Kitchen Foodscraps

Residents of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo and the unincorporated County areas can now put food scraps and food-soiled paper along with yard trimmings into their green carts for curbside collection. For more information on this program see the brochure or take a look at this poster.

Residents of these cities are also eligible to receive a free food scrap collection pail for their kitchen counter. Supplies are limited. Read this announcement to see where you can pick up a food scrap pail. You may also contact your respective City Hall or RecycleMore for more information on how to obtain one.

Visit our composting home page to learn other ways to compost certain food items and yard trimmings.

Check out the video below to see how food scraps are transformed into a nutrient rich soil enhancement called compost.  Compost can be added back into the soil to help grow fruits, vegetables and other plants, which is a fine example of taking something that is commonly thrown away and making it into a renewable resource.


Food Scrap Program FAQs

What do I put in the green cart?
You can put food scraps and food-soiled paper into your green cart along with the other acceptable materials listed below. 

YES, Acceptable materials:
Yard Trimmings, Grass, Leaves, Flowers, Pine Needles, Weeds,
Fruits and Vegetables, Food Scraps (meat, bones, bread, pasta, egg shells, coffee grounds, dairy)
Food Soiled Paper (paper plates, paper cups, napkins, paper bags, milk and juice cartons)
Tree Limbs (up to 3 feet) and Unpainted and Untreated Wood
Please NO:
Plastic Bags
Lawn sod
Ash or burned material
Painted wood
Pet waste, manure
Dirt, rock, sand, concrete
Green Carts with unacceptable materials will not be emptied and may be collected by the garbage truck for an additional charge to your garbage bill.
When do I put the green cart out?
Your green cart should be set out on the same day as your garbage collection day:
Republic Services, 510 262-7100 - Every week collection
El Cerrito (East Bay Sanitary Service,  510 237-4321) - Every week collecion
Where does the material go that I put in the cart?
Organic materials collected from the green carts will be delivered to a local composting facility. The materials are placed into long rows called windrows, where the materials is aerated, watered and monitored to ensure optimal composting conditions. The material breaks down naturally into a rich, nutrient rich soil amendmeent. They will be taken to a compost facility instead of the landfill, as part of the City of El Cerrito's strategy to fight climate change and reduce waste. 
If you are a Business owner:
El Cerrito - East Bay Sanitary Company collects organic materials - "green waste" - from El Cerrito businesses. For more information, visit or call 237-4321.
Republic Services
Your business may request a green carts from Republic Services 510-262-7100. The green cart is 64 gallons and a business such as florist, coffee shop, or produce market can put in dead flowers, plants and fruits and vegetables.
For larger businesses that generate a lot of green organic material, contact Republic Services for a roll-off box.
Businesses that want to start an on-site compost program, call RecycleMore or visit the Compost section on this website.