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Finance Department
Finance Department

Refuse: Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. How Do I Start/Stop/Change Refuse Services?
  2. Who do I call if my cart is not picked up?
  3. Where do I purchase extra pickup bags?
  4. How much does refuse service cost?
  5. What should I do if my bill is incorrect on my property tax statement?
  6. I think I have been over billed for several years. Can I apply for a refund?
  7. Billing Inquiries
  8. Contact Us
  9. Dimensions of Curbside Carts
  10. Dimensions of Garbage Bins 

How Do I Start/Stop/Change Refuse Services?

See Refuse: Start/Stop/Change Service

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Who do I call if my cart is not picked up?

To report a missed pick-up, please call Refuse Customer Service at (510) 981-7270 (Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm). 

Missed pickups must be reported by 5:00pm the next business day (Monday – Friday) following your regularly scheduled collection day by calling (510) 981-7270. Missed pickups of residential refuse reported beyond that time period will not be collected until the next regularly scheduled collection day.

For example, if your regular pick-up day is Monday, you must report a missed pick-up by 5:00pm Tuesday. If your regular pick-up day is Friday, you must report a missed pick-up by 5:00pm the following Monday.

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Where do I purchase extra pickup bags?

Residential customers who did not report their missed pick up or who need extra refuse service, may purchase special green bags at all Berkeley Libraries, at the Finance Customer Service Center (1947 Center Street), or at the Transfer Station. These bags cost $5.10 each and will be collected with the next scheduled collection. Commercial customers may arrange for additional collections by calling (510) 981-7270.

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How much does refuse service cost?

Refuse rates vary depending on container size, the number of collections per week, and the location of refuse pick-up (denoted by district).  

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What should I do if my bill is incorrect on my property tax statement?

The Finance Department and the Solid Waste Management Division are working together to resolve your refuse billing problems as quickly as possible and we will make every effort to get your tax bill corrected before your 1st installment payment due date. However, once we send the correction to the County we cannot guarantee that they can process the adjustment before your payment is due. Therefore we recommend you pay your 1st installment on time. You can apply to the City of Berkeley for a refund if you had to overpay on your 1st tax installment payment.

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I think I have been over- billed for several years. Can I apply for a refund?

Yes. Currently, the Berkeley Municipal Code allows the Finance Department to refund overpayments of taxes and assessments up to 1 year. (see BMC Chapter 7.20 Claims for Refund of Taxes and Assessments) You will need to send us a copy of your tax bill and proof of payment. Contact Finance at (510) 981-7270.  

The fees and payment requirements for Refuse Services are governed by Ordinance 6319-NS, as published in BMC Section 12.32.060.

Note: For access to the Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC), links will take you to the City’s BMC site (http://www.cityofberkeley.info/bmc/) where you can browse the BMC in PDF format, or search the BMC using Records Online. Search tips, including printable search procedures, are available from the BMC site. 

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Billing Inquires

It is our goal to provide quality customer service and accurate billing for City of Berkeley residents and businesses. If you feel that your bill is incorrect or you would like a detailed explanation of your bill, please call us at (510) 981-7270.

Please have the following information available:

  1. Name, account number and/or service address 
  2. For identification purposes, Social Security or California Identification number
  3. Daytime or evening phone number 
  4. A brief description of the inquiry or dispute

Residents who believe they are being over-charged for Refuse Service should contact Finance Customer Service at (510) 981-7270 immediately. Upon contacting the Finance Customer Service Center, a field representative will conduct a site inspection to establish whether you have been over-charged for refuse service. Customers need not be present for the site inspection, but refuse containers must be accessible. Residents should allow 7-10 days for the city staff to conduct the inspection. If the inspection confirms the over charge, you will be notified that you may be eligible for a refuse refund for the current and the prior fiscal year.

To apply for a refund, you must provide copies of the following:

  1. Property tax statements of the years for which you are requesting a refund
  2. Proof of payment of taxes (Canceled checks, bank statements escrow/impound account statements or 1098’s)

Proof of payment is requested to establish that the tax bill was paid.

Submit the refund request and documentation to:

City of Berkeley
Finance Department – Revenue Collection
1947 Center Street, Berkeley, California 94704

Walk-in Counter hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:30pm

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Contact Us

Finance Customer Service Center

Phone numbers:

(510) 981-7270
Billing Fax Line (510) 981-7280
Missed Pick-up  (510) 981-7270
Public Dumping (510) 981-7270

Do you have a quick question that needs a quick reply? Send us an email with your questions or comments.

Finance Department

Finance@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Refuse Billing

Garbagebill@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Solid Waste Management

Reuse@ci.berkeley.ca.us

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Dimensions of Curbside Carts

13 GALLON
Height:  28.0 inches, Width:  18.0 inches, Depth:  12.0 inches
Capacity:  13.0 gallons, Weight:  8.0 lbs., Wheel Distance:  15  inches

32 Gallon
Height:  36.4 inches, Width:  18.7 inches, Depth:  21.5 inches
Capacity:  32.0 gallons, Weight:  25.0 lbs., Wheel Distance:  15 inches

20 Gallon
Height:  20 inches, Width:  18 inches, Depth: 24 inches
Capacity: 20.0 gallons, Weight: 25 lbs., Wheel Distance:  15 inches

64 Gallon
Height: 42.1 inches, Width: 22.6 inches, Depth: 28.4 inches
Capacity: 64.0 gallons, Weight: 34.0 lbs., Wheel Distance: 18.5 inches

96 Gallon
Height:  42.9 inches, Width:  24.4 inches, Depth:  33.1 inches
Capacity:  96 gallons, Weight:  56.0 lbs., Wheel Distance:  18.5 inches

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Dimensions of Garbage Bins

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Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Finance Department, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: finance@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7200
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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