Zero Waste Recycle More Main Page

Commercial Programs

Businesses are vital for a community to thrive.  They offer housing, food and financial and medical services and more. Every business generates waste materials on a daily basis. Most of these materials can be diverted from disposal at a landfill.  With the right knowledge and tools, any business can operate more sustainably.

Many businesses are creating Sustainability teams to find ways for their business to be a leader in the community.  We can provide resources to help to make your business Green in many ways. To become a certified Green Business click here for further information. 

Mandatory Commercial Recycling Effective July 1, 2012

State law AB341 took effect on July 1, 2012. If your business is generating 4 cubic yards or more per week or your Apartment building has more than 5 units then you must have recycling service in order to be in compliance with the law.  RecycleMore can help you comply with this new law. We have staff that can conduct an analysis of your waste stream and provide suggestions on how to reduce the amount thrown away.  We can provide training to employees or tenants and get them motivated to recycle more and produce less.

(Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery) has also recently passed a State law that will require the State to get to 75% waste diversion by the year 2020  While West Contra Costa County is doing well towards this goal, there is always room for improvement.  If your business would like to improve its waste diversion activities, contact RecycleMore at 510-215-3125.

Mike Biddle: We can recycle plastic - YouTube Video


Commercial FAQs

What is AB341?
This new State law went into effect on July 1, 2012 and makes it mandatory for all businesses and apartment buildings with 5 or more units that generate more than 4 cubic yards of waste per week to have recycling service.  RecycleMore has created informative flyers and posters for businesses to place at their offices.

Does AB341 apply to my business?
If your business generates 4 cubic yards or more a week of garbage or if your apartment complex has more than 5 units, then yes, AB341 applies to your business.

How do I find out how much is being generated at my business?
Review your garbage bill from Republic Services or East Bay Sanitary (El Cerrito). It will show what size bin you have and how often it is picked up each week. Or call Republic Services customer service at 510-262-7100.

Who do I call for help with starting a Recycling program? 
You have different choices. RecycleMore can help you get started. We have staff and resources to help you create a recycling program. There are also staff at City level that can help you with other environmental issues such as water and energy use.

What do we do with Electronic Waste or other outdated equipment?
The Permanent HHW facility allows residents and small businesses in West Contra Costa County to drop off e-waste.  It is located at 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond. Also the El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center takes e-waste (click link: Outdated equipment is a bit harder to find places that recycle it.  Contact the manufacturer first to see if they will take it back or have local resources. Also visit www.Earth911 to see if there are local companies that will take it.

I see people going through by bin, who should I call? 
Although this is illegal and dangerous, most police and code enforcement departments do not have the resources to stop this practice.  You can contact Republic services to see if they can provide you with a lock.   Put up a sign that says no scavenging or loitering should also help. 

Where can I donate old office furniture? 
Craigslist & websites are good places to start. Also Urban Ore in Berkeley will accept most types. Call first.

We get a lot of Styrofoam from vendors. Where can this be recycled?
First ask your supplier to not use Styrofoam packaging. The El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center at 7501 Schmidt Lane accepts the material. El Cerrito accepts ONLY White block polystyrene foam - No food containers, peanuts, other types of foam, or wrapping material (UPS will take peanuts).

Where can I purchase recycled content office supplies? Many office supply stores now have green catalogs just ask for it. Staples, Office Max, Office Depot and Radstons (local Green Business) all can be accessed online.
If your business doesn’t already incorporate Environmental Purchasing Program (EPP) principals in its operation, then visit this website for more information

Can my business recycle food scraps?
This depends on where your business is located.
El Cerrito businesses can now recycle food scraps.  Contact the El Cerrito Environmental and Resource Recycling Center at 510-215-4350 to get started. For Republic Services customers, your business may request a green waste cart.  The green waste cart is 64 gallons and a business such as florist, coffee shop or produce market can put in dead flowers, plants and uncooked vegetables.  For larger businesses that generate a lot of green waste, contact Republic Services at 510-262-7100 for a roll-off box.  Businesses that want to start an on-site compost program, can call Recyclemore or visit the Compost section on this website. 


Residential Programs

Welcome to RecycleMore's Residential landing page! In this section of our website you will find information to help you with curbside recycling services, garbage pick up services, composting programs, foodscraps collection services, proper disposal of household hazardous waste, and resources for multi-family living units.

Many of the resources you will find here can help you determine what to do with specific items you have around your residence. Click here to be taken to a list of common items and how to recycle or properly disposed of them.

For Republic Services customers check out the latest Residential and Commercial Recycling Guide here.

Take a look at the left hand navigation bar on this page to view the information your looking for.

Also, make sure to check the household hazarous waste materials database to learn more about where to dispose of HHW items - as well as safe alternatives to toxic cleaners and pest control.

School Programs


RecycleMore's comprehensive school recycling and classroom education program has successfully served West Contra Costa County schools for more than ten years. Our goal is to educate families through their school age children on the importance of the 4 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.  Through partnerships with other like-minded organizations we are able to offer FREE educational workshops and learning opportunities as part of their regular school experience. Some examples of these are:

•Field trips + 4R Workshops                                            
•Composting How-To Workshops                                  

 RecycleMore's school recycling program also provides assistance to school's in establishing and maintaining an on site recycling progam by working with administrators, maintenance staff, teachers and students alike.  RecycleMore offers training as well as provides recycling receptables for each classroom with the goal of reducing the amount of waste that goes to the landfill which in turn allows the district to save money by lowering its' garbage bill.

2608 youtube://v/QpNKXUL_NBY

Schools FAQs

For more information on school programs, please click here.

Backyard Composting

There's lots to learn about making and using compost. This section is devoted to basic compost questions. You may be interested in downloading our Composting at Home - It's Only Natural brochure available in both English and Spanish. We also have a How to Compost page which lists the basics of home composting from start to finish.

What is composting & why do it?

Composting, nature's own way of recycling, is the controlled decomposition of organic material such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, and vegetable food waste. Compost is the soil amendment product that results from proper composting.

Whether it's done on site, at the point of waste generation, or in a large scale, centralized facility, composting helps to keep the high volume of organic material out of landfills and turns it into a useful product. On site composting reduces the cost of hauling materials and is generally exempted from solid waste regulations. Large scale facilities can handle more material and potentially produce a more consistent product, but may be faced with regulatory issues.

If you live in El Cerrito, your green waste may be collected curbside and taken to a large scale composting facility at the West Contra Costa Sanitary Landfill. The resulting compost is available for purchase. Call East Bay Sanitary Company for more information about curbside green waste collection in El Cerrito. (510) 237-4321

Adapted from: California Integrated Waste Management Board Waste Prevention Info Exchange 

How to Compost
The basics of composting, from start to finish

All about another great use for yard waste
Where to find bins and tools for composting

California Voters Approve Statewide Ban on Single Use Plastic Bags

**November 2016 Update - On November 8, 2016 California voters approved the passage of Proposition 67, Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags. Referendum****

The new law takes effect immediately and applies to every community State-wide.  For more information on what this means please visit the following link on the CalRecycle website:


West County Cities Enact Ordinances to Encourage the Use of Reusable Bags in Retail Establishments

During the summer and fall months of 2013, the West Contra Costa cities of El Cerrito, Richmond, and San Pablo adopted single use bag reduction ordinances to become effective January 1, 2014.  The City of Hercules adopted an ordinance in September of 2014 which will go into effect on March 10, 2015. Each city adopted its' own ordinance based on the model ordinance that was developed by RecycleMore on behalf of its' member agencies. The regional approach ensured that ordinances would not vary significantly between neighboring jurisdictions and also served as a cost saving benefit since a regional environmental review was also conducted as a whole rather than on a city by city basis. Each member agency was responsible for preparing and finalizing the terms and language contained in its' ordinance with the final approval by their respective city councils.

Typically the ordinances ban the distribution of single use (plastic) bags at the point of sale for all retail establishments (except restaurants or take out food establishments), places a 5 to 10 cent charge on each paper bag distributed, and require the paper bags contain a minimal amount of post consumer material. Plastic bags that are used by customers to protect or contain raw meat, fresh produce, and prepared foods from moisture, damage or contamination are exempt. 

To see detailed information on the individual ordinances please visit the following city website pages:  City of El Cerrito, City of Richmond, City of San Pablo , City of Hercules.  Comments and specific questions on the ordinances should be directed to the City departments listed on these websites. As of June 2016, the City of Pinole, and the unincorporated West County areas within RecycleMore's jurisdiction had not enacted single use bag ban ordinances.

Did you know there are efforts to establish legislation supporting a state wide single use bag ban?  Visit the link below to read about recent happenings in this quest:

Hazardous Waste Disposal

If you reside in El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo and the unincorporated West County areas (Crockett, El Sobrante, Port Costa, Rodeo, & Tormey) you may drop off your household hazardous waste for FREE at the The West Contra Costa County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Proof of residency is required.  If you are a resident of Kensington, go here for further information.  For hours of operation, location, and certain restrictions please scroll further down this page.

To see examples of what types of items can be dropped off at the facility visit our Hazardous Materials Database. Click on the item you have for disposal to see whether or not it is accepted at the facility and for alternative ways for proper disposal. These items are NOT accepted for drop offcontrolled substances, radioactive materials, explosives, firearms, pressurized gas cylinders - thick walled and over 5 gallons.

If you are a small business in West Contra Costa County, you may be eligible to drop off hazardous waste for a fee. For more information navigate the commercial hazardous materials page.

Location of HHW Facility

101 Pittsburg Avenue, North Richmond – 1,000 feet east of the

Richmond Parkway

  • Going Northbound on the
    Richmond Parkway

    Turn Right onto
    Pittsburg Avenue
  • Going Southbound on the
    Richmond Parkway

    Turn Left onto
    Pittsburg Avenue
  • Once on Pittsburg Ave, Go about 1000 yards and
    Turn Right into the second driveway at
    101 Pittsburg Avenue.

    Get directions to HHW Drop-off Site

View Larger Map

Hours of Operation

Open:   Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday. 

Hours:   9am-4pm (closed Noon to 12:30 p.m. for lunch).


For more information call 1-888-412-9277

Handling, Transport, & Drop-Off

Legal transport limit is no more than 15 gallons or 125 pounds of hazardous waste per vehicle per visit. Individual containers are limited to 5 gallon capacity.

  • Leave labels intact or clearly label all items.
  • Limit individual containers to 5 gallons each.
  • Asbestos: Bag in 6 ml plastic bags (4 heavy garbage bags) - each bag may weigh no more than 30 pounds and contain pieces no longer or wider than 27 inches.
  • Do not mix materials in the same container.
  • Tighten lids & place leaking or dirty containers in strong plastic bags.
  • Pack individual containers in a sturdy box or tub with absorbent material such as newspaper.
  • Transport materials in the trunk or rear of the vehicle.
  • Stay in your vehicle when you arrive at the facility.


Household Hazardous Waste Collection
at the El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center

7501 Schmidt Ln, El Cerrito

Tuesdays 9am to 4pm (Closed for lunch 12 to 12:30)

RecycleMore, a Joint Powers Agency, provides these services in partnership with West County Resource Recovery (WCRR), Republic Services, and the City of El Cerrito.  

Must be a resident in the RecycleMore Service area and show proof of residency:

El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, and unincorporated Contra Costa County communities of Bayview, East Richmond Heights, El Sobrante, Montalvin Manor, North Richmond, Rollingwood and Tara Hills

Only on Tuesdays, the facility will accept the following household hazardous wastes:

  • Garden products (pesticides and fertilizers)
  • Propane gas cylinders
  • Hazardous aerosols/cleaners/sprays & poisons
  • Auto products (such as gasoline, cleaners, polishes)
  • Paints, solvents, thinners, and adhesives
  • Photo & pool chemicals
  • Mercury thermometers and switches

Items not accepted at any time:

  • No hazardous waste from businesses
  • No explosives, ammunition, medical waste, radioactive waste
  • No treated wood waste or contaminated soil
  • No refrigerators. Other appliances accepted at the El Cerrito Recycling Center.

Rodeo, Crockett, Port Costa, Tormey, and Kensington residents must take their HHW to:

West County Resource Recovery HHW Facility

101 Pittsburg Ave., Richmond

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 9am to 4pm

Closed for lunch 12:00 to 12:30pm

Kensington residents may call Bay View Sanitary at 510-237-4614 for more information or click here.


The El Cerrito Recycling & Environmental Resource Center will continue to accept the following items

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

  • Used motor oil & filters (5-gallon container maximum)
  • Cooking oil (5 gallon maximum)
  • Household batteries
  • Fluorescent lights (RecycleMore territory residents only)
  • Sharps* (needles, syringes, lancets) must be in an approved sharps container
  • Medications (No controlled substances allowed). Put loose pills and bottled liquids in a sealed plastic bag. Black out any personal information.
  • Electronic Waste with cords such as:
    • Appliances: Microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens (small plug-in appliances)    
    • Cameras, video equipment, cell phones, chargers, etc.
    • Computers, Computer Monitors, Televisions, Laptops, hardware, printers, Ink cartridges, toners
    • Digital Thermometers, electric shavers, toothbrushes, hair dryers, curlers, and straighteners
    • Radios, stereo equipment, video games and consoles
    • Vacuum cleaners

Alameda County Residents should visit   for drop off locations.


Media Library: 

Safe Disposal of Unwanted Medications

How to Safely Dispose of Unwanted Household Medications


Don't flush your drugs!  Flushing unwanted and expired medications down the toilet is the least desirable of all disposal alternatives.  Wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped to remove all traces of pharmaceutical chemicals.  If you flush your drugs, a portion of those contaminants will reach local waters.  Scientific studies show the chemicals in many drugs can harm aquatic life. Proper disposal of unwanted medications helps protect your family, your community and the environment.

  • Keep Pollutants out of our water - Research has linked pharmaceutical pollutants to reproductive defects in fish, resistance to antibiotics, and the development of drug resistant germs.
  • Prevent accidental poisonings - Many children and the elderly are often victims of accidental poisonings due to medications in the home.
  • Reduce drug abuse and illegal use - More teenagers abuse prescription and over-the-counter drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana.

 Here Are Ways to Safely Dispose of Unwanted Medications

1. Pour pills into a sealable plastic bag. Liquids should be left in their bottles and placed into sealed plastic bag to prevent leakage.  Take filled bags to a drop off location near you. Click here to see a list of drop off locations in West Contra Costa County.

2. Visit your local Walgreens to purchase a prepaid postage return envelope.

3. Visit websites such as U.S. Department of Justice for information on the when the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled, and The Drug Take Back Network for the latest news on local take back program efforts, product stewardship, useful resources, and drop off locations all over the nation.

Drop Off Locations in West Contra Costa

San Pablo,  Pinole, and Richmond Police Departments along with the West County Wastewater District office are drop-off locations for unwanted and expired home-generated pharmaceuticals*.  These convenient locations allow West Contra Costa County residents to properly dispose of old pharmaceuticals and keep them out of the water supply and garbage.  The program is a collaborative effort between RecycleMore, West County Resource Recovery Inc., and the participating locations.

  • Hercules City Hall, 111 Civic Drive, Hercules; 24-Hour drop off bins are located outside of main entrance
  • San Pablo Location to be determined
  • Pinole Police Station: 880 Tennent Avenue, Pinole; Lobby hours: 8am - 5pm Mon - Fri
  • West County Wastewater District Office: 2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond; Lobby hours: 8am - 5pm Mon - Fri, closed 12pm - 1pm
  • El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center:  7501 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito; 8:00am - 5pm Mon - Fri, 9am - 4:45pm Sat - Sun
  • **NEW** Richmond Fire Department Station #63: 5201 Valley View Rd, El Sobrante; 24-hour drop off bin is located outside of main entrance
  • Richmond Police Station 1701 Regatta Blvd. Richmond; 7am - 8pm Mon - Sun
  • West County HHW Collection Facility: 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond; (Thur, Fri, Sat. from 9am to 4pm, closed 12-12:30pm) 

Additional Locations, Please call ahead for drop-off hours:

  • CVS/Pharmacy 1401 TARA HILL DR, PINOLE, CA 94564    (510) 724-8880
  • Kaiser Pharmacy,1301 PINOLE VALLEY RD 1ST FLOR, PINOLE, CA 94564    (510) 243-4311          
  • KAISER Richmond Hospital Main Pharmacy 901 NEVIN AVENUE, RICHMOND, CA 94801        (510) 307-3160
  • CVS/Pharmacy 2151 MEEKER AVE, RICHMOND, CA 94804        (510) 231-5922          
  • CVS/Pharmacy 10650 SAN PABLO AVE, EL CERRITO, CA 94530       (510) 527-3210
  • CVS/Pharmacy 670 EL CERRITO PLAZA, EL CERRITO, CA 94530       (510) 524-5895

*Controlled substances are not allowed in the collection bins per State and Federal Laws.

Read an article that appeared in the Nov-Dec 2012 issue of California Special District Magazine featuring the West County Wastewater District and it's participation in the program. For more information view the How to Safely Dispose of Unwanted Household Medications brochure or call 510-215-3125.