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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)
Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)

Waste Reduction

Berkeley’s goal is to achieve Zero Waste by 2020. Zero waste means that all discarded material is recycled, composted, or reused. Nothing is sent to the landfill. In order to achieve zero waste, the City of Berkeley, in partnership with the Ecology Center, provides curbside recycling services for bottles, cans, plastics, newspaper, mixed paper, and cardboard. The City also provides curbside composting of plant debris and food waste. For more information, see  

recycle binThree R's and a C: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost

Reduce: Prevent waste before it happens. The less stuff you buy, the less waste you create. 

  • Rent or borrow instead of buying things new.
  • Reduce your junk mail. See: or
  • Bring your own bag when shopping, and buy products with minimal or no packaging.

Reuse: Avoid single-use, disposable products.

  • Reuse packaging and food containers.
  • Pass on items you no longer use such as books and clothes to friends or donate them to a thrift store.
  • Buy durable products and repair them if they break rather than tossing them.

Recycle: Items can be recycled and remade into new products instead of using virgin materials.The Ecology Center operates Berkeley’s Curbside Recycling Program.

  • Recycle paper, plastic, glass, and metal items weekly in your curbside blue bin.
  • Learn where to recycle electronics, batteries, fluorescent lightbulbs, etc., see:
  • Buy recyled products. Look for labeling and choose recycled-content

Compost: Food, soiled-paper and plants in your green bin are composted into nutrient-rich soil used by local farms.

  • Kitchen scraps, yard waste, food-soiled paper, and other organic material make up half the waste stream in
    Alameda County. Put these items in your green bin so they can be composted instead of landfilled.
  • Make your own compost or worm bin to turn your food scraps and trimmings into rich, fertile compost
  • Get free compost soil for your garden made from your green waste, available monthly at the Berkeley Marina, see: Free Compost for Berkeley Residents


Zero Waste Division:



Household Hazardous Waste:

Construction and Demolition Waste Diversion:  

Berkeley Transfer Station:  

Ecology Center:


To find out where to recycle which materials, call Call 311 from within Berkeley (or 510-981-CITY) Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm or the Ecology Center's Recycling Hotline: (510) 527-5555.

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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD), 1947 Center Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7465
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903