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Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works

Welcome to the City's Zero Waste Programs & Services

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.

Berkeley has a longstanding commitment to reducing and ultimately eliminating/diverting the waste that goes to landfills, and established one of the first municipal recycling programs in the nation.

All Commercial Waste Collection in Berkeley is Provided by the City

The City’s Zero Waste Division provides all commercial refuse, recycling & compost collection service for Berkeley businesses and multi-family dwellings with more than 9 units. The City also provides weekly refuse and compost collection service for residents. The Ecology Center, the City’s residential recycling collector, provides recycling service for single-family residents and multi-family dwellings under 10 units.

Mandatory Recycling and Composting Requirements
A new California State law, SB 1383, requires everyone to keep organics out of the landfill in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Starting January 1, 2022, SB 1383 regulations will be implemented in Berkeley under the Alameda County Waste Management Authority's Organics Reduction & Recycling Ordinance. More info available at  

Berkeley Business Requirements: Businesses are required to have adequate recycling and compost collection service. Businesses may be cited and fined for lack of required service, or for recyclable or compostable material found in the trash. Businesses are required to educate staff, contractors, and retail tenants about the recycle and compost programs annually, as well as no later than 14 days after a new tenant moves in and no less than 14 days prior to tenant move-out. View all business requirements here

Berkeley Multi-family Requirements: All residential properties of 5 or more units are required to provide recycling and organics collection for their tenants’ food scraps, food soiled papers and any plant debris generated at the property. Property owners may be cited and fined for lack of required service. Property owners are required to educate tenants about the recycle and compost programs annually, as well as no later than 14 days after a new tenant moves in and no less than 14 days prior to tenant move-out. View all multi-family requirements here

Please call City of Berkeley Customer Service at 311 (510-981-7270) to request an account review or to add recycling and/or compost collection services. Residential/multifamily accounts with 1-9 units should contact the Ecology Center at 510-527-5555 to start recycling service. Onsite assistance is available to help your business or multifamily property establish the required service. Resources such as onsite trainings, compost bins, posters, and other educational materials for staff and tenants are available upon request. Recycling collection is included with paid refuse service. Organics collection service is included with paid refuse service for residential accounts. Organics service for commercial and multifamily accounts with more than 5 units is offered at a 20% discount from the refuse rate. See Zero Waste Rates for detailed rate information.

NEW Expanded Curbside Mattress Collection Program Effective March 8, 2021

Expanded curbside mattress collection is available for 1-9 unit residential properties in 2021.  

Mattresses collected through this program are recycled into new products: Foam padding is turned into carpet underlayment or animal bed padding, fabrics are used in industrial oil filters and other textile applications, steel springs are recycled and used to make new appliances and building materials, and wood frames are shredded to produce landscaping mulch or to generate energy.    

See program details here: Mattress Recycling in Berkeley  

Berkeley Single-Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance Effective March 27, 2019

Berkeley's Single-Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance is designed to reduce the use and disposal of single-use foodware. Single-use foodware, including disposable cups, lids, utensils, straws, and clamshells, is a major contributor to street litter, marine pollution, harm to wildlife, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste sent to landfills. Reducing the use of disposable foodware is a component of the City's Zero Waste goal.

For more detailed information please visit the Berkeley Single Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance webpage or view the full ordinance here.

 Transfer Station Fee Effective July 1, 2014: There is a Transfer Station Unsecured Load Fee of $15 for vehicles arriving with uncovered loads.

Berkeley's Recycling Program Includes All Plastic ContainersPlasticContainers 

Effective July 2013 the City of Berkeley’s residential and commercial curbside recycling programs began accepting any clean, rigid plastic containers. This includes the Ecology Center’s residential curbside collection, the City’s commercial recycling collection, and drop-off of recyclables at the City-owned Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) operated by the Community Conservation Center (CCC).

For complete details on plastics that are acceptable and are not acceptable for recycling - go to the Berkeley Recycling Services page.

On January 1, 2013 the Alameda County Reusable Bag Ordinance became effective, which covers Berkeley and all other cities in the county. The ordinance bans single-use plastic check-out bags at packaged food stores, and requires a 10¢ fee on each paper bag distributed. The ordinance’s goal is to promote reusable bags whenever possible. Please visit the Alameda County Waste Authority’s Reusable Bag website: for more information - and start helping today by remembering to bring your reusable bags whenever you shop.

Refuse & Recycling services provided by the City include:

  • Residential and commercial refuse and recyclables collection/disposal
  • Residential and commercial food and green waste collection
  • Recycling of construction and demolition (C&D) waste
  • Bulky-item pickups, and debris box containers
  • Self-haul disposal facility at the Transfer Station, located at 1201 Second Street
  • Clean Cities Program (neighborhood clean-ups, street sweeping, etc.)

Zero Waste Programs & Services

Recycling and Composting Services

Downloadable Posters

8.5 x 11 Posters:

Compost Poster
Recycle Bottles & Cans Poster
Recycle Mixed Paper Poster
Landfill Poster

11 x 17 Posters:

Compost Poster
Recycle Bottles & Cans Poster
Recycle Mixed Paper Poster
Landfill Poster


 Contact Us



Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Department of Public Works, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-6300
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903