To properly understand how El Cerrito came to have one of the most modern and comprehensive recycling centers in the country, one has to know how it got started four decades ago and how it overcame the doubts in later years that nearly shut it down.
And perhaps the best opportunity so far to gain that understanding will take place at 6-8 p.m. tonight, June 21, when the and the city hold an open house at the center with a panel and newly completed film about the facility's history. The panel will include early volunteers who ran the center.
"The is one of the nation’s oldest," says an announcement of the event posted on Patch by Dave Weinstein, vice president of the Historical Society. "More importantly, it is one of the longest lived and best loved."
Weinstein wrote a history of the Recycling Center, "Where Recycling is a Pleasure," that is linked to the city's Web site.
The film has been tentatively titled, "In Our Lifetime."
The old Recycling Center – a somewhat disorganized agglomeration of rust-rimmed, dented bins with haphazard parking and low-budget structures – shut down last year so that the city could construct a new facility that accepts a wider range of materials and is designed to minimize its own carbon footprint with solar panels, recycled rain water and other measures. The new facility celebrated its opening this year on Earth Day, April 22.
The Recycling Center is located at 7501 Schmidt Lane.