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
Tuesday through Saturday
9 am to 4 pm
Holidays Center is closed on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day
(fourth Friday of November) and December 25.
 Food Scraps

Tuesday through Saturday
9 am to 4 pm
No drop off.  Must be in a compostable bag, handed to attendant
and you must be signed up.  All Mountain View residents welcome to sign up.

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, No Caps, and What Happens to Bottles and Cans.

Drop Off Services

The following items are accepted at the Recycling Center during drop-off hours onlyPlease do not visit the Center or leave any items after hours. Watch out for the Dirty Dozen.

  • All items which are usually accepted in the curbside recycling program (see What Goes Where)
  • Milk, juice, soup cartons (refrigerated and shelf-stable cartons, aseptic, or TetraPak, flat-topped or gable-topped)* 
  • Aerosol cans (empty)
  • Textiles (unusable clothes, sheets, blankets, towels)
  • Scrap metal less than 6 feet long (pots/pans, trays, utensils, tools and other small all-metal items)
  • 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 those to SMaRT Station)
  • Cell phones
  • Household batteries (in clear plastic bags, tape terminals)

*These items are also accepted in the residential and commercial recycling programs. Refer to cart label for placement.

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)
  • Furniture, suitable for donation only
  • Clean wood and lumber (no painted or treated wood)
  • Yard trimmings

additional 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 FAQs.

No Liquids, No caps

At the recycling center, 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.

At home, please remove the caps to ensure there are no liquids or trapped air.  Bottle caps left on containers trap air and are a danger to workers at recycling plants.  During processing, bottles are baled into blocks for shipping (see picture above left).  In the bale, a capped bottle will deflate through osmosis, creating a void in the bale, and the unstable bale may topple over onto workers. 

Should we flatten plastic bottles?  No.  Mountain View has a dual-stream sorting process where papers are kept separate from bottles and other containers.  The sorting equipment is designed to sort two-dimensional objects (paper) and three-dimensional objects (bottles and containers).  A flattened bottle could appear as a two-dimensional object and end up in the paper stream instead of containers.  Communities with single-stream recycling need their residents to flatten bottles.  We do not.

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.