Mountain View Recycling Center

buy-back and drop off center

A California Certified Redemption Center for Beverage Containers

935 Terra Bella Avenue (near Shoreline Blvd. & Hwy 101)
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 967-3034

Services & Operating Hours

Buy-Back Center Tuesday through Saturday
9 am to 4 pm
Drop-Off Monday through Friday 8 am to 4 pm
Saturday 9 am to 4 pm
Extra Garbage Stickers
Clean Up Vouchers
Monday through Friday
9-11 am and 2-4 pm
Holidays Closed on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day
(fourth Friday of November) and December 25.

Buy-Back Center 

Redeem "California Redemption Value" (Spanish) beverage bottles and cans for cash during buy-back hours. Be sure to empty bottles and remove caps and lids. The recycling center is a Certified Redemption Center regulated by the State of California Beverage Container Recycling Program, and operated by Recology on City property. This facility only accepts recycling. For the City's disposal facility, use the SMaRT Station in Sunnyvale (see Related Links to the left).

Redeeming beverage bottles and cans

Redeeming beverage containers at the Mountain View Recycling Center keeps recycling revenues working for your community. When you redeem bottles and cans here, you receive cash for the containers and also help conserve resources and divert waste from the landfill. In turn, the City receives a small payment from the State redemption fund, and Recology receives the salvage value of the cans and bottles. These revenues are returned to the utility rate fund to keep rates low. See below for more information about the Buy-Back Center such as Counting vs. Weighing, No Liquids, and What Happens to Bottles and Cans.

Drop Off Services

The following items are accepted at the Recycling Center during drop-off hours only. Please do not visit the Center or leave any items after hours. See hours in chart above.


  • All items which are usually accepted in the curbside recycling program (see What’s Recyclable)
  • Milk and dairy cartons (also accepted in curbside recycling under the blue lid for containers)
  • Aseptic containers (juice, soup, soy milk)
  • Aerosol cans (empty)
  • Frozen food boxes (and other waxed paperboard)
  • Rigid plastics (pails, buckets, plant pots, etc.)
  • Textiles (unusable clothes, sheets, blankets, towels)
  • Scrap metal less than 6 feet long (pots/pans, trays, utensils, tools and
    other small all-metal items)
  • Film plastic (bread and dry cleaner bags, bubble wrap, plastic packaging wrap, zip lock bags, cereal box-type liners, shrink wrap) which are properly prepared. Please contain these items so they cannot become loose at the recycling center.  Although placed in a cart or bin, the materials are then collected by trucks, and the film plastic, bags and wrap are easily blown by the wind during collection and become litter in the neighborhood if you don't contain them properly.  Roll up or stuff items inside a bag and tie off.  Do not use tape.  The recycling center can refuse to accept the materials if not properly prepared.
  • Usable clothing and shoes for donation
  • E-waste (computers, monitors, printers, TVs, etc.)
  • Mattresses and box springs (fees apply)
  • Used cooking oil (in clear plastic bottle or jug with screw top lid--no more than 2 gallons)
  • Compact fluorescent bulbs (no tubes-take to SMaRT Station)
  • Cell phones
  • Household batteries (in clear plastic bags, tape terminals)

By Appointment Services

Appointments for residents are required to drop off these reusable or recyclable items (limits apply). Call Recology at (650) 967-3034 to make an appointment.

  • Appliances (no full size refrigerators or freezers)
  • Large plastic toys (e.g. tri-cycles, slides)
  • Furniture, suitable for donation only
  • Clean wood and lumber (no painted or treated wood)
  • Yard trimmings

Buy-Back Center . . . More Information

Counting vs. Weighing

According to a recent study by the State of California, the amount of money paid for California Redemption Value bottles and cans by individual count versus weight is minimal.
Consumers may request payment by count if they are redeeming up to 50 California Redemption Value (CRV) bottles and cans per type (e.g. 49 CRV aluminum cans and 30 CRV bottles).  If consumers are redeeming 51 or more containers per type, recyclers have the option to pay by weight. Under new laws, the State also prohibits the pay out of  large volumes (100 pounds or more) of CRV containers, whether under single a single transaction or "split" into many transactions (affects bars, restaurants, and fundraising organizations).  The State also prohibits customers from combining CRV and non-CRV containers for payment. The new laws are designed to protect the integrity of the California Redemption Value program by paying only for CRV containers, and reduce the potential for abuse by unlicensed commercial collectors and scavengers.

Complaints about the State's redemption program or regulations may be made directly to 1-800-RECYCLE. See also FAQs at

No Liquids

In order to fairly weigh and pay consumers for bottles and cans, all containers must be emptied of liquids and other materials before weighing. Please remove plastic bottle caps because they can trap liquids and air, which is a problem in weighing and in processing. Liquids must be removed from containers to be accepted by the State of California Redemption Value program for payment.

In processing, bottle caps left on containers, trapping air, are a danger to workers at recycling plants where heavy equipment and wire baling is used to process them for market. Bottle caps become dangerous projectiles when crushed during processing. Another dangerous condition occurs when bottles are baled for stacking and shipping, the process of osmosis will cause a capped bottle to deflate, causing the entire bale to become loose and unstable, and may topple over onto workers.

Why do some curbside programs allow customers to leave plastic caps on cooking oil bottles? Because: (1) cooking oil bottles are not being redeemed for cash; (2) there are few of them compared to the rest of the load; and (3) the caps may be left on the bottle to prevent spills that soil the curbside cart and attract ants and insects.

What Happens to Bottles & Cans

In 2009, about 119,580 pounds of aluminum cans, 521,220 pounds of glass bottles and 177,360 pounds of plastic bottles were recycled through the center. These materials are made into new cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles and other useful products.