Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
for Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the City of Palo Alto
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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

Place empty aerosol cans (ex. paint, hairspray, cooking spray) with the lids separated from the can.

Not empty yet? Use it up, find someone else who can use it, or if toxic, like paint or chemicals, bring it to a hazardous waste facility.

Aerosol Can - Non-empty

Use up toxic materials, find someone who can use it, or bring it to a hazardous waste facility. Empty aerosol cans may be accepted for recycling; place with cap separated from can.

Agricultural Plastics & Film

Offer good condition drip irrigation parts & film for reuse. Farm quantity drip tubing and film plastic may have recycling options. Place broken or sun damaged materials in the trash.

Many agricultural plastics (ex. mulch film, drip tape, pesticide containers) are recyclable. However, due to the high level of contamination (dirt, rocks, plant material, etc.), most of this material is not currently recycled. There are several recycling operations in the state (Revolution Plastics) that recycle various types of agricultural plastics. EPR has begun with ag plastics in Canada.

For ag plastic chemical containers (HDPE jugs & drums), follow Agricultural Container Recycling Council's triple-rinse rules and contact the regional contractor for pick up schedules in your area. Pesticide container recycling in California is under the purview of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

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

Consider repair through patching/patch kits before disposal, including self repair through iFixit. Donate good condition & working air mattresses to local second-hand shops or online reuse communities.

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

If you have suspected asbestos in a building, hire a certifed contractor to ensure personal safety, for regulatory compliance, real estate disclosures, and long term liability for exposing others due to it being an airborne hazard.

Go to the Bay Area Air District for information on asbestos compliance and enforcement. Learn about asbestos packaging, transportation, and disposal requirements through the DTSC. For asbestos health related questions, contact the CCC Health Services in Contra Costa County and the Healthy Homes Department in Alameda County.

A landfill must be authorized to accept asbestos wastes by its Regional Water Quality Control Board. Before you take asbestos to a landfill, call it to determine whether you need an appointment or whether they have any special requirements.

Asbestos is not accepted by the Alameda County HHW Facilities.

Aseptic Packs

Empty and drip free.
Drink box? Put straws and wrappers in the garbage.

Ashes - Grill/Fireplace

Make sure to place fireplace, stove and barbecue ashes in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. Put the container outside,10 feet or more away from your home and combustibles, and wet the ashes down. Once cold, bag ashes so they do not blow away during collection (paper bag okay). For more information, go to: Cal Fire, FEMA, &/or NFPA

Asphalt
Audio & Visual Equipment - Non-working

Consider repair before disposal, or DIY repair through iFixit.

The item may be considered electronic waste if it is a covered electronic device and recycled/processed as such.

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. For strollers, consider reaching out to a local bike shop about wheel repairs.

Baby Furniture & Equipment - Working

Even our favorite furniture pieces may need some TLC. See our Furniture Repair fact sheet for tips on wood, leather, and fabric repair, reupholstery, and stain removal, or Textiles Repair fact sheet for fixing zippers and tears.

Balloons

Mylar balloons may be refilled/reused. Consider sharing bouquets of balloons with the community when you are done with them to be used for an additional celebration. Protect local animals from accidental ingestion by insuring they don't fly away and pick up pieces of water balloons after enjoyment.

Barbeque Grill

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

Bath Tub
Bathroom Fixtures
Batteries - Automotive or Boat

Turn in your old battery where you buy a replacement at auto and marine parts & supply stores and repair shops. In addition, they accept old car batteries that are not being replaced for recycling collection.

Find more information on our Battery Fact Sheet.

Batteries - Electric Vehicle & Bicycle

Electric Vehicle (EV) Battery:Contact the dealer or manufacturer for take-back collection for future end-of-life collection for processing.

Find more information on our Battery Fact Sheet.

Batteries - Household - Rechargeable (up to 5 lbs)

Find more information on our Battery Fact Sheet.

Batteries - Household - Single-Use

Find more information on our Battery Fact Sheet.

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.

Berry Baskets - Woven Plastic

Stack and return these green or white woven plastic containers to your grocer, farmer's market, or local farm for reuse.
Offer up in groups of 20-30 to educators, after school programs, or camps for creative reuse projects.

Beverage Containers - Mixed

Empty and drip-free.

Bicycle - Non-working

Consider reuse and repair, or DIY repair through iFixit or other online repair resources such as The Culture of Repair & The Crucible's Bike Repair Manual & Bike Maintenance Manual, or Bikeride's repair video tutorials by bike part.

Drop-off electric bicycle batteries for recycling at Call2Recycle e-bike collection sites- which are often bike shops.

Bicycle - Scrap & Parts

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

DIY repair through iFixit or other online repair resources such as The Culture of Repair & The Crucible's Bike Repair Manual & Bike Maintenance Manual, or Bikeride's repair video tutorials by bike part.

Drop-off electric bicycle batteries for recycling at Call2Recycle e-bike collection sites- which are often bike shops.

Bicycle - Working

Consider reuse and donation to local community members. Keep your bike working with DIY Information from The Culture of Repair & The Crucible's Bike Repair Manual & Bike Maintenance Manual, or Bikeride's repair video tutorials by bike part.

Drop-off electric bicycle batteries for recycling at Call2Recycle e-bike collection sites- which are often bike shops.

Bimetal Cans (Food & Beverage) - Non-CRV

Empty and drip-free.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, there are new eligible beverage containers for redemption in the California Beverage Recycling Program. Consumers pay CA Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. Find changes to the program and redemption locations here, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.

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 damaged, torn, out of dates book, completely highlighted/written in, and the removed hard covers. Small amounts of hard cover books should be placed in a recycling bin at a time (<20). The binding on hard cover books is a major issue for hard cover book recycling as it is very challenging for the recycling machinery to process.

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

Consider online resale of good condition recent editions, or donation of good condition recent editions to community organizations like prisons. Recycle damaged, torn, out of dates book, completely highlighted/written in, and the removed hard covers. Small amounts of textbooks should be placed in a recycling bin at a time (<20). The binding on hard cover books is a major issue for textbook recycling as it is very challenging for the recycling machinery to process.

Bricks

Consider posting these locally for reuse.

Bricks - Broken
Bubble Envelopes - Paper or Mylar

Bubble envelopes made of Mylar and those that are lined with paper are not recyclable curbside. Reuse is best. Consider cutting the opening to the size you need it, covering up the mailing label and reusing for future shipping needs. Offer a large quantity up to the community for packing material.

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.

Does salvage mean savings? Read about deconstruction, reuse and embedded carbon.

Burlap

Consider reuse or posting for reuse on FreeCycle, Craigslist, or such. Compost hubs may be interested in high volume donations.

Cabinets

Consider posting for reuse or donation. If in broken condition, consider bulky pick up or a debris box for residents.

Cables & Wires - Non-working

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

Cables & Wires - Working

Bundle, label as working and bag to donate for reuse to organizations that refurbish and redistribute electronics. Find a place to send non-working cords here.

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

Find CARE drop-off sites & preparation guidelines for carpet, carpet tiles, and padding here for residents and businesses. (California Carpet Stewardship Program). Click here outside CA.

See CalRecycle's resources on best practices for carpet removal (from Kings Co., WA), how to prepare and load a trailer of waste carpet.

Carpet Padding

Find CARE drop-off sites & preparation guidelines for carpet, carpet tiles, and padding here for residents and businesses. (California Carpet Stewardship Program). Click here outside CA.

See CalRecycle's resources on best practices for carpet removal (from Kings Co., WA), how to prepare and load a trailer of waste carpet.

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.

Need to get rid of boat waste before donation or recyling? See these resources: Boating Clean & Green, Pumpout Nav App, SF Bay Clean Boating Map, Bilge Care & Preventing Oil Spills, Fishing Line, Abandoned Vessels, Oil, Chemical & Hazardous Waste Spills

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

Consider repair and reuse options before recycling 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, the plastic base may be recyclable. Consider posting recent, good condition car seat covers as spares with brand/model information.

Target Annual Car Seat Trade-in (2022 Sept/2021 April)

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

Consider posting locally for reuse once cleaned though FreeCycle, Craigslist, Facebook Buy Nothing in your city group, or such if the car seat has not been in an accident and has not expired. (See expiration date on sticker on the frame).

Christmas Lights - Non-working

Collect for electronic waste recycling.

Christmas Lights - Working

Consider reuse, repair, or donation.

Christmas Trees

Consider renting a living tree for the season, or planting it in your yard after the holidays to avoid waste. Cut, live Christmas trees (conifers) must be stripped of all decorations, lights, stand, tinsel, and un-bagged to be mulched and composted. Some cities need the tree cut to fit into the Green/Organics Bin. Flocked trees must be cut to fit in your Garbage Cart, as the flocking material make them unacceptable for composting. 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 wrap, metallic 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 wrap, metallic 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

Reuse is best! Share locally on FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, etc. Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens (DIY & non-toxic cleaners), and donation/recycling programs.

Clothes Hangers - Broken

Do not place in recycling carts or bins as hangers jam the recycling machinery.

Clothes Hangers - Metal - Working

Return good condition hangers to a local dry cleaners/alterations business for reuse.

Clothes Hangers - Working

Reuse is best! Share locally online or donate to thrift stores.

Clothing - Children's

Reuse is best! Share locally on listservs, with local families, neighborhood schools, or on FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, etc., or local charity organizations to reduce your climate impact.

Stain removal & repairs keep clothing in use.Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens, and donation/recycling programs.

Clothing - Good Condition

Reuse is best! Share 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 (DIY & non-toxic cleaners), and donation/recycling programs.

Clothing - Maternity & Nursing

Reuse is best! Share 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, and donation/recycling programs.

Clothing - Poor Condition

Consider repair, stain removal and creative reuse before donation to an organization for reuse or recycling (rag and textile shredding).

Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens (DIY & non-toxic cleaners), and donation/recycling programs.

Clothing - Undergarments - Good condition

Reuse is best! Share 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, and donation/recycling programs.

Clothing - Undergarments - Poor Condition

Consider repairing or repurposing old garments before donating your clean (stained, ripped, holes okay) textiles to large charity thrifts - like GoodWill and Salvation Army - whose infrastructure gets textiles to the rags market, and/or shredded for carpet padding & upholstery stuffing. Textiles that are wet, soiled (bodily fluids), moldy, or have bed-bugs belong in the trash.

Click here to learn more about clothing repair, stain removal for clothing and linens (DIY & non-toxic cleaners), and donation/recycling programs.

Coffee Pods - Compostable

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

Compost the used coffee grounds, and note the packaging placed in a curbside composting program may be screened out as a contaminate if it does not break down in the municipal composting process over a few months.

Coffee Pods - Metal/Plastic

Consider reusable coffee pods to fill with your favorite local roast.
Compost the used coffee grounds, and note the plastic and foil packaging is unlikely to be captured for recycling as it is under 4 inches even if accepted in a curbside recycling program.

Collectibles

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

Compostable Plastic Bags - BPI Certified Products

While BPI Certified Compostable Plastic Bags may be accepted in some curbside programs, many large-scale, municipal commercial composting facilities across California are screening out and landfilling all plastics (not just petroleum-based) as contaminants during the process.

Consider skipping the single-use compostable plastic bag and stuffing food scraps into unlined paper boxes (think cereal, crackers, or such), lining your compost bin with paper material you may already have - like shredded documents, newspaper, food-soiled paper, and do a quick wipe or rinse as needed.

Businesses in Alameda County: Use the Bin Liner by City Tool to determine what kind of indoor bin liner your trash, organics, or recycling bins can have based on what city your business is in.*This information may differ from the RE:Source City listings geared at residents.

Compressed Gas Cylinders - Refillable

Damaged or empty propane tanks and cylinders are hazardous waste and should never be put in the garbage or recycling as they could become punctured during the collection process and cause a fire or injury.

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

Single-use compressed gas cylinders are commonly used for camp stoves, welding, filled with flammable propane or butane. Damaged or empty gas cylinders are hazardous waste and should never be put in the garbage or recycling. They could become punctured during the collection process and cause a fire or injury.

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 or have additional disposal suggestions. As possible, take it back to where you got it or have the supplier come pick it up. For situations other than common fuels, contact a hazardous waste pick-up hauler.

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.

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
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.

Find Green Technology for buildings, renewable energy and purchasing.

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 corks before collecting for recycling. Natural corks are made from the bark of the cork oak that is native to the Mediterranean and also grows well in the Bay Area. Cork oaks can live to 200 years of age. Bark is stripped manually and the tree regenerates the bark.

Corks - Plastic/Synthetic
CRV - Aluminum Beverage Containers

Empty and drip-free.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, there are new eligible beverage containers for redemption in the California Beverage Recycling Program. Consumers pay CA Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. Find changes to the program and redemption locations here, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.

CRV - Bimetal Beverage Containers

Empty and drip-free.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, there are new eligible beverage containers for redemption in the California Beverage Recycling Program. Consumers pay CA Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. Find changes to the program and redemption locations here, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.

CRV - Glass Beverage Containers

Empty and drip-free.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, there are new eligible beverage containers for redemption in the California Beverage Recycling Program. Consumers pay CA Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. Find changes to the program and redemption locations here, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.

CRV - Plastic Beverage Containers

Empty and drip-free.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, there are new eligible beverage containers for redemption in the California Beverage Recycling Program. Consumers pay CA Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. Find changes to the program and redemption locations here, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.

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.

Food & Ag's List of Active Haulers (farm animals). Marine Wildlife Reporting (dead & injured).

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.

Find Green Technology for buildings, renewable energy and purchasing.

Dental Chair

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 wipes, diapers, menstrual products; put them in the trash. All used diapers, even those called "compostable" must be thrown in the trash or picked up by a "compostable diaper" service. Never place diapers in recycling - people hand sort recycling at the start of the process; keep them safe.

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 repairing ewaste before recycling. Find repair information, manuals and videos through the manufacturer, YouTube, iFixit, and repair specialists. Designate a box to accumulate broken electronics over time.

The EPA recommends that businesses use third-party certified electronics recyclers (e-Stewards® and/or R2) to manage unwanted used electronics.

Electronics - Working

Designate a box to accumulate old or unwanted electronics over time for donation to local community members or organizations.

Envelopes - Paper

Envelopes with a clear window can be recycled without removing the clear plastic.

Espresso Machines

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 repair for reuse before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

Exercise Equipment - Working

Consider donation or post online for reuse.

Exit Signs -Tritium

Permanent warning label will mention tritium, 3H or H-3, display the three-bladed radiation warning symbol, and state "Caution-Radioactive Materials." Click here for information on identification and handling. Tritium exit signs cannot be disposed of in the ordinary trash or given to another individual not specifically licensed by the CDPH or Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Persons installing and removing exit signs should take caution to minimize their exposure in the event the glass tubes are broken.

Explosives

Unwanted unused fireworks? Bring them to a local HHW facility if it is safe to transport them as they contain heavy metals that are not allowed in the garbage. If not deemed safe to transport your unused and/or unwanted fireworks, please contact your local fire department or your Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad.

Eyeglasses

Consider donation for prescription glasses in good condition to a Lion's Club collection center. 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. Many thrifts accept sunglasses and readers for reuse to their customers. Broken beyond repair glasses belong in the garbage.

Find a participating eye doctor's office to drop-off old contact lenses & blister packs for recycling through TerraCycle. Share unexpired new condition contact lenses and solution to your community for reuse with perscription details.

Facial Tissues - Used

If used for chemicals place in the trash.

Ferrous Scrap Metal/Steel
Fire Extinguishers

Consider extending the life of your fire extinguisher through refurbishing, repair, and/or recharging with a company specializing in servicing fire extinguishers. Information on fire extinguishers, California code for busineses, on boats.

After using an extinguisher, it must be recharged.

Fire Hoses

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit. Offer up locally for folks to upcycle into art, houseware, textiles, and furnishings.

Repurposing ideas.

Flares - Marine

Boaters must replace single-use marine flares (pyrotechnic) when flares reach their expire date.

We suggest replacing pyrotechnic (explosive) signal devices with battery powered devices whenever allowed. See CPSC @MarineFlareSwitch for information and discounts on electronic visual distress signals.

Recreational boaters should contact their regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility for disposal options. If pyrotechnic marine flares are old, damaged or military-type contact HHW staff directly before transporting.

A commercial vessel, organization or agency that has marine flares in need of disposal should seek services of a hazardous waste management company.

Boat Waste resources: Boating Clean & Green, Pumpout Nav App, SF Bay Clean Boating Map, Bilge Care & Preventing Oil Spills. Recreational Boaters in Alameda County (click here for more information).

Be alerted to future expired marine flare collection events here.

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.

Find food distribution sites: Alameda County Community Food Bank Locator, Contra Costa & Solano County Locator, Palo Alto Locator

Food Scraps

Remove all produce stickers (these are mostly plastic, contaminate compost, and belong in the trash), packaging, and twist ties (reuse until they go the landfill) before composting your food scraps.

Did you know that reducing food waste is one of the leading solutions to climate change? Click here Food Saving, Meal Planning, and Produce Storage Tips to save money and the planet.

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

BioCycle's FindAComposter.com, a publicly searchable database of composting facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Food Service Ware - Compostable Plastic - BPI Certified Products

Consider using reusables instead of single-use items.

Most commercial composters across California screen out (remove) and landfill compostable plastic (including BPI-Certified compostable plastic) along with other single-use plastics from food scraps and yard debris during the commercial composting process, as it's a contaminant to the finished compost applied to agricultural lands.

If your City/Hauler accepts BPI-Certified Compostable Plastics in their green/organics bin, here is where to find those food ware products: BPI-certified list

  • The BPI-Certified List also includes fiber-based food ware that is PFAS-free and accepted by commercial composting facilities.

The Center for Environmental Health's Green Screen Certified Foodware database shows products without PFOAs and other toxic chemicals. CEH’s foodware database

The Compost Manufacturing Alliance's list of accepted food ware product list by commercial technology type is here.

Food Service Ware - Condiment Packets & Cups

Refuse these items when you do not need them. Take them with you on road trips and camping, or use them up. Consider sharing large quantities for reuse by the community. Compost solids, or pour liquids down the drain before disposing of packaging.

Say no thank you to unwanted sauces, utensils, & straws. Did you know California has a new law that requires all retail food facilities and food delivery platforms to provide single-use foodware accessories (ex. forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks, condiments, straws & stirrers) upon request only? Find our more here.

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). Foil-lined paper, like cake pads, boxes, or cupcake liners, belongs in the garbage.

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

Wash & reuse once you have them. Consider sharing large quantities for reuse by the community.

Did you know California has a new law that requires all retail food facilities and food delivery platforms to provide single-use foodware accessories (ex. forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks, condiments, straws & stirrers) upon request only? Find our more here.

Food Service Ware - Reusables

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. Reuse beats single-use on GHG emissions, water consumption, resource extraction, waste generation, litter generation, and plastic pollution (UpstreamSolutions.org). Find out why reusables beat "compostables" and "bioplastics."

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

Not so broken? See our Furniture Repair fact sheet for tips on wood, leather, and fabric repair, reupholstery, and stain removal, or Textiles Repair fact sheet for fixing zippers and tears or offer it up for other to fix up or use creatively.

Need to purchase new? See Center for Environmental Health's guide to Choosing Healthier Furniture.

Furniture - Small - Working

Even our favorite furniture pieces may need some TLC. See our Furniture Repair fact sheet for tips on wood, leather, and fabric repair, reupholstery, and stain removal, or Textiles Repair fact sheet for fixing zippers and tears.

Furniture - Working

Even our favorite furniture pieces may need some TLC. See our Furniture Repair fact sheet for tips on wood, leather, and fabric repair, reupholstery, and stain removal, or Textiles Repair fact sheet for fixing zippers and tears.

Have lots of good pieces that deserve a good home? Consider donating to a furniture bank. Furniture banks are registered charities, not-for-profit organizations or social enterprises designed to provide gently used household furnishings to individuals and families in need, at little or no cost.

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 (Food & Beverage) - Non-CRV

Must be empty and drip-free before recycling.

Materials that should not be mixed into curbside recycling and when broken belong in the garbage: beverage glasses, plates, ceramics, Pyrex or other heat resistant glass, light bulbs, computer monitors, phone screens, plate glass: windows, sliding doors, safety glass, car windshields, art glass, leaded crystal, mirrors.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, there are new eligible beverage containers for redemption in the California Beverage Recycling Program. Consumers pay CA Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. Find changes to the program and redemption locations here, or call 1-800-RECYCLE.

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

It's okay, we won't tell.

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 large businesses, and waste requiring pick-up is not an option for the Household, Landlord, & Small Business Hazardous Waste Programs and Facilities in Alameda County. Contact a hazardous waste company for pick-up.

Did you know expired alcohol-based hand sanitizer is considered hazardous waste? Do not pour it down the drain, in the garbage, or dispose of it on the ground. Take it to your local HHW Facility, or for very large volumes contact a hazardous waste company for pick up. For more information: CalEPA , DTSC.

Hearing Aids
Helium Tanks - Empty

The results refer to small helium tanks most often used to fill party balloons. For larger gas cylinders that were filled with helium, contact a gas cylinder supplier/handler.

Helium Tanks - Non-empty

The results refer to small helium tanks most often used to fill party balloons. Use up contents as possible before dropping-off at an Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

For larger gas cylinders that were filled with helium, contact a gas cylinder supplier/handler.

Holiday & Seasonal Items

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

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

Junk mail is unwanted advertisements, catalogues, and other paper documents received through the mail.

Click on each company and read the notes associated with it. Contact each relevant company and follow the steps they provide to opt-out of the mail services they provide. 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

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. Drain gas and oil before disposal; capture and cap these materials for drop-off to your local hazardous waste facility.

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 https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-renovation-repair-and-painting-program-rules. Find a list of local testing service providers for lead in soil and paint here.

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.

Local animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation facilities often accept donations of towels and sheets; see their in-kind donation pages on their websites.

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 veggies, herbs or flowers? Check out free seeds from seed libraries or find a farmer's market to find starts. See Alameda County's list of Seed Libraries and Catalogs.

Luggage - Non-working

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit. Cobblers who specialize in shoes often can fix or repair zippers in luggage, purses & backpacks, and broken wheel replacement videos can be found online.

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.

Due to their potential hazards, California law requires that major appliances, and certain materials within the major appliances, be properly removed and managed. Major Appliances may include: washing machine, clothes dryer, hot water heater, dehumidifier, conventional oven, stove, refrigerator, freezer, air-conditioner, trash compactor, and residential furnace.Transfer stations and landfills in California have designated areas for appliance collection to be picked up by a certified appliance recycling (CAR) company.

Search the Listing of Certified Appliance Recyclers to find one your area.

Major Household Appliances - Working

Consider donation, resale, reuse, or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit.

Due to their potential hazards, California law requires that major appliances, and certain materials within the major appliances, be properly removed and managed. Major Appliances may include: washing machine, clothes dryer, hot water heater, dehumidifier, conventional oven, stove, refrigerator, freezer, air-conditioner, trash compactor, and residential furnace. Transfer stations and landfills in California have designated areas for appliance collection to be picked up by a certified appliance recycling (CAR) company. Search the Listing of Certified Appliance Recyclers to find one your area.

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.

Boat Waste resources: Boating Clean & Green, Pumpout Nav App, SF Bay Clean Boating Map, Bilge Care & Preventing Oil Spills, Fishing Line, Abandoned Vessels, Oil, Chemical & Hazardous Waste Spills

East & West Contra Costa, and San Mateo County boaters can get a discount on USCG safe marine flares - info here.

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

Donate or offer up your mattress, box spring, and futon for reuse to your community before recycling. Find a collection site at ByeByeMattress for no cost or a small incentive payment. Wet, moldy, and/or bed bug items must be landfilled and will not be accepted for recycling (see full list). Learn what gets recycled from a mattress.

New mattress being delivered? California law requires retailers to offer to take back your old one at no cost.

Clean and dry pillows, mattress toppers, bed frames and bedlinens to be donated separately.

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. Corporate donations can find an accredited Medical Surplus Recovery Organization here and donate products to them.

Medical Waste

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

Medications

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 filler. Packaging can be recycled (ex. clean, dry plastic bottle) or put in the garbage (ex. blister packs). Silica gel packs can be reused (e.g. edible dry goods) or landfilled.

Unmedicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products belong in your household trash. Do not put these products down the drain or into the toilet.

Prepare your medicines for disposal before arriving at a 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 housing. Kiosks are located near the pharmacy area, or for hospitals and police departments, in the lobby.

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.

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 Thermostats

In the old style of thermostats with a lever or switch - not the newer electronic kind - there is mercury inside the sealed glass tilt switch.

Properly recycling mercury thermostats is the law. Use the Thermostat Recycling Location Finder to find free drop-off sites near you. Residents, contractors, and businesses all qualify for rebates of up to $30 per mercury thermostat.

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

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.

Milk & Ice Cream Paper Cartons

Milk, Juice, and Ice Cream Cartons are made from paperboard coated with a waterproof plastic, generally polyethylene (plastic). There are drink cartons lined with "renewable and plant-based" resin, however the resin behaves like 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. See more here.

Ice cream container lids with thick plastic around the edges belong in the garbage.

Wine cartons, boxes, & pouches as of Jan 1, 2024 are eligible for CA CRV. Learn more here.

Mirror

Broken mirrors and the broken shards contaminate curbside recycling; dispose of in them in the 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 to order a debris box for C&D to be sorted for recyclables.

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 Motor Oil Certified Collection Center Drop-off Location Finder

California Certified Used Oil Collection Centers will take used motor oil from the public and will pay you 40¢ a gallon. Most centers will take up to 5 gallons at a time.

Certified center managers will not accept used motor oil that has been contaminated with other fluids such as antifreeze, solvents, gasoline, or water. Bring contaminated motor oil to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. See the Used Motor Oil Fact Sheet for more information.

Boat Waste resources: Boating Clean & Green, Pumpout Nav App, SF Bay Clean Boating Map, Bilge Care & Preventing Oil Spills

Moving Boxes & Packing Materials

Post online for reuse.

Multi-layer Plastic Packaging

***Wine and distilled spirit or liquor paperboard cartons, bag-in-boxes, & multi-layer pouches*** as of Jan 1, 2024 are eligible for CA CRV. Bag-in-boxes must be intact as a single unit (interior flexible bag attached to spout and exterior cardboard box) to be eligible for CRV refund. Learn more here.

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. People hand sort at the start of the recycling process; keep them safe by not placing used needles in plastic containers and putting them in your recycling bin.

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 Chair

Consider reuse or repair before disposal of a non-working, poor condition office chair. DIY office chair repair resources through iFixit. Replacement wheels are readily available and easy to replace.

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 reuse, repair, reupholstering, and remanufacturing. Find out how they are good for people, the planet, and the business from Center for Environmental Health. If you need to purchase new furniture, use their guide to Choosing Healthier Furniture.

Oil Filters

Put your filter in a plastic bag or sealed container. If your curbside program does not have a pick-up program, California Certified Used Oil Collection Centers will also take used oil filters from the public. Call first. Used Motor Oil Certified Collection Center Drop-off Location Finder

Oil filters are considered hazardous waste and are banned from landfills, however, they are also completely recyclable. Each filter has about a pound of re-usable steel. Each oil filter has on average, more than 10 fluid ounces of used motor oil, even after draining! All of this trapped motor oil adds up to more than two million gallons of used oil going into the environment, the water system or into landfills in California each year from filters that aren’t properly recycled. Oil recovered from the recycled filters is made back into motor oil.

Oil-filled Heaters - Non-working

This is a notoriously tricky item to dispose of. If it works, please pass it along for reuse at a community thrift, NextDoor, Facebook Buy Nothing Group in your city, or such.

Consider repair before disposal. The internet has many DIY video tutorials on fixing for the common reasons these stop working. Your oil-filled heater brand's website will have repair how-to information and can be contacted regarding issues (ex. DeLonghi). Alternately, contact a local heater repair company regarding repair or refurbishing.

Oil-filled heaters are considered a major appliance under the Public Resources Code. Click here for DTSC's list of Certified Appliance Recyclers. Appliance recyclers have contractors to remove the mineral oil. Most bulky and curbside programs accept appliances. This metal appliance is not accepted by Household Hazardous Waste facilities, however, the drained mineral oil from the heaters is accepted in a resealable, labeled bottle. Contact a metal recycler, appliance recycler, and/or your bulky pick-up service provider for recycling of broken oil-filled heaters.

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 by people: Deciphering Dates on Products or StillTasty. Then consider feeding animals - high quantity or volume - like pig farmers. Then feed the soil.

Depackage by hand, recycle empty, dry rigid plastics and metals, and compost edible materials. Contact your hauler if you need additional service. Commercial depackaging services are becoming more available for pallets, cases, and containers. Consider paying staff to depackage by hand to meet state regulations of keeping organics out of the landfill.

For Edible Food & Product donation, start here.

Packaged Foodgrade Liquids

For commercial volumes, consider offering to businesses who could use the product for non-human consumption applications. Depackage. Pour contents down drain. Check if packaging is accepted for recycling. 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).

For Edible Foods, Liquids, & Product donation, start here.

Packing Peanuts - Starch-based

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.

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

Offer it up for community members and organizations to use, before taking it for recycling.

Drop-off paint for recycling at no cost to a local PaintCare site. Accepted items include house paint as well as primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings such as shellac and varnish.

Paint - Interior & Exterior - Used/Wet

Use up wet, leftover house paint or offer it up to community members. Drop-off paint for recycling at no cost to a local PaintCare site. Accepted items include house paint as well as primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings such as shellac and varnish.

Paint Waste: Empty, dried out paint cans and buckets may be accepted for recycling. Stirrers, pans and brushes with dried paint go into the garbage. Chemical soaked rags are accepted by some Household Hazardous Waste Facilities. Empty spray paint belongs in the recycing bin (cap off); use up or safely dispose of cans spray paint. Water used to clean paint brushes with acrylic paint (water-based) can be poured down the drain. Paint thinner used to clean paint brushes used with oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste for residents and businesses to bring into a hazardous waste facility.

Paint Cans & Buckets - Empty & Dry

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

Use up wet leftover paint, offer it to neighbors, or drop it off for paint recycling at a PaintCare partner paint store. Find recycled paint for resale at ReStore locations.

Rags, stirrers, pans and brushes with dried paint may go into the garbage. Empty spray paint belongs in the recycling bin (cap off); click here for partially uses cans of spray paint.

Pallets - Plastic - Reusable

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

Learn more about the financial benefits of switching to reusable transport packaging and containers at UseReusables.org.

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. Lots of them good, clean condition? Post for free to local groups, like food pantries, for reuse on sites like FreeCycle, Craigslist, NextDoor, FB Buy Nothing, etc..

For information on Alameda County's Bag Law, click here, or on the California State Bag Law, click here. The City of Berkeley has a separate rule.

Paper Bags - Polycoated

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

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. If food-soiled or wet, compost paperboard. Paperboard covered in metallic foil belongs in the garbage.

Personal Care & Beauty Product Packaging

Empty, dry cardboard, paperboard, food and beverage glass, aluminum, steel, and plastics #1 & #2's can be recycled curbside when empty of product.

Contact your brands for their take-back or packaging recycling policy. Consider reuse of cleaned packaging before disposal. Plastic sprayers, pumps, and droppers may be cleaned & reused, but are generally considered contamination in the recycling bin. Empty tubes for lotion, lip and eye products, and such belong in the trash, along with sachets or packets made of multiple materials like plastic, paper &/or foil/metal.

Learn about why recycling beauty packaging is hard & actions to take, like finding a shop to bring your own packaging to refill or choosing brands that sell refills.

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, and here for nail polish. Old vitamins and supplements may be composted.

Personal Care & Beauty Products - New/Unused

Use it up or donate.

Per CalRecycle, please do not put non-medicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products down the drain or into the toilet; the trash is the best "away." Click here for medicated lotions, creams and shampoos, and here for nail polish.

Personal Care & Beauty Products - Used

Non-medicated products: use up, donate or place in trash. Reuse the container, and check if your brand offers a take back for recycling program for the container/packaging.

Find a shop to bring your own packaging to refill with personal care products..

Never flush wipes, menstrual products, or dental floss - these clog pipes. Keep lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products out of the drain and toilet; the best "somewhere else" to throw these items is your household trash. Medicines, medicated lotions, creams and shampoos go to a Meds Drop-box (here); nail polish and acetone goes to a Household Hazardous Waste facility. Vitamins & supplements go in the organics bin.

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 & Photo Paper
Pianos and Organs - Non-working

Repaired and refurbished pianos, delivered locally, are more apt to find a new home. Many piano stores sell used pianos, tuned by their technicians (see Piano Technicians Guild), through consignment, and have partner piano moving companies to direct you to. Piano donations, including the moving and tuning fee, may be welcomed by senior centers, community centers, clubs (ex. Boys & Girls, Rotary, Lions), high schools & colleges, and piano players/students. Share an image, condition, size, brand, age, details, and current use with your local and social networks (ex. Facebook Buy Nothing in your city group, local PTAs, piano stores & teachers, NextDoor, etc.). 

Pianos and Organs - Working

Repaired and refurbished pianos, delivered locally, are more apt to find a new home. Many piano stores sell used pianos, tuned by their technicians (see Piano Technicians Guild), through consignment, and have partner piano moving companies to direct you to. Piano donations, including the moving and tuning fee, may be welcomed by senior centers, community centers, clubs (ex. Boys & Girls, Rotary, Lions), high schools & colleges, and piano players/students. Share an image, condition, size, brand, age, details, and current use with your local and social networks (ex. Facebook Buy Nothing in your city group, local PTAs, piano stores & teachers, NextDoor, etc.).

Pill Bottles

Consider reuse or donation of clean, empty bottles with attached lid before recycling as possible. For what to do with old medications, click here.

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, camera equipment) or landfilled.

Pillows - Bed

Consider washing, replacing the cover, and reusing or donating as possible. Tips for washing different pillow types.

Pillows - Decorative

Consider washing, replacing the cover, and reusing or donating as possible. Tips for washing different pillow types.

Pillows - Poor Condition

Consider washing, replacing the cover, and reusing or donating as possible. Tips for washing different pillow types. FYI Pillow stuffing (and stuffed animals) make great pet bed inserts.

Pizza Box - Greasy
Pizza Box - Non-greasy
Plant Pots - Broken Ceramic/Terra Cotta
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 and hand carry items when possible.

Donate neatly folded reusable plastic bag of bags to a local animal shelter or rescue group or food pantry, or stuff newspaper bags to dispensers at local dog parks,or to the community for use by small businesses and residents.

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. Bag Laws: Alameda County, State of California, City of Berkeley, Overview of the aforementioned laws.

Plastic Bottles & Jugs - Non-CRV

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

As of Jan. 1, 2024, there are new eligible beverage containers for redemption in the California Beverage Recycling Program. Consumers pay CA Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer. Find changes to the program and redemption locations here.

Plastic Bubble Envelopes

Bubble envelopes that are all plastic (without paper lining and not Mylar) may be collected with clean plastic film & bags for recycling. Consider cutting the opening to the size you need it, covering up the mailing label and reusing for future shipping needs. Offer a large quantity up to the community for packing material.

Plastic Bucket
Plastic Corrugated Signs

Consider reusing these signs for messaging that is important to you or your community, or repurpose for schoolyard art projects attached to fencing with zip ties. The wire stand can be recycled at scrap metal collection facilities. Putting the stand in a curbside recycling cart jams recycling machinery. If printing these signs, think about how they could be evergreen - reused over time. For example, a graduation lawn sign without the year to be reused by graduates annually.

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 Shower Curtain Liners

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. New in package liners will be accepted as houseware at thrifts. Do not place old plastic shower curtain liners in recycling bins as they will jam the equipment.

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

Damaged or empty propane tanks and cylinders are hazardous waste and should never be put in the garbage or recycling. They could become punctured during the collection process and cause a fire or injury. Because of the danger involved, they cost millions of dollars to recycle and dispose of properly.

Reusables can last up to 10 years and can be refilled hundreds of times. Buy refillable 1lb propane cylinders to Refuel Your Fun, reduce the impact on the environment, and save money because you only pay for the gas and filling service, not the container.

Propane Cylinders - 1 lb - Refillable

Reusables can last up to 10 years and can be refilled hundreds of times. Reusables save money because you only pay for the gas and filling service, not the container! Reusables reduce the impact on landfills and the environment.

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. Radios without "electronics" are considered electrical and may go into the garbage when beyond repair, reuse or refurbishing. Digitial &/or bluetooth radios and speakers with electronic components - think digital screen and having a computer chip - would be considered an electronic device, and when beyond repair, refurbishing or reuse, considered e-waste.

Rags - Paint/Chemical/Oil Soiled

FYI - Water used to clean paint brushes with acrylic paint (water-based) can be poured down the drain. Paint thinner used to clean paint brushes used with oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste for residents and businesses to bring into a hazardous waste facility.

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. For information on Alameda County's Bag Law, click here, or on the California State Bag Law, click here.

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

Gather in small containers or bags to donate for reuse for student arts and crafts projects and the like.

Rubber Items
Rugs & Mats - Non-working

Consider cleaning it and repurposing your rugs and mats before disposal. Find a carpet/rug cleaner to rent or borrow, or have a specialist work on it at their shop or bring their tools to your site. A clean but stained, work rug or mat may be perfect in an another area of your home, or may be just the thing for another site.

Rugs & Mats - Working

Consider donation or posting online for reuse. Consider cleaning it and repurposing your rugs and mats before disposal. Find a carpet/rug cleaner to rent or borrow, or have a specialist work on it at their shop or bring their tools to your site. A clean but stained, work rug or mat may be perfect in an another area of your home, or may be just the thing for another site.

Sand

Do not put sand in curbside carts as it is likely to exceed weight capacity of carts and break them. Request a C&D Debris Box (fee) for clean sand to be recycled. Clean sand is accepted at transfer stations.Sandbags that have been in contact with floodwaters and may be contaminated with sewage or septic waste, animal waste, oil and gasoline residue, lawn chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, or other hazardous chemicals must be taken to a landfill. Find a nearby transfer station or landfill.

Clean sand and sandbags can be stored for reuse. Re-bag as needed and keep out them of the sun/covered. Transfer sand from deteriorated bags to a bucket then refill in burlap or sandbag for storm prep or erosion control. Share clean sand with the community through local listservs, to neighbors, Facebook Buy Nothing in your city group, NextDoor, Craigslist, or such for reuse, including for leveling pavers, tilled into soil areas to loosen packed soils to facilitate water absorption, landscape projects, or umbrella/canopy and basketball weighted bases.

Ready to pass on your kid's play sand from their sandbox? Sift out plant debris and offer it up to the community for reuse.

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.
Broken supplies beyond repair may go in landfill if they are not electronic, contain a battery, or contain other hazardous waste.

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.

Single-use Personal Protective Equipment

Consider offering up unused packages of gloves, masks, ear plugs, etc. for reuse to organizations that could use them through Craigslist, NextDoor, Facebook Buy Nothing Groups, Freecycle and such.

Small Engines

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. DIY repair resources through iFixit. Consider repair and reuse before disposal. Remove all engine fluids before recycling or disposal.

Small Household Appliances - Non-working

Find upcoming in-person Repair Clinics in Alameda County using StopWaste's Repair Workshop Calendar, or find DIY repair resources at online sites like iFixit. Consider posting online for those willing and able to make the repairs, or so the parts can be used to repair something similar.

Make sure it's not electronic waste which needs special handling. Mostly metal small appliances with no complicated electronics may be recyclable through scrap metal recyclers.

Small Household Appliances - Working

Consider donation or posting online for reuse. Needs a little repair? Find DIY repair resources through iFixit or local Fixit Clinics.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms - Non-working

Accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facilities.

Soil - Clean

Consider offering clean soil for free to the community on NextDoor, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or such as many folks will want it to use for their own gardening and construction projects. If you have it on a tarp, in buckets or reusable bags, it will be easy for others to take what they need from your front yard project.

Soil - Contaminated

Read about Lead in Your Soil from Edible East Bay. Find a list of local testing service providers for lead in soil and paint here.

Solar Panels - Non-working

Problem with your solar panels? 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). In California, DTSC lists Universal Waste Recyclers that treat Solar Panels (PV Modules). Note that some recyclers only accept from large private companies or government contracts - not from consumers. Solar Panel Handlers consolidate and then send them to recyclers. Many panels don't make it to recyclers due to the cost to recycle per panel; panels are most often transported to other states for recycling.

The California Product Stewardship Council's Solar Panel Stewardship hosts the most current links to policy, studies, and articles on solar panels. Considering solar? PG&E's Residential Guide to Solar Installation. Solar Permitting Guidebook (4th Edition). The California Energy Commission maintains a list of PV modules available by manufacturer and model number, and includes the hazardous content. Updates from E-Scrap and E-Reuse Conference.

Solar Panels - Working

Problem with your solar panels? 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). In California, DTSC lists approved Solar Panel Recyclers. Most recyclers only accept from large private companies or government contracts - not from consumers. Solar Panel Handlers consolidate and then send them to recyclers. Many panels don't make it to recyclers due to the cost to recycle per panel; panels are most often transported to other states for recycling.

The California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC - choose Solar under Products) holds the most current links to policy, studies, and articles on solar panels. Considering solar? PG&E's Residential Guide to Solar Installation. Solar Permitting Guidebook (4th Edition). The California Energy Commission maintains a list of PV modules available by manufacturer and model number, and includes the 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.

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 recycling drop-off may be a good choice if you have a lot and you combine it with another trip to that area. Avoid or minimize purchases that you know will be packed in Styrofoam. Reach out to the company that you received the Styrofoam from and ask them to use another material, or a convenient means of recycling it. Support extended producer responsibility. Choose products that contain post-consumer recycled plastic.

Due to the light-weight nature of Styrofoam, food waste makes up most of the weight (30%) in our landfills. While it may feel bad to throw large volumes of Styrofoam in the garbage, eating food too-good-to-waste and composting food scraps has a bigger environmental impact by decreasing GHG emissions of food in the landfill. Source link.

Styrofoam Sheets
Tape

Remove tape from paper and cardboard as possible to ensure the fiber product is recycled. Share good condition used rolls of tape with the community for reuse (ex. duct, masking, clear, washi, electrical) through online listservs and groups.

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. Older, vintage landline telephones without "electronics" though electrical, may go into the garbage. Modern telephone systems with electronic components - think digital screen and having a computer chip - would be considered an electronic device and when broken or beyond repair, considered e-waste.

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

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

Tents and Outdoor Gear

Consider reuse or repair before disposal. Check with an alteration specialist to see if their machines can handle sewing repairs. Local sporting goods and outdoor stores may have a repair program.
Posting broken gear on NextDoor, Craigslist, or Buy Nothing with the issues your gear is in may get rehomed by people who are willing to repair it, buy replacement parts, or have alternate use cases.

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.

Consider reuse and donation for intact, unstained, and clean textiles. For poor condition textiles, choose repair, and stain removal (clothing/ linens/ furniture fabric/ shoes) before donating to an organization that has reuse and/or rag and textile shredding capactity. Scrap fabric? Consider tiny projects.

Commercial entity? See the California Textile Resource Map (CPSC): Factories, Recyclers, Reuse, Repair, & Upcycle, Collectors

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. Use CalRecycle to search for a tire recycler.

Tires - Bicycle

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

Find tire changing, tube replacement & patching, fixing a broken poke, and wheel realignment information on the Culture of Repair & The Crucible's Bike Repair Manual & Bike Maintenance Manual.

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.

Learn more about the financial benefits of switching to reusable transport packaging and containers at UseReusables.org.

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, and filters can be cleaned and reused. 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.
Have unwanted unused bags and filters from an old model? Offer or donate these to your community for reuse.

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

Vaproizer devices may have a removabe or rechargable battery, a chamber for tobacco or cannabis vape liquid, and possible circuitry and LED display panel and are ewaste. 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. CalRecycle has cannabis waste regulatory & disposal 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 may be coated with paraffin wax (petroleum-based), soybean, vegetable oil, or beeswax. Parchment paper is coated with silicone plastic. As plastics break down to smaller plastics, and large-scale composting facilities are working to achieve organic status for the finished compost product that is applied to local gardens, farms, and orchards, keeping petroleum-based products out of the green bin works to ensure a cleaner finished soil amendment and less plastic in our soil and plants.
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

Pressure treated, preserved wood, or treated wood waste (including the sawdust), referred to as TWW, has preserving chemicals like arsenic, creosote, and copper. When outdoor structures built with preservative treated wood – such as decks, gazebos, fences and retaining walls – are demolished and discarded, the wood is considered TWW.

DTSC lists the current Transfer Facilities that accept TWW across the state. The CA Water Board lists Landfills that accept TWW.

TWWDisposal.org has fact sheets and outreach materials on the appropriate handing, disposal (landfills that accept TWW), and other management of treated wood waste for residents and for facilities that may receive or handle treated wood waste. Spanish translation is enabled on their website.

Painted, engineered, stained, lacquered, plywood/composite, and wood painted with "copper green" may go in the garbage.

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.

For x-ray machine disposal, refer to the California Department of Public Health guidelines around removal requirements from RHB registration and disposal. Registrants should contact the manufacturer, distributor, or a radiation machine service company for disposal information, guidance, and on-site needs.

Yard Trimmings & Plant Debris

Removed living lawn/turf AND artifcial turf belongs in the Garbage/Landfill. Leave your unwanted living turf/lawn in place by sheetmulching with compost & mulch and you will be able to plant directly into the sheetmulched area.

Keep finished compost clean by not adding any 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. You can add compost around the base of plants on top of the soil. Use the LawntoGarden Marketplace for compost & mulch sources.

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).

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