Zero Waste - Residential

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.

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 uncooked 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.

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.

Verify business hours before visiting drop off locations:

  • Hercules City Hall, 111 Civic Drive, Hercules, CA (510) 799-8200
  • San Pablo Police Station: 13880 San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo (510) 215-3130
  • Pinole Police Station: 880 Tennent Avenue, Pinole (510) 724-8950
  • West County Wastewater District Office: 2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond, (510) 222-6700
  • El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center:  7501 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito (510) 215-4350
  • Richmond Police Station 1701 Regatta Blvd. Richmond (510) 965-4923
  • West County HHW Collection Facility: 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond (Thur, Fri, Sat. from 9am to 4pm) 1(888)412-9277

*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 510-215-3121.


Household Hazardous Waste - Residential

Introduction to Hazardous Waste


 HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE is created when common household  products that contain toxic chemicals and/or that can cause harmful reactions are no longer wanted or needed. Every year Americans create an astounding 1/6 million tons of house hazardous waste.  Products such as  household cleaners, used motor oil, cooking oil, pesticide, batteries, fluorescents, electronics, gardening products,  paint, and pharmaceuticals all contain chemicals that harm the environment and can even be deadly. If household hazardous waste is not disposed of properly, toxics are released into the soil, the air, and water supplies threatening the health of animals and humans alike. See what kinds of hazardous waste you may have in your home.

If one has unused or unwanted household hazardous waste it is illegal to dispose of it by putting it into the garbage or landfills; abandoning, burying,  or pouring onto the ground; by fire or incineration; or pouring down a sink, toilet, or storm drainBy law, these products must be properly recycled or disposed at a hazardous waste facility. Residents of West Contra Costa County can take their hazardous waste to the permanent collection facility located near the Richmond Parkway. A mobile collection program is also available to assist home bound seniors and disabled persons to properly disposed of their household hazardous waste.

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Need help with your hazardous waste?