Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Department of Public Works
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COVID-19 Service Information: Commercial and residential refuse, compost, and recycling collection continues as regularly scheduled. The Transfer Station and Berkeley Recycling Center are open to the public. Face coverings and social distancing required.

See COVID-19 service notices for a full list of changes to City services during the pandemic.


The City of Berkeley provides weekly residential organics collection for plant debris, food scraps, and compostable paper. Organics collection is included with your refuse service and limited to a single 32 or 64 gallon green roll-cart, serviced at the curb, per paid residential refuse account. Carts containing materials weighing over 130 lbs. will not be serviced, and the resident will have to unload contents to remove overweight materials. 


  • Plant Debris/Yard Trimmings: Including grass clippings, leaves, garden trimmings, palm fronds, branches, unpainted/untreated wood. 
    • All materials must fit inside cart with the lid closed.
    • Branches must be smaller than 3" in diameter and less than 3' long.
    • Please shake dirt off roots. Dirt impedes the composting process and makes collection carts very heavy.
    • NO pet feces, cat litter, dirt, rocks, concrete, logs or stumps allowed.   
  • Food Scraps: Including fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, seafood, bones, shells, and coffee grounds. 
    • NO liquids or oils/grease (small quantities of oil/grease on a paper towel are ok in the compost).   
  • Food-soiled Compostable Paper – Including paper towels, napkins, coffee filters, pizza boxes, greasy paper bags, waxed paper/cardboard, and unlined or BPI-Certified paper containers.
    • NO aseptic containers (e.g. foil-lined, shelf-stable soup or soy milk cartons)
    • NO poly-lined paper (i.e. any paper lined with plastic, including most tea bags and wrappers, oatmeal packets, and some paper plates, cups and milk cartons). Many paper containers designed to hold food or liquid are poly-lined to create a moisture barrier. Look for coffee cups, milk cartons, and other paper products that utilize a PLA lining and are labeled as BPI-Certified Compostable to ensure they do not contain plastic before placing in your compost cart.    
  • BPI-Certified Compostable Products - including BPI-certified bioplastic bags, utensils, cups, and containers. 
    • Bioplastics must be clearly labeled "Compostable" and "BPI-Certified." 
    • NO unlabeled bioplastics or bioplastics labeled "biodegradable." Biodegradable is NOT the same as compostable. Biodegradable products can contain plastic.
    • Note: bioplastics may not make it through the entire compost process. Bioplastics may be removed as contaminants, especially if they are not clearly labeled and they look similar to plastic at the compost facility, or they may not fully break down and will be screened out and landfilled. It is best to utilize BPI-certified fiber-based foodware such as PLA-lined cups/containers or wood utensils instead of bioplastics.   


  • NO glass
  • NO metal
  • NO plastic (including plastic-lined paper)
  • NO liquids (including large quantities of fats, oils, or grease) 
  • NO pet feces or cat litter (no, not even if they are in a "compostable" dog poop bag)
  • NO diapers or human feces (no, compostable diapers are not allowed)
  • NO dirt, sod, rocks, or concrete
  • NO logs, stumps, or branches bigger than 3" in diameter or more than 3' long
  • NO particle board, plywood, painted wood, or treated wood
  • NO bioplastics labeled "biodegradable" or "made from plants" (all bioplastics must be labeled "compostable" and be "BPI Certified")
  • NO trash, plastic bags, or any other non-organic material   

Composting your food scraps is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Collect food scraps in your kitchen pail (or you  use a reusable bowl, tupperware container, or a paper bag or other compostable container).
  2. Empty your pail into your green cart.
  3. Set your green cart at the curb on your collection day. 



  • You may choose to line your pail with newspaper, paper bags, paper towels, or BPI-Certified compostable bags.
  • To order a kitchen pail for food scraps: Contact Customer Service.


Residential customers who occasionally have extra plant debris can purchase Prepaid Plant Debris Bags at the Transfer Station located at 1201 2nd St. or at the Berkeley Ace Hardware located at 2020 Milvia St. Only these special City of Berkeley prepaid bags will be collected, as their rate includes service and processing. Prepaid Plant Debris Bags must be at curb for service on next scheduled service day. Customers are limited to 10 pre-paid bags per week, and each bag must not weigh more than 40 lbs. Please do not set bags out at the curb early in wet weather.


Bring large quantities of plant debris to the City of Berkeley Transfer Station at 1201 2nd Street. Loads that contain only compostable materials are charged a discounted rate

  • Self-haul compostable material includes: plant debris, pruning, unpainted untreated wood (nails are ok), pallets, waxed cardboard, food scraps, food soiled paper, and BPI-certified compostable bags
  • NO plywood, particle board, painted wood, treated wood, drywall, plastic bags, trash, dirt, or other non-organic materials.
  • See Transfer Station for current days and hours of operation, and holiday closures. 


Backyard composting and curbside organics collection programs are designed to complement each other.  For more information about home composting call "The Rotline" at (510) 444-SOIL or (510) 444-7645 or, follow the link to the Alameda County Waste Management Authority web site.


The City of Berkeley offers free compost for Berkeley residents to pick up and use as a soil amendment. For complete details, click here: Free Compost for Berkeley Residents.

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Department of Public Works, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: publicworks@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-6300
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903