Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works

Commercial Recycling Services

Commercial Recycling Services are provided for businesses and residential buildings with 10 or more units.

To make the best use of these services, a customer service representative can visit your site and help you design a program to fit your space and disposal needs. To start or change existing service, email Customer Service, or call 311 for a Customer Service Representative (if calling from out of Berkeley, use 981-7270).

Mandatory Recycling Requirements for Businesses & Multi-family Properties in Alameda County were effective as of July 2012 businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of waste per week, and multi-family properties of 5 units or more, must have recycling service. For more information go to: Recycling Services or the Alameda County Waste Authority’s Mandatory Recycling Website:

 Cans, Bottles, Plastics & Paper Recycling

Collect discards as you generate them, using a small container by your desk, kitchen preparation area, in lunchroom, etc. Then transfer it into wheeled blue carts supplied by the City. Wheel the carts to the curb by 7 a.m. on your collection day. If you generate large amounts, we can supply bins or roll-off boxes, and collect up to 6 days/week for cardboard and 5 days/week for all other material.

What to Recycle


  • Glass Bottles: all colors. Lids and labels can stay on. DO NOT INCLUDE dishes, light bulbs, windows, or glass bakeware. They melt at a different temperature from glass bottles.
  • Metal Cans: "tin" cans, aluminum cans, aluminum foil and trays. Remove food residues. Labels can remain.
  • Plastic: all clean rigid containers and bottles.
  • Plastic bags are not recyclable in the City's curbside collection program: many supermarkets and some dry cleaners take them back. Ask a clerk for the bag recycling station.

Note: Put foam packing peanuts and bubble wrap in plastic bags and take them to a packaging/shipping store, such as UPS or Mailboxes Etc.

Glass, Metal & Plastics Recycling Poster


  • Mixed papers - recycle all office and packaging paper together including white and colored papers, envelopes, forms, file folders, tablets, junk mail, cereal boxes, wrapping paper, catalogs, magazines, phone books, newspaper, and newspaper inserts. You can include metal staples, clips, glue, labels, and plastic windows on envelopes.  Please remove plastic bindings and dividers. DO NOT INCLUDE other plastic coated paper, blueprints, cups/plates, milk or juice cartons, food contaminated paper, tissue or photographs.
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes and brown paper bags - Remove packaging, then flatten and place in cart or bin. DO NOT INCLUDE waxed cardboard. A few cardboard boxes can be put with your mixed paper. If you have large amounts occasionally, call for a special pickup.  
Paper & Cardboard Recycling Poster

Food Waste & Organics

The City collects food waste for composting, and Berkeley diverts more than 300 tons away from the landfill with this program. Berkeley businesses can recycle food scraps, flowers, paper napkins and wrappings, waxed cardboard, and unpainted wood scraps such as shipping crates (nails are ok). The City will supply carts or bins for your organics and can collect your organics up to 6 days/week. Participants receive a discount of 20% off the current refuse rate for the food waste portion of their service and find it an effective program for meeting Green Business Program certification criteria.

Businesses of all kinds and sizes are participating, including these restaurants, markets, bakeries, florists, coffee shops and food producers: Andronico’s, Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods, Monterey Market, Peet’s Coffee, Betty’s Diner, Picante Cocina, Pyramid Brewery, Venezia Restaurant, Ashby Flowers, Metropolitan Bakery, Ajanta Indian Cuisine, Kamal Palace Indian Cuisine, Boran Thai, Cha-Am Thai, Zachary's Pizza and more!

Commercial Organics Recycing Poster

To Start Recycling Food Waste & Organics: contact Customer Service

To Recycle Other Materials: Check the Alameda County Recycling Hotline website at

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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
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