Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works

Welcome to the City's Zero Waste Programs & Services

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. 

Effective September 2016 all commercial waste collection in Berkeley will be provided by the City. The City Council approved replacing the current non-exclusive franchise collection system for commercial refuse and recyclables by electing for the City of Berkeley to provide all regular commercial refuse, recycling & compost collection services. The current franchise agreements with private haulers (including Waste Management & Richmond Sanitary) for collecting municipal solid waste generated by commercial businesses in Berkeley will expire in September 2016 and they will not be renewed. At that time, all commercial businesses will be required to have collection services with the City of Berkeley. The City is in the process of preparing specific outreach and assistance to facilitate this transition to City service. 

Should you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact Manuel Hector, Acting Solid Waste & Recycling Manager at 510-981-6359 or  

Alameda County Mandatory Recycling and Composting Requirements
Insuring that all businesses and Multi-family tenants have the ability to recycle and compost is an important step towards achieving Berkeley’s Zero Waste Goal.

Berkeley Business Requirements: As of July 1, 2014, all businesses are required to have recycling collection for basic recyclable materials. Recycling collection is included with paid refuse service. Food generating businesses, like restaurants and markets, will be required to have organics collection for food scraps, food soiled paper and plant debris. Organics collection rates can be found here: Zero Waste Rates
The Alameda County Waste Management Authority have begun mailing warnings and possible citations for lack of required service, as well as covered materials in the trash. Please call City of Berkeley Customer Service at 311 (510-981-2489) to request recycling and/or compost collection services.

Berkeley Multi-family Requirements: As of July 1, 2014, 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. Recycling collection is included with paid refuse service. Organics collection rates can be found here: Zero Waste Rates
The Alameda County Waste Management Authority have begun mailing warnings and possible citations for lack of required service.

If property owners believe that they are covered under the ordinance, and lack any of the required services, please call City of Berkeley Customer Service at 311 (510-981-2489) to request an account review and/or a site visit to establish the required service and provide the support for proper participation and compliance.
For additional details, including the full ordinance, please see:

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

Berkeley Expands Recycling Program to Include All Plastic Containers PlasticContainers 

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


Transfer Station
Guide 2010 (pdf)

Reuse Guide

Rechargeable Battery Recycling
(outside website)

Green Gift Guide
(outside website)



Other Refuse Services  



Contact Us

  • For additional information or questions, please contact Customer Service staff.


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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