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Black food tray for garbage

East Bay Sanitary provides a variety of cart and/or bins for the collection of multifamily unit garbage, or non-recyclable and non-compostable items. All items placed in designated garbage carts or bins will go directly to the landfill.

The size and number of garbage carts and/or bins a complex uses varies, but what goes in these garbage containers remains the same: garbage only. Your garbage container should be clearly marked and easy to identify.

While not everything can be recycled or composted, a lot can. If you separate your waste properly, you may be able to save money by getting a smaller garbage cart. Visit our Multifamily Services page to review the cart options, set out rules and how to stop, start or change service for residential customers.

*Please note that California implemented a new law January 1, 2022, SB 1383, that mandates standardizing the colors of containers for garbage, recycling and organic materials. The blue cart will be changing to gray in the near future. We will inform you before this occurs.

Garbage/Landfill Cart(s) or Bin(s)

Put all your garbage into your black cart or designated garbage bin.

Do not overfill; make sure that the lid closes securely when placed at the curb for collection.

Please remember that any materials extending beyond the rim of any cart will be subject to an extra charge or cause your cart to not be serviced.

To see available cart sizes, visit the Multifamily Services page.

East Bay Sanitary Black Garbage Bin Example

Image: Black Garbage Cart

What Belongs in Garbage

Only place materials that cannot be reused or recycled in your trash.

Below are a few of the things that belong in your garbage/landfill cart. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Plastic bags*
  • Plastic Film/Wrap
  • Mylar (shiny metal) bags or wrappers (potato chips, candy bars, etc)
  • Ceramic dishware or glassware
  • Glass mirrors and windows (in small pieces double bagged in brown paper bags)
  • Cat litter and animal feces (bagged)
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Diapers
  • Plastic Straws
  • Plastic utensils
  • Hangers (Metal hangers may be dropped off at the Drop-Off Recycling Center.)
  • Garden Hoses
  • “Biodegradable” or compostable bags
  • Sponges
  • Styrofoam™ may also be dropped off at the Drop-Off Recycling Center. Proof of residency required.


*EMPTY, CLEAN and DRY plastic bags may be returned to your local grocery store for recycling. You can use the directory on PlasticFilmRecycling.org to find a drop off location near you.

Images of acceptable garbage items: Plastic bags, cutlery, straws, hoses, pet waste, wrappers, broken plates, napkins etc.

What Doesn’t Belong in Garbage

No food, recyclables, or household hazardous waste in garbage.

Below are a few of the things that do not belong in your garbage / landfill cart. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Food scraps
  • Food-Soiled paper
  • Yard waste
  • Plant trimmings
  • Recyclable Plastic bottles, jugs, or tubs
  • Recyclable Glass bottles or containers
  • Recyclable Aluminum or metal containers
  • Recyclable cardboard, glass, metal, paper or plastic
  • Cooking oil or grease
  • Motor oil
  • Electronics
  • Bulky trash items
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW): fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or tubes, batteries, paint, pesticides, cleaning products or electronics. All of these items must be delivered to the West Contra Costa Household Hazardous Waste Facility

El Cerrito What Doesn’t Go in Garbage

Garbage Contamination

When the wrong items are placed in garbage, it can be harmful to the environment and those processing garbage at the landfill. California’s SB 1383 Organics Law requires all generators of waste (businesses, public entities, and single/multifamily residents) to properly sort their waste.

Common Recycling Contaminants

  • Food scraps (should go in your green waste/food scraps cart)
  • Yard waste/landscape trimmings (should go in your green waste/food scraps cart)
  • Bottles and Cans (should go in your recycling cart)
  • Paper and Cardboard (should go in your recycling Cart)
  • Batteries, Paint, CFL bulbs etc. (see Household Hazardous Waste info below)
  • E-Waste (see Household Hazardous Waste info below )

Garbage & Green Waste/Food Scraps Missed Collection 

Did we miss collecting your organics and or garbage cart(s) or did you forget to set them out?

  • If our driver misses emptying  your cart(s), please call our office. If you discover your cart was not emptied after office hours, please leave a message on our 24-hour voice mail system at 510.237.4321 so we can send the driver back the following morning.
  • If you accidentally forgot to set-out your cart(s), please call our office hours and ask for the driver to take an extra bag the next pick-up day equal to your missed collection without charge.
  • If you cannot wait until the next week to set-out extra garbage and/or green waste, we can go back and empty the cart(s) for an additional $25 per cart.

Extra Garbage

If you have extra garbage that does not fit inside your cart, you must call East Bay Sanitary office at least one (1) business day before your collection day and before 2:00 p. m.

  • There is a charge for extra garbage.
  • Extra garbage should be bagged tightly and or placed a reusable container that can be safely dumped and placed back at the curb.
  • Please keep extra bags and reusable containers to a 30lb weight limit.

On occasion, our driver might tag your cart when a can is overloaded and you will be charged for the extra garbage even though an order was not called in.

Free Pick-Ups

All customers of East Bay Sanitary are entitled to a certain amount of free pick-ups of trash and large items (such as furniture or appliances) per calendar year at no additional cost and expense. Learn more about your Free Pick-Up options here.

Need a Dumpster?

We rent debris boxes for your home clean up or remodeling project.

Thumbnail image of El Cerrito Residential Service Guide Brochure

Materials Guide

Check out the Materials Guide for information about recycling and garbage services in El Cerrito. Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste

HHW cannot go in the garbage.

Tuesdays only HHW may be dropped off at the El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center.

Wednesday – Saturday only HHW may be dropped off at the West Contra Costa County Household Hazardous Waste Facility.


We have been serving the El Cerrito Community for 80 years. The residents of El Cerrito can take pride in the fact that they are participating in a premier and cutting-edge waste management system and that East Bay Sanitary is working very hard to manage our resources and preserve our environment in the best ways possible.

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