to Berkeley Recycling (Second St. @ Gilman).

      Even though they are metal, they must NOT be placed in the (blue) recycling cart, since they can cause serious problems in the recycling trucks and sorting machinery, including possible injury to staff. If they can not be donated to a thrift store, they should be placed in the gray landfill cart. If the wire hangers are not rusty or dirty, they could be donated to thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent dePaul, etc.).

      If the wire hangers are no longer useful to thrift stores, and you have a huge number of them, you could possibly sell them as scrap metal, to a business like Schnitzer Steel, 1101 Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA 94607 (510-444-3919). Make sure that you call first to know their times of business.

    • Stove coil elements can be dropped off separately (or with the entire electric range or with the other kitchen appliances) at the CCC at 669 Gilman/1231 Second St (Berkeley Recycling Center).

    • Hi Eric, thanks for your question. You can bring your microwave to eWaste Collective at 620 Page St, Berkeley. Their hours are 9-5 Monday-Friday and 10-5 Saturday.

      If you’re willing to give your microwave a new life, you could try to give it away on craigslist, nextdoor, or free cycle.

    • Hi Sheryl, thanks for the question. You can bring old wiring to eWaste Collective at 620 Page St, Berkeley. Their hours are 9-5 Monday-Friday and 10-5 Saturday.

      Another option is El Cerrito Recycling & Environmental Resource Center at 7501 Schmidt Ln, El Cerrito. Their hours are 8:30-4 Monday-Friday and 9-4:45 Saturday.

  1. Can I drop off a working vcr and a working electric juicer?
    Where can I drop off laptop batteries?
    Where can I drop off medical devices like empty inhalers?
    Thank you.

    • Hi K, for your VCR and juicer I would suggest eWaste Collective at 620 Page St – you may want to call to double check those specific appliances will be accepted.
      Your laptop batteries can be dropped off at the Berkeley Recycling Facility at the corner of Second St and Gilman. You might see if eWaste Collective will accept these also so that you can just make one stop.
      Empty inhalers can be dropped off at the Transfer Station at 1201 Second St with other medications, or you could call your local pharmacy to see if they have a drop off program.

      Hope this helps!

      • Hi,
        I want to double check that I can drop off laptop batteries at the Berkeley Recycling Facility as mentioned directly above on March 2 by Jessica.

        Because farther up this page it says:

        “WHAT IS NOT ACCEPTED AT THE CCC?
        Electronics: No Televisions, cellphones, ink cartridges, microwaves, stereos, radios, electronic toys
        Computers: No Monitors, printers, CPUs, laptop batteries”

        Thank You

        • Hi Richard, thank you for this question – we definitely want to be sharing clear and accurate info.

          I just double checked with our recycling team and laptop batteries can be dropped off at the CCC rechargeable battery drop off bin. They do have to be separated from the rest of the laptop though (eWaste Collective will take both laptop battery and laptop). I’ll update the rest of this post to reflect this info.

  2. Hi,
    I am looking to recycle my old vacuum. Do you recycle upright vacuums? It partially works. If not, any suggestions as to where they would?

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