Berkeley Curbside Recycling

About Recycling

Recycling is vital to the health of our planet and helps the Berkeley community in very practical ways. By recycling paper, certain plastic, glass, and metal, you play an important part in protecting our climate, preserving our resources, and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. You also help to provide good, green-collar jobs. Do your part. Use your cart.


About Berkeley Curbside Recycling

Recycle, compost, or landfill? Resourceful 

COVID-19 Guidelines

Recycling Cart Replacement


Ciara James, Ecology Center Recycling Education Program Coordinator, will be tabling at various public events in Berkeley to answer your questions and provide information about basic recycling sorting, so that your good intentions aren’t wasted!



  •  Flatten your cardboard. Increased online purchasing can generate a lot of cardboard. Do not wedge cardboard into the cart, for larger boxes bundle your cardboard. You can leave 1 tape or twine-secured bundle per week up to 3ft. X 3ft. X 1ft next to your cart or collection.
  • Any excess cardboard can be dropped off at the Berkeley Recycling Center located at 669 Gilman Street.

To be mindful of COVID-19, we are taking extra precautions. Below are a few of the additional steps our staff and drivers are taking to interrupt the spread of the virus.

  • Continuing to use appropriate personal protective equipment during curbside recycling collection.
  • Asking staff or drivers to stay home if they exhibit any symptoms or have been exposed to the virus.
  • Staggering our start times. This allows us to maintain social distancing at the workplace and en route. 
  • Remaining in close communication with the City of Berkeley and standing ready to adjust operations accordingly.

To support the safe and efficient running of your Curbside Recycling Service, we ask that you observe the following:

  • Keep being outstanding recyclers. Separating your recyclables helps us reclaim high-quality materials for the recycled commodities markets. Place your cans, bottles, jugs, and tubs on one blue side and place your paper and cardboard under the other blue side. Please don’t wish cycle; if you have to guess, it probably is not recyclable. As always, no styrofoam, plastic bags, pouches, or flexible film.
  • Park your vehicle close to the curb. With so many residents sheltering-in-place, it can be more difficult to get our large trucks through narrow streets.
  • Please observe proper hygiene when handling carts. Recycling cart handles are a high-touch surface in a public area.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6’ when our drivers approach.
  • Fill your cart before putting it out for pickup. Reducing the number of carts at the curb makes for more effective and consistent service. Flattening cans and plastic bottles before placing them into your cart could increase your usable volume between collection days.


Recycling Hotline: (510) 527-5555
Call Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM


If you live in a single family home, you can learn how and what to recycle on the Single Family Home Recycling page.

Download the single family home recycling brochure.


If you live in an apartment building of less than ten units, you can learn how and what to recycle on the Small Apartment Recycling page.

Download the small apartment building recycling brochure.


The City of Berkeley provides Commercial Recycling Services for businesses and residential buildings with 10 or more units. Click here to visit their recycling webpage.


People who collect your recycling before the official recycling trucks arrive to collect your materials deprive the City of revenue – revenue that offsets the cost of the service. If you would like to report a poaching violation, click here.


The Ecology Center has operated Berkeley’s Curbside Recycling Program since 1973! We were among the very first recycling programs in the US, and we continue to push toward our goals of Zero Waste and natural resource conservation. Read more about what sets us apart from corporate recyclers.