Your Online Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
Serving Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the City of Palo Alto

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6-Pack Rings

Please cut up traditional 6-pack rings before placing in trash to ensure safety of wildlife.

Rigid plastic can carriers or handles, are reusable and snap on to place by hand.  Ask your local brewery to collect them for reuse and/or recycling. Find a drop-off collection site.

ABS Plastic

Consider reuse or donation for toys and musical instruments.

Aerosol Can - Empty

Empty aerosol cans (ex. paint, hairspray, cooking spray) may be safely placed in the recycling bin separate from plastic lid.

Aerosol Can - Non-empty

Use up toxic materials, find someone who can use it, or bring it to a hazardous waste facility.

Agricultural Plastics & Film

Farm quantity may have recycling options. Offer for reuse or place broken or sun damaged materials in the trash.

Air Conditioner - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Air Conditioner - Working

Consider donation of working models.

Air Mattress - Non-working

Consider repair through patching/patch kits before disposal, including self repair through iFixit.

Aluminum Cans - CRV

Empty and drip-free.

California Refund Value (CRV) is the amount paid by consumers at the checkout stand and paid back to consumers when they recycle eligible aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal beverage containers at certified recycling centers. Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, plastic and bi-metal containers are eligible for CRV. Notable exceptions are milk, wine and distilled spirits, which are not included in the CRV program. The minimum refund value established for each type of eligible beverage container is 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater. Click here to find a bottle & can redemption center near you.

Aluminum Foil & Pans - Clean

Free of food and grease/oil for recycling. Paper-lined foil belongs in trash.

Ammunition

Call your local police or sheriff's department for turn-in instructions.

Antifreeze
Arts and Crafts Supplies & Materials

Consider grouping and accumulating like items and then offer to child care or art providers you know or on public forums like FreeCycle, FaceBook Buy Nothing Group, Craigslist, NextDoor, or such.

Asbestos

Asbestos is not accepted by the HHW Facilities. Visit http://www.baaqmd.gov/permits/asbestos or call (415) 749-4762. Also: https://dtsc.ca.gov/managing-asbestos-hazardous-waste/

Aseptic Packs

Empty and drip free. Straws and wrapper in the trash.

Ashes - Grill/Fireplace

Cold ashes should be placed in paper bags to avoid dust going into the air during transfer from carts.

Asphalt
Audio & Visual Equipment - Non-working

Consider repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Audio & Visual Equipment - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Auto Glass

Safety glass and car windshields contaminate curbside accepted food and beverage container glass.

Auto Parts & Scrap
Auto Upholstery - Non-working

Consider repair as possible.

Baby Furniture & Equipment - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Baby Furniture & Equipment - Working

Consider reuse or repair.

Balloons - Used
Barbeque Grill - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Bath Tub
Bathroom Fixtures
Batteries - Automotive or Boat

Do not put batteries in curbside recycling or trash containers.

Local auto parts and marine supply stores accept these for recycling collection, in addition to household hazardous waste facilities.

Batteries - Electric Vehicle

Contact the dealer or manufacturer for take-back collection for future end-of-life processing. 

The lifespan of the batteries in those vehicles is estimated to be between 10-20 years. All batteries contain metals and other toxic or corrosive materials. They are also potentially valuable as a source of recyclable metal. When the lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars reach their end-of-life, they will need to be managed in a way that is safe for the public and the environment. Recycling of EV batteries has many challanges.

CalEPA release of the final AB 2832 Policy Recommendations Report, which was transmitted to the California Legislature in April 2022. The Lithium-ion Car Battery Recycling Advisory Group was formed in 2019 in response to Assembly Bill 2832 (Dahle, 2018), with the purpose of advising the Legislature on policies pertaining to the recovery and recycling of lithium-ion vehicle batteries sold with motor vehicles in the state. The Advisory Group was led by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and the Department for Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). Additional members came from the environmental community, auto dismantlers, public and private representatives involved in the manufacturing, collection, processing and recycling of electric vehicle batteries, and other interested parties.

Batteries - Household - Non-rechargeable

Do not put batteries in curbside recycling or trash containers.

Single-use batteries are not usable when they lose their charge. Tape ends of batteries to prevent igniting or combusting. Store tape next to your old battery collection bag or container. Accepted by the Household Hazardous Waste Facilities and some community partners.

Batteries - Household - Rechargeable (up to 5 lbs)

Do not put batteries in curbside recycling or trash containers.

Tape the ends of batteries to prevent igniting or combusting. Store tape next to your old battery collection bag or container. Accepted by the Household Hazardous Waste Facilities and some community partners.

Electric Bicycle (e-bike) batteries are now collected at Call2Recycle locations.

Batteries - Industrial

Contact commercial hazardous waste companies for very large industrial batteries.

Batteries - Solar Power Storage

Contact the installer, manufacturer, or maintenance company for take back and most current protocols. For systems with lead acid batteries that are similar to auto batteries, please contact an auto battery recycler.

Beverage Containers - Mixed

Empty and drip-free.

Bicycle - Non-working

Consider reuse and repair, or DIY repair through iFixit or other online repair resources.

Bicycle - Scrap & Parts

Consider offering high quality older bikes to community bicycle repair and redistribution organizations.

Bicycle - Working

Consider reuse and donation to local community members.

Bimetal Cans - CRV

Empty and drip-free.

California Refund Value (CRV) is the amount paid by consumers at the checkout stand and paid back to consumers when they recycle eligible aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal beverage containers at certified recycling centers. Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, plastic and bi-metal containers are eligible for CRV. Notable exceptions are milk, wine and distilled spirits, which are not included in the CRV program. The minimum refund value established for each type of eligible beverage container is 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater. Click here to find a bottle & can redemption center near you.

Bimetal Cans - Non-CRV

Empty and drip-free.

Blueprint Paper

Consider creative reuse and offering to local art or childcare providers through FreeCycle, NextDoor, etc. with any personal information removed.

Boat Upholstery - Non-working
Books - Children's

Donate to keep books in circulation. Find a Little Library location near you to add or borrow books.

Books - Hard Cover

Donate to keep books in circulation. Find a Little Library location near you to add or borrow books.

Books - Hard Cover - Non-working

Recycle book and removed hard covers.

Books - Soft Cover

Donate to keep books in circulation. Find a Little Library location near you to add or borrow books.

Books - Soft Cover - Non-working
Books - Textbooks

Recycle damaged, torn, out of dates book and removed hard covers. Consider online resale of good condition recent editions, or donation of good condition recent editions to community organizations like prisons.

Bricks

Consider posting these locally for reuse.

Bricks - Broken
Bubble Envelopes - Paper or Mylar

Consider reuse before disposal.

Bubble Envelopes - Plastic

Consider reuse before disposal.

Plastic mailers are not recyclable curbside, so should be put in the landfill bin. Some stores still offer plastic film recycling drop-off bins, but in many cases, the material is too contaminated to be processed and thus landfilled. When you can, try to avoid the packaging in the first place by shopping locally or buying secondhand.

Bubble Wrap

Consider reuse before recycling with clean, dry film in front of grocery store collection bins.

Building Materials - Reclaimed/Reusable Consider posting good condition or unused materials locally for reuse or donation.
Burlap

Consider reuse or posting for reuse on FreeCycle, Craigslist, or such.

Cabinets - Working

Consider posting for reuse or donation.

Cables & Wires - Non-working

Do not put loose in recycling as these break recycling machines. Gather for ewaste recycling.

Cables & Wires - Working

Bundle, label and bag for reuse or donation to organizations that refurbish and redistribute electronics.

Camera Film & Slides
Cameras & Camcorders - Non-working
Cameras & Camcorders - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Cardboard

Flatten cardboard before recycling to gain space in your recycling container. Offer moving boxes to other for reuse before recycling. Large cardboard boxes make sheet mulching easier (www.LawntoGarden.org) and may be wanted by neighbors, especially bike and furniture boxes through social media (ex. NextDoor, FreeCycle, Craigslist).

Cardboard - Foil-lined
Cardboard - Waxed

Consider reuse as possible.

Cardboard - Wet

Dried out from rain or such, may be recycled. Food-soiled cardboard belongs in Organics/Compost.

Carpet

Check this list for facilities that collect carpet or carpet pad.  See CalRecycle's resources on best practices for carpet removal (from Kings Co., WA), how to prepare and load a trailer of waste carpet, as well as CARE's interactive map of national certified carpet collectors and processors.

Carpet Padding

Check this list for facilities that collect carpet or carpet pad.  See CalRecycle's resources on best practices for carpet removal (from Kings Co., WA), how to prepare and load a trailer of waste carpet, as well as CARE's interactive map of national certified carpet collectors and processors.

Cars & Boats

Many local non-profits partner to receive a donation as part or your vehicle or boat donation. Inquire if the non-profit's that you support have this type of program.

Cassette & VHS Tapes - Commercially Made - Working

Few thrift organizations accept these materials unless they are in new-like condition. Consider posting to FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, or such for reuse.

Cassette & VHS Tapes - Non-working

Due to there being no markets for the hard plastics in tapes, there are very limited recycling options for these items.

CD/DVD - Commercially Made - Working

Few thrift organizations accept these materials unless they are in new-like condition. Consider posting to FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, or such for reuse. There are very limited recycling options for this material. Consider reuse before disposal.

CD/DVD - Non-working/Non-commercial

There are very limited recycling options for this material. Consider reuse before disposal. Many local and online stores sell inexpensive manual and mechanical refurbishing kits for CDs and DVDs.

CD/DVD Jewel Cases

There are very limited recycling options for this material. Consider reuse before disposal.

Ceiling Tile
Cell Phones - Non-working

Cosider repair and reuse options before reycling as electronic waste.

Cell Phones - Working

Consider reselling, reuse or donation before recycling as electronic waste.

Ceramics & Pottery - Broken

Consider reuse or repair before disposal.

Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling: drinking or wine glasses and plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors (can be recycled separately), safety glass, car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal, mirrors

Ceramics & Pottery - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Child Car Seats - Non-working/Expired/Accident

Once stripped of covers, strapping and styrofoam, this may be recyclable. Consider posting recent, good condition car seat covers as spares with brand/model information.

Target Annual Car Seat Trade-in (2021 was for two weeks in April)

Where: Car seats can only be traded in at a Target store. Target will have drop-off boxes for guests’ poor condition, broken, or accident-involved car seats located near Guest Services. All stores are participating in the program. 

Guests who trade in their old car seats will receive a 20% off coupon toward a new car seat, car seat base, travel system, stroller or select baby home gear. Select baby home gear includes play yards, high chairs, swings, rockers and bouncers.

Guests must be enrolled in Target Circle to participate in the trade-in and receive a coupon. Scan sheets will be placed on the drop-off boxes for guests to scan from their mobile device into their Circle. Trading in two car seats? You can redeem this offer twice.

Child Car Seats - Working/Non-Expired/Accident Free

Consider posting locally for reuse once cleaned.

Christmas Lights - Non-working

Collect for electronic waste recycling.

Christmas Lights - Working

Consider reuse, repair, or donation.

Christmas Trees

Cut, live Christmas trees must be stripped of all decorations, lights, stand, tinsel, and un-bagged to be mulched and composted. Flocked trees are covered in chemicals and are not accepted for composting and must be landfilled. Check with your curbside service provider for details and dates for pick-up for residents and businesses.

Reuse or donate good condition holiday and seasonal items, artificial christmas trees, string lights (working/non-working), gift wrap (paper gift wrapmetallic gift wrap) and tissue paper

Christmas Trees - Artificial

Reuse, repair, or donate good condition artificial trees, holiday and seasonal items, string lights (working/non-working), gift wrap (paper gift wrapmetallic gift wrap) and tissue paper

Cigarette Waste

Cigarettes and Cigarette Filters was the number one item found by count in Coastal Cleanup Days from 1988-2017. Most marine debris starts as urban litter.

Cinder Blocks

Consider posting for reuse.

Cinder Blocks - Broken
Cleaning Wipes - Used

Wipes clog pipes! Do not flush. Chemically treated wipes are not recyclable or compostable.

Clocks & Watches - Non-working

Consider repair to reuse or donate. For DIY, see iFixit.

Clocks & Watches - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Cloth Diapers & Accessories

Consider donation once your family has outgrown cloth diapering. Post locally on FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, etc.

Clothes Hangers - Metal - Working

Return good condition hangers to your dry cleaner.

Clothes Hangers - Non-working

Do not place in recycling as they jam recycling machinery.

Clothes Hangers - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Clothing - Children's

Consider reuse - post locally on listservs, with local families, neighborhood schools, or on FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, etc., or local charity organizations to reduce your climate impact. 

Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens, donation/recycling programs, and customizing & cleaning furniture.

Clothing - Good Condition

Consider reuse - post locally on listservs, with friends, family, neighbors, local groups, or on FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, etc., or other local charity organizations to reduce your climate impact. 

Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens, donation/recycling programs, and customizing & cleaning furniture.

Clothing - Maternity & Nursing

Consider reuse - post locally on listservs, with friends, family, neighbors, local groups, or on FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, etc., or other local charity organizations to reduce your climate impact. 

Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens, donation/recycling programs, and customizing & cleaning furniture.

Clothing - Poor Condition

Consider repair, stain removal and reuse before donation to an organization that has reuse and/or rag and textile shredding capactity.

Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens, donation/recycling programs, and customizing & cleaning furniture.

Clothing - Undergarments - Non-working

Consider repair, DIY or local cleaners who do alterations, and repurposing before donating clean (stained, ripped, holes okay) materials to large charity thrifts like GoodWill, Salvation Army whose infrastructure gets textiles to rags markets, and shredded for carpet padding or upholstery stuffing. Only soiled, wet, moldy, bed-bug clothing & textiles belongs in the trash.

Clothing - Undergarments - Working

Consider reuse and donation of clean, good condition- post locally on listservs, with local families, neighborhood schools, or on FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, etc., or local charity organizations to reduce your climate impact.

Coffee Pods - Compostable

Consider reusable coffee pods to fill with your favorite local roast.

Coffee Pods - Metal/Plastic

Consider reusable coffee pods to fill with your favorite local roast.

Collectibles

Consider repair, reuse, resale, and donation for these special items on local and national online platforms.

Compostable Plastic Bags - BPI Certified

Consider lining your indoor green or compost bin with paper material you may already have - shredded documents, newspaper, food-soiled paper, or do a quick wipe or rinse with a reusable cloth after transferring material curbside.

Find BPI Certified products & information here.

Businesses in Alameda County: Use the Bin Liner by City Tool to determine what kind of indoor bin liner your trash, organics, or recycling bin can have.

Compressed Gas Cylinders - Refillable

Empty, good condition tanks can be exchanged or refilled where you got it (e.g. 1lb or 5-20lb propane cylinders, SodaStream gas cylinders) or have the supplier come pick it up. Look for a label to contact and return an unwanted cylinder to. Old, rusty or unknown cylinders may be taken to a scrap metal company once they have been completely emptied with the valves safely removed. Companies that specialize in gas cylinders may offer this service.

Compressed Gas Cylinders - Single-use/Non-working

Bring home empty single-use gas containers from camping or tailgating for proper disposal. Consider switching to refillable camping gas 1lb cylinders. Go to RefuelYourFun.org for details and locations. Old, rusty or unknown cylinders may be taken to a scrap metal company once they have been completely emptied with the valves safely removed. Companies that specialize in gas cylinders may offer this service. As possible, take it back to where you got it or have the supplier come pick it up.

Computer Accessories - Non-working

Consider refurbishing or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Computer Accessories - Working

Consider donation for reuse and redistribution to local community members.

Computer Monitors - Non-working

Consider refurbishing or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Computer Monitors - Working

Consider donation for reuse and redistribution to local community members.

Computers - Non-working

Consider refurbishing or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Computers - Working

Consider donation for reuse and redistribution to local community members.

Concrete
Concrete With Rebar
Condiment/Toiletry Packets - Empty

Refuse these items when you do not need them. Add your no-thank-you to condiments in the notes section of a food take-out order. Donate to organizations working with the unsheltered.

Construction & Demolition Debris

Visit the Recycling Certification Institute's website for third-party verified diversion rates for recycling facilities. RecyclerFinder is an online and mobile application for quickly locating facilities nationwide that handle C&D and other recycled materials.

Click here for Alameda County Codes & Standards, deconstruction, reuse, and built environment information. Waste Tracking is a web-based construction waste management tool that StopWaste was involved with developing. 

Cooking Oil/Grease/Fats

Cooking oil and grease poured down drains can build up in pipes causing backups at home, into streets and the storm drain system. Wipe pots, pans and cookware “clean” with a disposable towel prior to washing and place in green bin. Save used cooking oil in a resealable container and bring it to a cooking oil and grease drop-off location. Commercial kitchens should contact a grease hauler for service.

Copy Machines - Non-working

Consider refurbishing or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

Copy Machines - Working

Consider donation.

Corks - Natural

Consider repurposing before recycling or composting. Did you know cork comes from the bark of the cork oak, native to the Mediterranean, and does well in the Bay Area? Bark stripping is carried out manually, and the tree regenerates the bark. Cork oaks can live to 200 years of age. 

Donate natural corks at ReCORK collection sites

Corks - Plastic/Synthetic
Dead Animals

If known to be poisoned (ex. rats), place in trash. Contact your vet for pets, cats and dogs or animal control. Contact local animal control (e.g. deer, neighbors pet, injured or entrapped/tangled animal) or large livestock.

Deconstruction Services Salvaging reusable material supports the local economy, creates jobs, supports small businesses and offers an affordable option for residents and businesses to acquire quality used building materials such as old-growth lumber. A deconstruction has significant carbon reduction benefits compared to demolition by preserving the embodied carbon and energy of existing building materials and avoiding the creation of greenhouse gasses associated with producing new materials. Deconstruction methods minimize dust and increase the likelihood of discovery of unabated hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead, and mercury, reducing health risks to workers and neighbors.
Dental Chair - Non-working

Consider repair and donation.

Dishwasher - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before recycling. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

Dishwasher - Working

Consider donation.

Disposable Diapers & Wipes - New

Consider donation of new and partially-used packages of diapers and new wipes to local families and community organizations. Posting on NextDoor, Craigslist, FreeCycle, etc.

Disposable Diapers & Wipes - Used

Wipes clog pipes! Do not flush, put in the trash. All used diapers, even those called "compostable" must be thrown in the trash or picked up by a "compostable diaper" service.

Doors

Consider reuse or donation to a building supply store or post online for DIY.

Drums - Metal
Drums - Paper
Drums - Plastic
Dryer & Vacuum Lint

Many clothing and linen fabrics are now composed of synthetic fibers that must be disposed of in the trash. Lint from 100% cotton or other confirmed natural fibers can be composted.

Drywall

Did you know drywall scraps can be placed in the interior wall cavities during new construction? This will eliminate the disposal and transportation costs.

Egg Cartons - Paper - Clean
Egg Cartons - Paper - Soiled
Egg Cartons - Plastic
Electronics - Non-working

Consider refurbishing or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit. E-waste refers to any unwanted electronic device or Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and is classified as universal waste.

Electronics - Working

Consider donation for reuse and redistribution to local community members.

Envelopes - Paper

Consider reuse before recycling.

Espresso Machines - Non-working

Consider repair before disposal with service providers who fix on-site or contact the manufacturer for repair/refurbishing (ex. JURA, Cuisinart).

Exercise Equipment - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

Exercise Equipment - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Exit Signs - Non-working

Permanent warning label will mention tritium, 3H or H-3, display the three-bladed radiation warning symbol, and state "Caution-Radioactive Materials." Tritium exit signs are not accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facilities.

Explosives
Eyeglasses

Consider donation for eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses in good condition. Bring broken glasses into your optician for repair or reframing your lenses with a replacement frame. Many DIY options exist for reuse of lenses and repairing frames. Consider finding vintage frames for your current prescription.

Facial Tissues - Used

If used for chemicals place in the trash.

Ferrous Scrap Metal/Steel
Fire Extinguishers

Consider refurbishing or refilling.

Fire Hoses - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

Flares - Marine

Residents should contact their Household Hazardous Waste Facility about marine flares (hand-held, aeriel, and smoke) & signal kit (explosives) collection events for recreational boaters. For military type, damaged, decayed, very old, or very large items contact the staff at your HHW Facility directly before bringing it in.

Alameda County Boaters! Did you know that flares are explosives and are hazardous if stored or disposed of improperly? Get rid of you expired flares for free at this one-day collection event on Sunday, Nov. 14. Make an appointment for easy drop-off:  www.StopWaste.org/marineflares

Flares - Road

Accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Facilities.

Flooring - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

Flooring - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Foam Padding

Consider posting good condition for reuse.

Food for Donation

Did you know that reducing food waste is one of the leading solutions to climate change? Go to StopFoodWaste.org for Food Saving Tips and Tricks. 

As of January 1, 2022, a new California law states businesses who currently throw away edible food must now recover and donate it. Click here for rules, resources, and lists in Alameda County, and here for Contra Costa County.

    Food Scraps

    Remove all produce stickers, packaging, and twist ties before composting.

    Did you know that reducing food waste is one of the leading solutions to climate change? Click here Food Saving Tips.

    Here are resources to learn how turn your food scraps into compost at home, or find compost (and mulch) to apply on your garden. 

    BioCycle's FindAComposter.com, a publicly searchable database of composting facilities in the U.S. and Canada, to be an easy way to buy compost and find composting facilities.

    Food Service Ware - Compostable - BPI Certified Products

    Consider using reusables instead of single-use items.

    Find PFAS-free compostable food ware products: BPI-certified listCMA-Approved list; and CEH’s foodware database.

    Learn about BPI Certification here. The Center for Environmental Health's Green Screen Certified FoodWare database which was developed by CEH and Clean Production Action (also a national environmental non-profit organization), to avoid regrettable substitutes and address concerns with toxic chemicals in the entire product. The most basic level (silver) ensures that products do not contain PFAS, other chemicals of high concern or known regrettable substitutes. If you want to know more details about it, you can either refer directly to the standard or watch a recording of the webinar.

    Food Service Ware - Paper Products - Poly-coated

    To know if you're paper cup, plate, or to-go container is plastic-lined (e.g. poly-coated) on the inside, look for the shiny plastic coating. Wax-lined cups are quite uncommon though treated like non-polycoated paper (compostable).

    Consider carrying reusables with you for coffee and tea drinks and take-out food. Ask your local eateries about replacing disposables with reusables.

    Food Service Ware - Paper Products - Uncoated

    Consider replacing disposables with reusables.

    Food Service Ware - Plastic Clamshells/To-Go Containers/Trays

    Consider replacing disposables with reusables.

    Food Service Ware - Plastic Cups & Plates

    Consider washing for reuse for picnics, parties, kid-friendly events, STEAM projects, and plant starts (cups).

    Food Service Ware - Plastic Utensils

    Request "no disposable/plastic utensils" when ordering take-out or delivery -use the Notes section when ordering online. Wash & reuse once you have them.

    Food Service Ware - Reusables

    Reuse beats single-use on GHG emissions, water consumption, resource extraction, waste generation, litter generation, and plastic pollution (-UpstreamSolutions.org)

    Bringing your own and using eatery reusables for dining in-house,take-out, to-go, and leftovers is safe.  Click here for Alameda County information on Reusable Food Ware.

    Use Upstream's Reuse Business Directory for Refill & Zero Waste Shops, Bulk & Refill Shopping SystemsReuse-Focused Cafes & Stores, Dishwashing Systems & Reusable Dish Services, and more. (Email info@upstreamsolutions.org to add your business.)

    Food Service Ware - Styrofoam Products

    Consider reusables. Most cities have Styrofoam take out container bans. Contact your City directly to report an eatery distributing food in Styrofoam.

    Food Service Ware - To-Go Cup Lids

    Bring your own cup or mug. Plastic lids and straws are not recyclable.

    Food Service Ware - Wood/Bamboo Products

    Consider washing for reuse or repurposing before composting.

    Freezer - Non-working

    Consider repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Freezer - Working

    Consider donation or post online for reuse.

    Frozen Food Boxes
    Fuel

    Do not mix old fuel with any other solutions. Even water can be dangerous. Mark your gas can with your name and number when you drop off at the HHW Facilities, and they will let you know when you can return to pick it up.

    Furniture - Non-working

    Consider repair, reupholstery, or reuse before disposal.

    Furniture - Small - Working

    Consider repair, reupholstery, or reuse.

    Furniture - Working

    Consider repair, reupholstery, or reuse.

    Game Cartridges - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Game Cartridges -Working

    Consider reuse through donation or resale.

    Gaming Systems & Accessories - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Gaming Systems & Accessories - Working

    Consider reuse through donation or resale.

    Garage Doors - Non-working

    Consider repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Gel Ice Packs

    Consider reusable, refillable ice packs. Do not empty gel packs down the drain or toilet. Reuse as possible before disposal.

    Gift Tissue Paper

    Consider folding for reuse for future celebrations or creative reuse.

    Glass Bottles & Jars - Non-CRV

    Must be empty and drip-free before recycling.

    Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling: drinking or wine glasses and plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors (can be recycled separately), safety glass, car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal, mirrors

    Glass Bottles - CRV

    Empty and drip-free.

    California Refund Value (CRV) is the amount paid by consumers at the checkout stand and paid back to consumers when they recycle eligible aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal beverage containers at certified recycling centers. Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, plastic and bi-metal containers are eligible for CRV. Notable exceptions are milk, wine and distilled spirits, which are not included in the CRV program. The minimum refund value established for each type of eligible beverage container is 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater. Click here to find a bottle & can redemption center near you.

    Glassware - Decorative & Kitchen - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling: drinking or wine glasses and plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors (can be recycled separately), safety glass, car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal, mirrors

    Glassware - Decorative & Kitchen - Working

    Consider donation or resale of items in serviceable condition.

    Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling: drinking or wine glasses and plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors (can be recycled separately), safety glass, car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal, mirrors

    Grandma's Fruitcake
    Greeting Cards - Musical/Electronic Piece

    Separate paper for curbside recycling and musical/electronic piece for reuse or add to your e-waste collection box

    Greeting Cards - Unused

    Consider reuse or donation of cards in good condition.

    Hair and Fur Trimmings

    Chemically treated hair cannot be placed in the green compost/yard waste bin.

    Hardware & Fasteners

    Consider organizing for reuse and creative reuse. Adding these to your curbside recycling bin loose, they most likely will end up with the crushed glass and may likely end up being landfilled. Donating to a place that will sort for reuse and resale is the highest and best use, besides doing this for your own use. Taking these to a scrap metal bin to place in directly will have the highest recycling possibility.

    Hazardous Materials & Wastes

    Alameda County: Large quantities, materials/waste from business, and waste requiring pick-up is not accepted by the Household, Landlord, & Small Business Hazardous Waste Facilities in Alameda County. Contact a hazardous waste company for pick-up.

    Hearing Aids
    Helium Tanks - Empty
    Helium Tanks - Non-empty

    Use up contents as possible before dropping-off at an Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

    Holiday & Seasonal Items - Working

    Consider reuse or donation of good condition items, repair, or creative reuse.

    Hoses - Garden/Rubber - Non-working

    Old hoses will jam recycling machinery and are not accepted in curbside recycling.

    Hot Tub & Accessories - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit. Offer locally for reuse through FreeCycle, Buy Nothing, Craigslist, NextDoor.

    Household Cleaners

    Consider donating unused or little-used items in good condition to those transitioning into new housing or women's and family shelters.

    Houseware - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Houseware - Working

    Consider donation or resale for items in good condition.

    Industrial Equipment

    Consider posting to industry online marketplaces, sell it back to the distributor or manufacturer, donate it, find an equipment broker, auction it, or if too broken to repair, recycle it.

    Ink Cartridges
    Inks
    Insulation - New/Unused

    Clean, like-new bagged insulation may be donated to a building reuse center or offered online for reuse.

    Insulation - Used

    Bag old insulation and place in the garbage.

    Jewelry

    Consider donation or resale.

    Jewelry - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Junk Mail Opt-Out

    Start saving address labels (or taking photos) to ensure you opt-out of each iteration of your mailing address name and spelling.

    Keys

    Electronic key fobs are e-waste. Plastic covered keys are trash. Collect metal keys for scrap metal drop-off. Consider reuse as ornaments or weights for curtains/drapes.

    Kitchen Fixtures

    Consider donation, reuse, or offering online items in working condition.

    Knives & Shears - Non-working

    Consider resharpening, repair, and donation before disposal.

    Lab Equipment

    Consdider donation and repair before disposal.

    Lab Glassware - Poor Condition

    Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling: glass labware, drinking or wine glasses and plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors (can be recycled separately), safety glass, car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal, mirrors

    Lab Glassware - Working

    Clean, good/new condition materials may be accepted by school, college, or university science labs.

    Lab Plastics - New/Unused

    Clean, good/new condition materials may be accepted by school, college, or university science labs.

    Lab Plastics - Used

    Contact TerraCycle about their lab materials recycling programs.

    Lacquers/Stains/Varnishes
    Lava Rock

    Consider reuse or donation.

    Lawnmower - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Lawnmower - Working

    Consider resale or donation for reuse.

    Lead Paint Chips

    EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule requires common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition, which can create hazardous lead dust, are conducted properly by trained and certified contractors or individuals. For more information, please visit the EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm.

    Lead-Painted Materials

    EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule requires common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition, which can create hazardous lead dust, are conducted properly by trained and certified contractors or individuals. For more information, please visit the EPA.  Here are resources for lead painted items in Alameda County Healthy Homes Program.

    Leather Remnants & Scraps

    Consider reuse or donation local crafters.

    Light Bulbs - CFLs

    Do not throw fluorescent or other mercury-containing lights in the trash or recycling bins. High intensity discharge, metal halide, sodium and neon lights all contain mercury as well. It’s illegal and mercury exposure can harm the brain, heart, and immune and nervous systems. Mercury products contaminate California’s drinking water, fish, soil, and air when they are not managed properly. The mercury limit in drinking water is 2 parts per billion in California, since even low quantities are extremely hazardous.

    The following lamps are considered hazardous in California: fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, HID lamps, High intensity discharge lamps, metal halide lamps, sodium vapor lamps, grow lamps, Zenon lamps, headlights - auto, mercury vapor lamps, video projector lamps, ultraviolet lamps, UV lamps, water treatment lamps, sun lamps, tanning lamps, mercury containing lamps, LED lamps. The following ballasts are considered hazardous in California: light fixture ballasts, lamp ballasts, electronic ballasts, fluorescent light ballasts, HID light ballasts, PCB containing ballasts, no-PCB ballasts.

    Be sure to transport in a way that prevents breakage. If a light breaks, refer to epa.gov/cfl. If a bulb breaks, open a window to disperse mercury vapor, collect the shards with tape, and place in a closed and sealed container—do not vacuum!

    How are lights recycled? Lights must be recycled at EPA-approved sites. Glass is recycled or landfilled, recovered metal is recycled, and mercury is stored, disposed, or reused.

    Light Bulbs - Fluorescent Tubes

    Do not throw fluorescent or other toxic mercury-containing lights in the trash or recycling bins. High intensity discharge, metal halide, sodium and neon lights all contain toxic mercury as well. It is illegal to throw mercury lights in the trash.

    If a bulb breaks, open a window to disperse mercury vapor, collect the shards with tape, and place in a closed and sealed container—do not vacuum! See EPA guidance for cleanup (epa.gov/cfl).

    The following lamps are considered hazardous in California: fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, HID lamps, High intensity discharge lamps, metal halide lamps, sodium vapor lamps, grow lamps, Zenon lamps, headlights - auto, mercury vapor lamps, video projector lamps, ultraviolet lamps, UV lamps, water treatment lamps, sun lamps, tanning lamps, mercury containing lamps, LED lamps. The following ballasts are considered hazardous in California: light fixture ballasts, lamp ballasts, electronic ballasts, fluorescent light ballasts, HID light ballasts, PCB containing ballasts, no-PCB ballasts.

    When improperly managed, mercury products contaminate California’s drinking water, fish populations, soil, and air. The mercury limit in drinking water is 2 parts per billion in California, since even low quantities are extremely hazardous. Mercury exposure can harm the brain, heart, and immune and nervous systems of your employees, contractors, and tenants. Mercury exposure is especially dangerous to children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

    Light Bulbs - Incandescent/Halogen
    Light Bulbs - LED

    ED (or light-emitting diode) lights, which are highly energy efficient and increasing in use, do not contain mercury. However, these lights have been found to contain other toxic metals (e.g., copper, lead, nickel, and chromium) that are harmful to human health and the environment. Manage these lights as hazardous waste like CFLs and fluorescent tubes.

    Lighting Fixtures - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Lighting Fixtures - Working

    Consider donation, resale, or reuse.

    Linens/Blankets/Towels - Good Condition

    Consider repair, stain removal and reuse before donation to an organization that has reuse and/or rag and textile shredding capactity.

    Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens, donation/recycling programs, and customizing & cleaning furniture.

    Linens/Blankets/Towels - Poor Condition

    Consider repair, stain removal and reuse before donation to an organization that has reuse and/or rag and textile shredding capactity.

    Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens, donation/recycling programs, and customizing & cleaning furniture.

    Living Plants

    Swap plants, seeds, cuttings, grafts, and accessories with neighbors, friends, family, and community members to spread joy and keep them out of the landfill. Post online or set up a free plant stand or swap.

    Visit the Lawn to Garden Marketplace for a complete directory of Bay Area sources for bulk recycled compost, mulch, and sheet mulch materials and visit the FAQ section for tips for buying bulk compost.

    Use StopWaste's Gardening at Home resources to make worm or home compost for your house or garden plants.

    Are you looking to start a veggie garden or plant some herbs on your windowsill? Check out these seed libraries where new and experienced gardeners alike can find a variety of common and heirloom seeds! This is a great way to keep resources local and help develop seed varieties that are adapted to local micro-climates. Alameda County Seed Libraries and Catalogs

    Luggage - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Luggage - Working

    Consider donation for reuse.

    Magazines

    Consider posting online when you have collection or offer to your hair salon, doctors office, other waiting room, or exchange space.

    Major Household Appliances - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Major Household Appliances - Working

    Consider donation, resale, or reuse.

    Mannequins

    Consider reuse or donation before disposal.

    Manure

    Consider offering online or to community gardeners for composting if you have horses, livestock, chickens, or rabbits.

    The Bay Area Equestrian Network lists manure management companies.

    Marine Supplies & Equipment

    Consider posting online for repair, donation or resale.

    Maternity & Nursing Supplies - Working

    Consider reuse for clean, good condition items for local families through hand-me-downs, swaps, or online postings.

    Mattresses & Box Springs

    Visit ByeByeMattress to find a collection facility near you for mattress, futon, and box spring recycling for residents and businesses. Mattress program details in Spanish video and flyer

    Retailers in California are required by law to offer no-charge take-back of a customer’s used mattress and/or box spring when the sold mattress and/or box spring is delivered. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021 this applies to ALL retailers. Previously those using a common carrier for delivery were exempt. Click here for updates to California law.

    Medals/Trophies/Ribbons
    Medical Equipment & Surplus

    Organizations are most able to accept reusable working equipment in good condition that can be cleaned and new/unused single-use materials in packaging.

    Medical Waste

    Contact a commercial medical waste pick-up provider for a one-time or regularly scheduled collection service.

    Medications

    Prepare your drugs for disposal before arriving at a Medication Takeback kiosk site.  Accepted items include all prescription drugs in any dosage form (e.g. pills, liquids, creams, aerosols). Protect your privacy by removing or obscuring any labels showing your personal information on drug containers or vials. You can pour all your pills into a Zip-lock bag no larger than 1 gallon in size, and recycle the vials and other containers in your home recycling. Liquids and creams should remain in their original containers and tightly closed to prevent leakage. Aerosols should have their protective caps affixed to prevent accidental discharge. Remove inhaler vials from the inhaler mechanism. Kiosks are located near the pharmacy area, or for hospitals and police departments, in the lobby.

    Pre-filled syringes and auto-injectors with an integral or attached needle is considered a "sharp." 

    Old vitamins and supplements may be composted along with the cotton & the packaging recycled (ex. clean, dry plastic bottle) or put in the garbage (ex. blister packs) as they are not considered medications/hazardous. Silica gel packs can be reused (e.g. edible dry goods) or landfilled.

    At the kiosk: Take care at the kiosk not to introduce too many materials into the kiosk drop-chute at one time. Check the kiosk chute after closing to ensure the drugs dropped into the kiosk. Federal law prevents anyone from reviewing or examining the drugs you wish to dispose, so place them in the kiosk yourself – do not accept any unsolicited assistance to do so.

    If there are problems with the information or services provided by MedProject.org, please contact safedrugdisposal@acgov.org.

    Per CalRecycle, please do not put unmedicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products down the drain or into the toilet; the best "somewhere else" to throw these items is your household trash. Landfills are the best place at present to dispose of personal care products when they are no longer being used.

    Mercury Thermometers

    Mercury is readily absorbed into the body when you touch it and poses a risk to the environment in landfills.

    What to do with a broken mercury thermometer. For additional safe disposal locations call 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687).

    Mercury-Containing Items

    Mercury-containing items include thermostats, thermometers, barometers, and other types of medical and measuring equipment which contain liquid mercury (fluorescent tubes and bulbs, level and float type switches, and mercuric oxide household batteries).

    For details about mercury-containing items, click here.

    Metal Bottle Caps
    Metal Cans - Non-CRV

    Cans must be empty and drip-free before recycling.

    Metal Jar Lids
    Metal Pipe
    Metal Sinks & Toilets
    Microscopes & Accessories - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Microwave - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Microwave - Working

    Consider donation or resale.

    Mirror - Broken

    Mirrors and broken shards contaminate recycling; dispose of in trash. Donate or reuse mirrors in good condition.

    Mixed Debris

    Contact your contractor for proper C&D recycling and disposal services if you are doing home remodeling, construction, or demolition projects.

    Businesses in Alameda County: Use the Bin Liner by City Tool to determine what kind of indoor bin liner your trash, organics, or recycling bin can have.

    Motor Oil

    Used oil is a hazardous waste that should never be put in the garbage or dumped in the storm drains or ground. Even just a ¼-gallon of motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water.

    Moving Boxes & Packing Materials

    Post online for reuse.

    Musical Instruments & Gear - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Musical Instruments & Gear - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Nail polish - Empty
    Nail polish - Non-empty

    Consider exchanging nail polish with friends to use it up. Bottles with any remaining liquid nail polish or nail polish remover inside cannot go into the trash. Nail polish remover, acetone, is also accepted at the Haz Waste facilities.

    Needles & Syringes

    It is illegal for needles and other sharps to be placed into trash or recycling containers.

    Sharps, syringes, needles, auto injectors, prefilled syringes with needle, and lancets should be in a sealed FDA cleared Sharps container. Sharps containers are available in most drug stores and from mail order & internet ecommerce sources. Kiosks in pharmacies, Hospitals and Police Departments can accept Sharps containers up to 1 gallon in size. HHW Facilities accept larger sharps containers.

    Sharps containers are available in most drug stores and from mail order & internet e-commerce sources.

    Free Mail-back containers mailed directly to your home are available by calling 1-844-633-7765 or visiting med-project.org, choose "Mail Back" to fill out an on-line order form. Novo Nordisk also has a free Mail-back container service for their customers: 1-877-438-0564.

    Neon Lights

    Donate or post online good condition items.

    Newspaper
    Non-ferrous Scrap Metal
    Nothing Some types of nothing are more fun than other types of nothing...
    Office chairs - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Office Furniture/Equipment - Working

    Consider donation through posting online, non-profits, schools, community organizations, or companies that specialize in office furniture (i.e. cubicles) redistribution. Most small thrifts do not accept large volumes of or office furniture in general, unless it's very good condition that can be used in a home. Consider repair as needed.

    Oil Filters

    Put your filter in a plastic bag or sealed container. Pour your used oil into a reusable container with a tight-fitting lid. Well-drained motor oil containers can go in the recycling cart.

    Oil-filled Heaters - Non-working

    Consider repair before disposal or DIY repair through iFixit. Contact a local heater repair company regarding repair or refurbishing. The internet has many DIY video tutorials on fixing for the common reasons these stop working.

    Oil-filled heaters are considered an major appliance under the Public Resources Code. For proper disposal and possible recycling, drill a hole in the heater to drain out the mineral oil. Collect the mineral oil in a sealable bottle, label it, and take it to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility, along with the cut off electrical cord. The drained heater may then be treated like an appliance and should be accepted as a bulky item in your curbside program. Click here for DTSC's list of Certified Appliance Recyclers.

    Oxygen Cylinders

    Find the label on the cannister and contact the medical supply company that the oxygen was rented from.

    Packaged Food - Expired/Non-working

    Consider if the food is still edible: https://www.stilltasty.com/ Consider feeding animals - high quantity or volume - like pig farmers. Depackage, recycle empty, dry rigid plastics and metals. Feed the soil. Contact your hauler if you need additional service.

    Packaged Foodgrade Liquids - Expired/ Non-working

    For commercial volumes, consider offering to businesses who could use the product for non-human consumption applications. Depackage and recycle empty, dry rigid plastics, glass, and metals.
    For very large quantities where pH is an issue, contact your local sanitary district or water treatment facility (ex. EBMUD has a winery waste program).

    Packing Peanuts - Starch-based
    Packing Peanuts - Styrofoam

    Store and save in a large garbage bag (clear is desirable). Post online for reuse - to use for moving or packing delicate items, along with any air pillows and bubble wrap. Packing and shipping stores that reuse these may or may not have space - consider contacting them before you go.

    Paint - Interior & Exterior - New/Unopened

    Donate or post online for reuse for community members and organizations, before it gets recycled at a PaintCare drop-off location.

    Paint - Interior & Exterior - Non-empty

    Use it up, or bring it in for recycling through California's Paint Stewardship Program, PaintCare.org, provides drop-off locations for take back of interior and architectural paints. See the website for details.

    Paint Cans & Buckets - Empty & Dry

    If paint is dry, tap paint chunks into trash. Place dry, empty can or bucked into recycling bin with lid separated - if accepted for recycling in your curbside program.

    Pallets - Plastic - Reusable

    Consider contacting the manufacturer or distributor for take back or reuse. Post for reuse with dimensions, condition, brand, and age.

    Pallets - Wooden - Broken

    Post for reuse - 100's of repurposing projects on the internet - or find a recycler.

    Pallets - Wooden - Working

    Post for reuse - so many repurposing projects on the internet - or find a recycler.

    Paper
    Paper - Carbon
    Paper - Plastic Laminated
    Paper - Shredded

    Store and save in a labeled paper bag in preparation for composting or recycling (hauler acceptance dependant). Staple or fold at top to prevent shreds from flying out when cart is lifted.

    Paper Bags

    Fold for reuse. Soiled from food or beverages? Compost it. Excellent, clean condition? Post for free to local groups for reuse on sites like FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, FB BuyNothing, etc.

    Paper Bags - Polycoated

    Consider reusing as trash bin liners/bags or collection bags for used batteries, bulbs, or e-waste.

    Paper Carton Containers - Plastic-coated

    "Milk cartons" are made from paperboard coated with a waterproof plastic, generally polyethylene. There are cartons lined with "renewable and plant-based" resin, however the resin behaves live conventional plastic and does not break down in municipal composting systems. Renewable materials are generally understood to be made from matter that can be regenerated or regrown in a human lifetime vs non-renewable conventional plastics made from petroleum.

    Paper Receipts - Thermal
    Paper Straws

    Consider carrying or requesting reusable options.

    Paper Towels & Napkins
    Paperboard Boxes/Tubes

    Consider art and science reuse projects with littles before recycling.

    Personal & Beauty Care Products - New/Unused

    Consider posting for reuse or donation.

    Per CalRecycle, please do not put unmedicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products down the drain or into the toilet; the best "somewhere else" to throw these items is your household trash. Landfills are the best place at present to dispose of personal care products when they are no longer being used. Click here for medicated lotions, creams and shampoos.

    Personal Care & Beauty Packaging - Empty

    Empty, dry cardboard, paperboard, food and beverage glass, aluminum, steel, and plastics #1 &2 should be recycled when empty of product. Contact brand for their take-bake or packaging recycling policy. Consider reuse of cleaned packaging before disposal. Old vitamins and supplements may be composted.

    Per CalRecycle, please do not put unmedicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products down the drain or into the toilet; the best "somewhere else" to throw these items is your household trash. Landfills are the best place at present to dispose of personal care products when they are no longer being used. Click here for medicated lotions, creams and shampoos.

    Pet Supplies - Working

    Consider donating or post online for reuse of good condition items, or what list what needs to be repaired.

    Pet Waste

    Pet waste and litter from pets who eat meat (such as carnivores cats or omnivores dogs) belongs in the trash. Cat waste does not belong in the toilet as it causes toxoplasmosis in Sea Otters (drains to bay/ocean). Litter and waste from vegetarian pets (such as rodents and birds), may go into the green bin unless pets take medication.

    Phonebooks

    Click here to opt-out of the Yellow Pages Phonebook.

    Photographs
    Pianos and Organs - Non-working

    Repaired and refurbished pianos, delivered locally, are more apt to find a new home. Broken pianos are very difficult to rehome.

    Pianos and Organs - Working

    Repaired and refurbished pianos, delivered locally, are more apt to find a new home.

    Pill Bottles - Empty

    Consider reuse before recycling.

    Pillows - Bed
    Pillows - Decorative
    Pillows - Poor Condition
    Pizza Box - Greasy
    Pizza Box - Non-greasy
    Plant Pots - Broken
    Plant Pots - Ceramic

    Consider reuse, donation, and repair.

    Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling: drinking or wine glasses and plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors (can be recycled separately), safety glass, car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal, mirrors

    Plant Pots - Plastic

    Offer empty, dry stacked plastic plant containers for reuse to other gardeners, nurseries, and school gardens through social media groups, listservs or other online offerings. If you have space, store for use for seasonal seed starts.

    Here are Bay Area gardening resources for tools, seeds, right plant - right place, composting, sheet mulching, and Bay Friendly nurseries.

    Plastic Bags

    When shopping or dining out, bring your reusables, reuse plastic and paper bags, or refuse a bag. Donate bags of bags to a local animal shelter or rescue group or food pantry, or stuff newspaper bags to dispensers at local dog parks.

    Search PlasticFilmRecycling.org for drop-off collection locations of clean, dry plastic film. 

    Businesses in Alameda County can use the Bin Liner by City Tool to determine what kind of indoor bin liner your trash, organics, or recycling bin can have.

    Plastic Bottle - CRV

    Empty and drip-free.

    California Refund Value (CRV) is the amount paid by consumers at the checkout stand and paid back to consumers when they recycle eligible aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal beverage containers at certified recycling centers. Most beverages packaged in aluminum, glass, plastic and bi-metal containers are eligible for CRV. Notable exceptions are milk, wine and distilled spirits, which are not included in the CRV program. The minimum refund value established for each type of eligible beverage container is 5 cents for each container under 24 ounces and 10 cents for each container 24 ounces or greater. Click here to find a bottle & can redemption center near you.

    Plastic Bottle - Non-CRV

    Bottles and jugs must be empty and drip-free with lid reattached before recycling.

    Plastic Bucket
    Plastic Corrugated Signs

    Consider reusing for messaging that is important to you or your community, or repurpose for schoolyard art projects attached to fencing with zip ties.

    Plastic Film & Wrap

    Some grocery stores still offer plastic film recycling drop-off bins for clean, dry plastic bags, but in many cases, the material is too contaminated to be processed and thus landfilled. When you can, try to avoid the packaging in the first place by shopping locally or buying secondhand.

    Plastic Lids & Caps - Bottles and Jars
    Plastic Packaging - Blisterpak
    Plastic Strapping
    Plastic Straws
    Plastic Tarps
    Plastic Wide Mouth Container
    Plate Glass

    Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling: drinking or wine glasses and plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors (can be recycled separately), safety glass, car windshields, art glass and leaded crystal, mirrors

    Plexiglass
    Plumbing Fixtures & Supplies
    Polyester Batting/Filling

    Consider reusing polyester stuffing for other projects, or offering up for others to use for their projects through online community groups, or Craigslist, FreeCycle, Buy Nothing, Next Door or such. Thrifts will accept new in package filling.

    Pool Cover - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal.

    Porcelain Toilets & Sinks
    Pots & Pans - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. Non-stick pans can be recoated if they start sticking.

    Pots & Pans - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Printers/Faxes - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Printers/Faxes - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Propane Cylinders - 1 lb - Empty Single-use
    Propane Cylinders - 1 lb - Refillable

    Choose reusable 1lb propane cylinders to save money and reduce waste. Single-use 1lb cyclinders need to be brought to the HHW Facilities to be processed. Find local retailers and refillers at RefuelYourFun.org.

    Purses & Backpacks - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Purses & Backpacks - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    PVC
    Radios - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit or local Fixit clinics.

    Rags - Paint/Chemical/Oil Soiled
    Railroad Ties
    Records
    Refrigerator - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Dehumidifiers with refrigerants are treated like "refrigerators" when they need to be replaced, repaired, or recycled.

    Refrigerator - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Reusable Bags

    When shopping or dining out, bring your reusable bags, reuse plastic and paper bags, or refuse a bag.

    Rigid Plastics

    Container/material must be empty, drip-free, at least 4" (inches) tall and fit in the cart/bin with the lid closed.

    Rock/Gravel - Clean
    Roofing - Asphalt Composition Shingles
    Roofing - Clay Tile
    Roofing - Concrete Tile
    Roofing - Tar & Gravel
    Roofing - Wood Shingles
    Roofing Materials - Reclaimed
    Rubber Bands
    Rubber Items
    Rugs & Mats - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Rugs & Mats - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Sand
    Satellite Dish - Non-working

    Separate the larger metal piece as scrap metal for curbside recycling and the plastic pieces go into the trash. The separated electronic waste (circuit board) is accepted at the HHW Facilities. Read Earth911's in-depth article for detailed information.

    Sawdust - Composite Wood/Painted Wood

    This is not accepted in composting or greenwaste.

    Sawdust - Untreated Wood

    Sawdust and scraps from wood that is made with glues, like plywood or engineered lumber, belongs in the trash.

    School/Office Supplies - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Scrap Metal
    Sewing Machine - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Sewing Machines - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit or FixIt Clinics.

    Shoes - Good Condition

    Shoes for donation should be in good condition for reuse. Consider bringing shoes to a local cobbler to transform your shoes through stretching, cleaning, resoling, polish, and strap/buckle repair/replacement to bring you joy once more. Tie or rubber band pairs of shoes so they stay together.

    Shoes - Poor Condition

    Poor condition looks different to different folks. Tie or rubber band pairs of shoes so they stay together and donate them for possible reuse or recycling.

    Shower Curtain Liners - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Single-use Personal Care & Beauty Products - Used

    Per CalRecycle, please do not put unmedicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products down the drain or into the toilet; the best "somewhere else" to throw these items is your household trash. Landfills are the best place at present to dispose of personal care products when they are no longer being used. Click here for medicated lotions, creams and shampoos.

    Single-use Personal Protective Equipment - Used
    Small Engines - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Small Household Appliances - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit or local Fixit clinics. Post working parts/pieces for reuse and the item if you know what is not working for those willing or able to make the repairs, or make their item work again with the parts and pieces from your item. In addition, folks may be interested in having a back up of a stand alone part (i.e. mixer bowl, blender top/lid, mixing blades, coffee pot).

    Small Household Appliances - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms - Non-working

    Accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facilities.

    Snack Packaging - Composite Film
    Soil - Clean
    Soil - Contaminated
    Solar Panels - Non-working

    As of 1/1/2021, some solar panels may be managed as Universal Waste in California per DTSC (see details).  The California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC - choose Solar under Products) holds the most current links to policy, studies, and articles on Solar Panels recycling in California, the US, and globally.

    Solar panel design makes disassembly and recovery of the various components — from glass to the various precious metals in them such as cadmium, gallium, germanium, indium, selenium and tellurium — a complicated process. Most wind up at shredders or landfills, because the case for selling the glass and aluminum in them doesn’t make economic sense. A project at Arizona State University hopes to create a solar recycling process that makes it simpler to recover materials such as silicon and silver from photovoltaic technology in a way that makes the economics pencil out.

    Invest in panels that are durable, warrantied, non-hazardous, and recyclable. If there is a problem, contact your installer or service provider for repair options. If the panels need to be replaced but still operate, donate for reuse or contact a reseller (ex. Habitat for Humanity). Use new brackets to install reused PVs. If the panels have broken glass or are damaged, consider refurbishing or recycling, contact installer and service provider, then a possible hazardous waste facility or company.

    The California Energy Commission maintains a list of PV modules available for purchase, by manufacturer, model number, and includes hazardous content.

    Solar Panels - Working

    As of 1/1/2021, some solar panels may be managed as Universal Waste in California per DTSC (see details).  The California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC - choose Solar under Products) holds the most current links to policy, studies, and articles on Solar Panels recycling in California, the US, and globally.

    Solar panel design makes disassembly and recovery of the various components — from glass to the various precious metals in them such as cadmium, gallium, germanium, indium, selenium and tellurium — a complicated process. Most wind up at shredders or landfills, because the case for selling the glass and aluminum in them doesn’t make economic sense. A project at Arizona State University hopes to create a solar recycling process that makes it simpler to recover materials such as silicon and silver from photovoltaic technology in a way that makes the economics pencil out.

    Invest in panels that are durable, warrantied, non-hazardous, and recyclable. If there is a problem, contact your installer or service provider for repair options. If the panels need to be replaced but still operate, donate for reuse or contact a reseller (ex. Habitat for Humanity). Use new brackets to install reused PVs. If the panels have broken glass or are damaged, consider refurbishing or recycling, contact installer and service provider, then a possible hazardous waste facility or company.

    The California Energy Commission maintains a list of PV modules available for purchase, by manufacturer, model number, and includes hazardous content.

    Sponges - Natural
    Sponges - Synthetic
    Sporting Goods - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Sporting Goods - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Stove/Oven - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

    Stove/Oven - Working

    Consider reuse or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Straw/Hay

    Offer portions of or whole bales to local gardeners, schools, or farms.

    Strawberry Baskets - Plastic
    Stuffed Animals

    Consider repair or reuse for good condition, clean stuffed animals. Use very loved stuffies as the filling in beanbags, pillows, and pet bed fill. Consider adding in a squeaker or empty plastic beverage bottle to reuse as a dog squeaky toy.

    Styrofoam Blocks
    Styrofoam Sheets
    Tape - Used
    Tea Bags

    Consider reusable tea brewing systems. Tea "bags" made of paper or another natural material like cotton or silk, go in the compost bin, however "bags" made of plastic mesh should go in the trash after the tea leaves are put in the compost bin.
    Individual tea bag packets or sachets: if from paper go in the compost; if from paper fused with plastic and/or foil/metal go into the trash.

    Telephones

    Consider donation or reuse if in good condition.

    Television - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before ewaste recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Television - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Tennis Balls - Non-working

    Consider donation for repurposing for dog toys, the bottom of student chairs, and the bottom of walkers.

    Tents and Outdoor Gear - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Textiles - Good Condition/Size

    Textiles include bolts, large swaths, yardage of fabric, leather, or textiles for upholstery, quilting, clothing, sewing projects, that can be reused by an individual or business. Scrap fabric? Consider tiny projects.

    Consider reuse and donation for intact, unstained, and clean textiles. For poor condition textiles, choose repair, and stain removal (clothinglinensfurniture fabric) before donating to an organization that has reuse and/or rag and textile shredding capactity.

     

    Thermostats

    In the old style of thermostats, not the newer electronic kind, there is mercury inside the sealed glass tilt switch. Properly recycling mercury thermostats is the law.

    Residents, contractors, and businesses all qualify for rebates of up to $5 per mercury thermostat. There are 350+  collection sites in CA. Find the nearest one and claim rebates here.

    Tile

    Consider posting leftover boxes for reuse or donation to a building supply store.

    Tire/Rubber Scraps

    Contact a local tire store for acceptance.

    Tires

    Contact a local tire dealer about recycling.

    Tires - Bicycle

    Contact a local tire or bicycle store about collection for recycling.

    Toner Cartridges

    Contact your Brand or manufacturer about take-back/recycling programs.

    Tools & Accessories - Garden - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Tools & Accessories - Garden - Working

    Consider loaning or donating tools to your community.

    Excited to start a DIY project but need to borrow a saw? Do you need a pair of loppers to trim your fruit trees? Several cities have tool lending libraries where residents can rent a variety of tools for 1-3 weeks at a time while participating in a circular and sharing economy. Alameda County Tool Libraries

    Tools & Accessories - Hand - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Tools & Accessories - Hand - Working

    Consider loaning or donating tools to your community.

    Excited to start a DIY project but need to borrow a saw? Do you need a pair of loppers to trim your fruit trees? Several cities have tool lending libraries where residents can rent a variety of tools for 1-3 weeks at a time while participating in a circular and sharing economy. Alameda County Tool Libraries

    Tools & Accessories - Power - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Tools & Accessories - Power - Working

    Consider loaning or donating tools to your community.

    Excited to start a DIY project but need to borrow a sander or drill? Do you need a pair of loppers to trim your fruit trees? Several cities have tool lending libraries where residents can rent a variety of tools for 1-3 weeks at a time while participating in a circular and sharing economy. Alameda County Tool Libraries

    Toys & Games - Non-working

    Consider reuse, donation, or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit. Consider posting as replacement parts for others with the same toy or game.

    Toys & Games - Plastic Parts Only

    Consider posting these as replacement parts for other families, reusing them for art projects, future pinatas or prizes for school fairs.

    Toys & Games - With Electronics

    Consider donating to local families, friends, child care facilities, and organizations.

    Toys & Games - With Electronics - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before ewaste recycling or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Toys & Games - Working

    Consider donating to local families, friends, child care facilities, and organizations. During the holidays, many local organizations redistribute new toys and games.

    Small toys gathered over time are fun for piñatas, trick-or-treating, or reading, homework, chore or school carnival prizes - consider swapping with friends.

    Transparency Film Plastic

    Consider posting for reuse before disposal.

    Transport Containers - Reusable

    Offer to good condition to similar or other businesses with similar operations or supply chains. Contact the manufacturer about recycling options.

    Trash Compactor

    Consider reuse or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Typewriters - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Typewriters - Working

    Consider reuse or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Tyvek
    Vacuum Cleaner Bags & Filters

    Some vacuum bags may allow you to empty and reuse as possible. Lint may go in organics if mostly pet hair/dried food bits from hard flooring, or in the trash if carpets and/or walk off mats due to the plastic fibers.

    Vacuum Cleaners - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Vacuum Cleaners - Working

    Consider reuse or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Vaporizers

    The HHW Facilities only accept tobacco vaporizers and tobacco liquid waste product. Batteries in vape devices are very difficult to remove and may contribute to fires in recycling and garbage waste streams and facilities.

    Contact local dispenseries for recycling collection options of cannabis vape pens.

    Go to CalRecycle for cannabis waste regulation information.

    VCRs/CD/DVD Players - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before ewaste recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    VCRs/CD/DVD Players - Working

    Consider donation or posting online for reuse.

    Video Projectors - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before ewaste recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Washer/Dryer - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before recycling or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Washer/Dryer - Working

    Consider repair, resale, or donation before recycling.

    Water Bottles - Reusable

    Consider donating clean, dry, good considtion water bottles to local communities and organizations. Consider refusing to give or accept poorly made water bottles as incentives or give-aways.

    Water Coolers - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Water Coolers - Working

    Consider donation or resale.

    Water Filters

    Contact your water filter brand to determine if they have a take-back program for recycling.

    Water Heaters - Non-working

    Consider reuse or repair before recycling, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Water Heaters - Working

    Consider donation or resale before recycling.

    Wax & Parchment Paper Wax paper is coated with wax and may be compostable. Parchment paper is coated with silicone plastic and is neither compostable or recyclable.
    Wedding Items

    Gift the gift of reuse by donating, reselling, or recrafting pieces that made your celebration meaningful.

    Wigs

    Consider reuse or repair before disposal.

    Window Screens
    Window Treatments - Non-working

    Consider creative reuse or repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

    Window Treatments - Working

    Consider reuse or donation.

    Windows - Working

    Consider reuse or donation.

    Wood - Engineered/Composite

    This is not accepted for composting.

    Wood - Logs

    Offer specimen trees for donation to mill and be reused. Consider offering to the community for reuse projects. Arbortists or tree trimmers may offer mulching services.

    Wood - Milling Services

    Consider partnering with arborists and cities to transform specimen trees.

    Wood - Painted

    Painted wood may not be composted or recycled.

    Wood - Treated

    Find resources for about treated wood waste (TWW) specific regulations for households, contractors, businesses, haulers, generators, and landfills at www.TWWDisposal.org. Included are fact sheets and outreach materials on the appropriate handing, disposal, and other management of TWW to facilities that may receive or handle treated wood waste.

    Pressure treated, preserved wood, or treated wood waste (including the sawdust), referred to as TWW, has preserving chemicals like arsenic. Common uses of TWW are fence posts, sill plates, landscape timbers, pilings, guardrails, decking, and railroad ties.

    Painted, engineered, stained, laquered, plywood/composite, and wood painted with "copper green" wood may go in the garbage. Click on the TWW Material Fact Sheet for more information.

     

    Wood - Untreated

    Consider reuse before mulching or composting.

    Wood Chips

    Sheet mulching with cardboard, compost and mulch (chipped clean wood) can be done right on top of your lawn to save time, money, and water and build healthy soil. Go to www.lawntogarden.org to learn more and use the Marketplace tool to find supplies locally.

    Wood Scraps - Untreated

    Wood that is made with glues, like plywood or engineered lumber, belongs in the trash.

    Wrapping Paper - Metallic

    Metallic gift wrap cannot be recycled. Consider reuse, such as wadding for packaging or storing ornaments. Consider repurposing other items for wrapping, like maps, newspaper, blueprints, wallpaper samples, or fabric.

    Wrapping Paper - Non-Metallic

    Consider reuse before recycling, such as wadding for packaging or storing ornaments. Consider repurposing other items for wrapping, like maps, newspaper, blueprints, wallpaper samples, or fabric.

    X-Ray Film

    X-ray recycling services including the chemical removal and recycling of silver from imaging films which is mostly polyester.

    Yard Trimmings & Plant Debris

    Too many trimmings for your cart?

    • Leave them out to dry such that you can get more in your cart.
    • Talk to your neighbors and offer space in your carts when they need it for space in their green cart.
    • Contact your curbside hauler about the possibility of buying bag tags to put trimmings in Kraft paper bags (from a hardware store or the hauler).
    • If you regularly need the volume of more than 1 bin, your hauler may be able to provide this for residents for minimal to no cost.
    • Hire lawn and yard service folks to drop them off at the transfer station for you, or drop them off yourself (fees apply).

    Keep finished compost clean by not adding take-out food packaging, glass bottles & cans, street litter, pet waste, and plastics to the green cart.

    Finished compost is applied to agriculture and ranch lands to enhance water holding capacity, add nutrients and minerals, and sequester carbon in in soil. Houseplants, veggie gardens, and fruit trees, shrubs and vines thrive with compost added around the base of plants on top of the soil. Learn more at lawntogarden.org.

    Questions? Comments?   We're here to help!      Get in touch!

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