The city of Oakland appreciates that most homeowners want to do their part to contribute towards recycling efforts and a healthier environment. This guide describes what should and shouldn’t go into each of the containers designed to hold compost and yard material, recyclable materials, and trash and non-hazardous material. The city provides different colored collection bins to make it easier for homeowners to separate discarded items.
Compost Materials: Green Collection Bin
When cleaning out their refrigerator or preparing meals, homeowners should scrape unwanted food items into a small bin immediately. Items to place in the bin include
- Coffee filters and cups
- Paper plates
- Spoiled food
- Take-out containers from restaurants
- Wax paper
It’s also a good idea to take the extra step of freezing the food scraps and then wrapping them to prevent leaking and odors.
Once the homeowner has filled a small container, it’s time to empty into the larger green compost bin. Plant and extra yard debris can go in this larger container as well. Homeowners should bundle or tie any branches and ensure they’re less than four inches long and six inches across.
Recyclable Materials: Gray Collection Bin
Due to China’s new restriction on the import of recyclable goods, Oakland homeowners must pay close attention to how they separate items. Local junk haulers and recycling centers will not be able to sell the material otherwise. Items that belong in the gray collection bin include:
- Beverage and soup boxes
- Clean paper
- Empty glass bottles
- Metal and plastic containers
Cardboard boxes smaller than three inches by three inches in diameter should go behind the bin rather than inside of it. Additionally, homeowners should tie the cardboard to keep it contained. Oakland city government will accepted used batteries, but they must be inside of a plastic bag and placed on top of the bin. To dispose of used motor oil, homeowners should contact the city for a special kit and then place it on top of the bin on pickup day. Things not to include in the recycle bin include:
- Food items
- Light bulbs
- Polystyrene and foam packaging
Trash and Non-Hazardous Materials: Burgundy Collection Bin
The trash bin is the place to collect anything non-hazardous that the city can’t recycle. This includes items such as:
- Broken dishes
- Non-usable clothing
- Plastic bags
Hazardous waste, food scraps, and recyclables shouldn’t go in the trash bin.
What to Do with Hazardous Materials
Homeowners can take the following items to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Oakland located at 2100 East Seventh Street:
- Electronic waste
- Fluorescent bulbs
- Garden and auto chemicals
- Spray cans
The limit per drop-off is 15 gallons or 125 pounds. In addition to requesting a home pick-up for used motor oil, they can also bring it to a Household Hazardous Waste facility or a Certified Collection Center.
Disposing of Bulky Items
While the city requires homeowners to request a pick-up of bulky items such as mattresses and old office furniture two weeks in advance, EZ Junk Hauling can provide a much shorter turn-around time.. It’s a great option for short-notice jobs and to eliminate items that won’t fit in a typical disposal bin. Best of all, EZ Junk Hauling has committed to recycling or donating as much material as possible and using proper disposal techniques for the remaining material.