Zero Waste FAQ


Inside the Blue Recycling Cart: All clean paper, corrugated cardboard, brown bags and paper, paperboard, paper egg cartons, telephone books and magazines, clear and colored glass containers, aluminum foil and beverage containers, scrap steel and aluminum metals (not exceeding 40 pounds in weight nor two (2) feet in any dimension for any single item); steel including ”tin” cans, aerosol cans (empty, non-toxic products), bimetal containers, all plastics (#1-7) except expanded Polystyrene (EPS).

On top of the Blue Recycling Cart: Dry cell batteries (household batteries such as AAA, AA, B, C, D, 9V, and small “button” batteries; no liquid batteries such as automobile batteries).

Next to the Blue Recycling Cart: Flattened corrugated cardboard no larger than 4’ tall x 4’ wide.

Compost cleaning wipes and used facial tissue. Wipes must be compostable (paper/tree-based). Please note, cotton or fabric wipes must be disposed of in the garbage. Do not flush cotton or fabric wipes down the toilet, as they may cause a sewer back-up.
Customers with blue recycling cart service may flatten corrugated cardboard no larger than 4’ tall x 4’ wide and place beside the blue recycling cart for collection.
Call the Alameda County Recycling Hotline toll-free at (877) STOPWASTE (786-7927) or check out the Recycling Wizard from StopWaste.Org.
Single-family residents will receive weekly curbside collection of garbage (brown cart) and recycling (blue cart).  Residents will not receive organics collection services, an annual bulky goods pick-up, nor annual holiday tree collection.
Place shredded paper in a paper bag to avoid litter problems, then compost in the green organics cart/bin. Please note, shredded paper cannot be recycled in the recycling cart/bin because the fibers are too short to be made into recycled paper.
Place incandescent and LED light bulbs in the garbage. Please note, fluorescent light bulbs must be disposed of at a Hazardous Waste facility (800-606-6606).
Because of the toxic chemicals that can leak from batteries that end up in a landfill, it is against the law to throw any battery (including household batteries) into the trash. Single-Family and Multi-Family residents with blue recycling cart service may participate in CVSan’s curbside battery recycling program by placing used dry cell (household) batteries in a sealed clear plastic bag on top of your blue recycling cart on your service day.
Paint is no longer accepted at the curb. All types of paint need to be taken to an Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste facility. Call (800) 606-6606 or (510) 670-6460 for more information.

Latex and water-based paint will be accepted at the CVSan Recycles Day. For more on paint visit

Household Hazardous Waste

There are locations in Oakland, Hayward, Livermore, and Fremont. Hayward and Livermore locations are open every other Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Oakland is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Fremont is open Thursday and Friday from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm and Saturday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. For further information about locations and operation schedule call (800) 606-6606
For a complete list of items accepted at HHW visit or call (800)606-6606.

Thanks to the partnership between Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan), Eden Medical Center, and the Alameda County Medication Disposal Initiative Workgroup, you can now drop off your pharmaceutical waste at Eden Medical Center for free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The location of the free public collection box is:
Eden Medical Center
20103 Lake Chabot Road
Castro Valley, CA 94546

You can also bring expired medications to an Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste facility.

Single-Family residents may place one-gallon screw-top containers curbside beside your collection carts on your regular collection day. You can recycle up to three (3) gallons per week of motor oil, transmission fluid, gear lube and other lubricants commonly used in cars and light trucks. Oil filters can be put in a heavyweight sealed clear plastic bag and placed curbside. Call WMAC at (510) 537-5500 to request delivery of a Used Oil jug and filter bag kit.

Used Oil and filters may be dropped off at a Collection Center (see below).

Collection Centers in Castro Valley:

  • Castro Valley Autohaus* 20697 Park Way (510) 581-4525
  • Jiffy Lube* 2492 Castro Valley Blvd. (510) 582-7677
  • Kevin Hinckley Auto Tech* 5269 Crow Canyon Road (510) 881-1052
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts** 2990 Castro Valley Blvd. (510) 881-0761
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts**15604 Hesperian Blvd. (510) 276-7822
  • Quality Tune Up* 2780 Castro Valley Blvd. (510) 887-9945
  • RyNck Tire & Auto Center 3430 Castro Valley Blvd. (510) 886-9500
  • Sal's Foreign Car Service* 3343 Castro Valley Blvd. (510) 582-5282
  • SpeeDee Oil Change 3940 Castro Valley Blvd. (510) 886-9500

*Centers that also accept filters** Center that only collects motor oil; does not change oil.

Organics and Composting

Call the 'Rotline' at (510) 444-SOIL for information about home composting, and remember that many items not compostable at home (food-soiled paper, meat, cheese, and bread products) can be placed in your green organics cart for composting
CVSan currently has Open Air pails available. These are larger green containers with a handle and no lid. A standard grocery store paper bag fits inside the pail and allows moisture from the food scraps and food-soiled paper to evaporate quicker and easier than a pail with a sealed lid. Residents and small businesses have found these pails to work well and place them on the floor next to indoor recycling and garbage containers. The vented lid pail allows most smells from the container to be kept inside while not in use. Interested parties may complete a Donation Request Form.