El Cerrito Recycling Center 7501 Schmidt Ln., (510) 215-4350. M-F 8-5:30, Sat-Sun 9-4:30. This is not your usual recycling center. I’d been hearing about it for years and finally made a visit recently. There are bins here for the basic categories--cardboard, paper, wire--plus the more unusual--batteries, prescription medications, hangars, Styrofoam--and there is also an area for appliances and electronics. I particularly liked the book exchange, which is in a covered shed and also has a bin for magazines as well as space for movies, CDs, and DVDs. This shed also has an area to leave things that can be reused, and a Goodwill depository is available so you can donate to a good cause and get a tax receipt, too. Donations of canned goods are also accepted. There is plenty of parking, and the entire space is kept clean. You can also call the office here for referrals to other businesses that accept items that they do not.
|magazine bin at El Cerrito Recycling Center in El Cerrito, California|
|books on shelves at El Cerrito Recycling Center in El Cerrito, California|
|Goodwill collection station at El Cerrito Recycling Center in El Cerrito, California|
El Cerrito Foundation Memorial Grove 7501 Schmidt Ln., just west of the recycling center. Dogs on leash ok. To reach the moderate 1.3-mile loop trail through this grove mixed with pines and redwoods, head up the fire road. From this road, above the recycling center, you can see the remains of the former Hutchinson rock quarry. Along the trail are views that include the Bay and Golden Gate bridges, Brooks Island, Point Richmond, Point Isabel, and Albany Hill. Several paths lead off from the fire road to the left. The third one was once a Boy Scout nature trail and still has marking posts, and two benches on that path are inscribed with the name of the troop that built it.
This grove is part of the El Cerrito Hillside Natural Area, which features several trails through forests, grasslands, streams, and rocky outcroppings along with those sensational views. Trails are unmarked; map.
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images c2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers