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 www.ebsan.com 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.

  • Hercules City Hall, 111 Civic Drive, Hercules; 24-Hour drop off bins are located outside of main entrance
  • San Pablo Police Station: 13880 San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo; Lobby hours: 7:30am - 6pm Mon - Thurs
  • Pinole Police Station: 880 Tennent Avenue, Pinole; Lobby hours: 8am - 5pm Mon - Fri
  • West County Wastewater District Office: 2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond; Lobby hours: 8am - 5pm Mon - Fri, closed 12pm - 1pm
  • El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center:  7501 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito; 8:00am - 5pm Mon - Fri, 9am - 4:45pm Sat - Sun
  • Richmond Police Station 1701 Regatta Blvd. Richmond; 7am - 8pm Mon - Sun
  • West County HHW Collection Facility: 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond; (Thur, Fri, Sat. from 9am to 4pm, closed 12-12:30pm) 

*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.

 



Safe Disposal of Needles and Sharps

Why You Should Be Careful with Sharps

Improper disposal of used or unwanted “sharps” (needles, syringes, lancets and other sharps items) can cause a serious injury and pose health risks to the public and waste workers. Waste workers are exposed to potential needle stick injuries and potential infection when inappropriate containers break open inside garbage trucks or sharps become exposed when sent to recycling facilities. Housekeepers and janitors may also be injured when loose sharps poke through trash bags. Used needles can also cause painful infections and transmit serious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis.

The Law

Beginning on September 1, 2008, State law made it illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers, and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved bio-hazard sharps container.

The California Health and Safety Code defines "home-generated sharps waste" as hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household.

Residents can visit the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) website to find out if the pharmaceutical manufacturer has a free sharps container available. Senate Bill 486, passed in October 2009, required that by July 1, 2010:

“…all pharmaceutical manufacturers that sell or distribute a medication in California that is usually intended to be self-injected at home through the use of a hypodermic needle, pen needle, intravenous needle or any similar device, to 1) submit a plan describing their actions to support or provide for the safe collection and proper disposal of the waste devices, and 2) educate consumers about safe sharps management and collection opportunities.”

The CalRecycle website that lists the manufacturers who have turned in a plan is www.calrecycle.ca.gov/homehazwaste/sharps/reporting/default.htm

If residents need more containers they can ask the pharmacy where they get their medications. For further information about obtaining biohazard containers or mail-back programs (most of these companies charge a fee for the containers):

Mail-Back Services for a fee:

• GRP & Associates www.sharpsdisposal.com (800) 207-0976

• Republic Services www.republicsharps.com (855) 737-7871

• Sharps Compliance, Inc. www.sharpsinc.com (800) 772-5657

• Stericycle, Inc. https://store.stericycle.com (800) 355-8773

• WCM (Waste & Compliance Management, Inc.) www.wastewise.com (866) 436-9264

• Waste Management MedWaste Tracker www.wm.com/residential/medical-waste.jsp (866) 803-7561

• XMED Disposal, Inc. www.stericycle.com/xmed (866) 735-9709

We do not endorse any of these companies and do not intend this to be a complete list.

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 needles, sharps, and lancets.  These convenient locations allow West Contra Costa County residents to properly dispose of sharps keep them out of the garbage.  The program is a collaborative effort between RecycleMore, West County Resource Recovery Inc., and the participating locations.

  • Hercules City Hall, 111 Civic Drive, Hercules; 24-Hour drop off bins are located outside of main entrance
  • San Pablo Police Station: 13880 San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo; Lobby hours: 7:30am - 6pm Mon - Thurs
  • Pinole Police Station: 880 Tennent Avenue, Pinole; Lobby hours: 8am - 5pm Mon - Fri
  • West County Wastewater District Office: 2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond; Lobby hours: 8am - 5pm Mon - Fri, closed 12pm - 1pm
  • El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center:  7501 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito; 8:00am - 5pm Mon - Fri, 9am - 4:45pm Sat - Sun
  • Richmond Police Station 1701 Regatta Blvd. Richmond; 7am - 8pm Mon - Sun
  • Richmond Senior Center: 2525 MacDonald Avenue, Richmond; 8:30am - 5pm Mon - Fri, 8am - 11am Sat
  • Richmond Annex Senior Center: 5801 Huntington Avenue, Richmond; 24-hour drop off bin is located outside of main entrance
  • West County HHW Collection Facility: 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond; (Thur, Fri, Sat. from 9am to 4pm, closed 12-12:30pm) 
File attachments: 
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PDF icon Sharps Handout78.52 KB


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.

2609 youtube://v/rCc3SRraeFg

Need help with your hazardous waste?

 

 



ReFuel Your Fun

Disposables – The Problem

  • Disposables are dangerous. When “empty,” disposable cylinders often still contain a small amount of gas, posing a danger to sanitation workers due to the risk of explosions and resulting fires. Because of the danger involved, they cost millions of dollars to recycle and dispose of properly.
  • Disposables are expensive when you realize that 80% of the price you pay is for the packaging! In short, you’re paying more for the packaging than for the actual gas!
  • Every year in North America, 40 million disposable 1 lb. propane cylinders are used, with over four million in California alone.* Because of limited, expensive recycling options, the empty cylinders are often disposed of improperly in landfills, dumpsters, household trash, campsites, on the roadside or in recycling containers.

*Estimate provided by Kamps Propane based on annual cylinder production data and population data.

Refillables – The Solution

  • Refillables save money. A simple refill costs approximately $2.25 because you only pay for the gas and filling service, not the container!
  • Refillables can last up to 12 years and can be refilled hundreds of times.
  • Refillables reduce the impact on landfills and the environment.

ReFuel Your Fun was developed by local government agencies and other partners through a grant from CalRecycle. ReFuel Your Fun is administered by the California Product Stewardship Council.

 

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PDF icon ReFuel Your Fun Project Fact Sheet495.52 KB