May 14, 2021

For Those 12-plus, Vaccine Appointments Now Available In Berkeley 

Sign up online to reserve a dose for yourself, your family

Parents or guardians can now sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments for kids at least 12-years-old, who’ll be able to get shots starting Thursday in Berkeley and throughout the region. The City of Berkeley coordinates two sites that this week are using the Pfizer vaccine approved for those 12 and over:

1 Buchanan Street, Albany, May 14-15. 9am-5pm.

  • Reserve a spot through MyTurn: complete eligibility information, then scroll down the "select location" page until you see "Buchanan St Parking Lot (next to Albany Bulb)."
  • A parent or guardian will need to accompany their child to the appointment.

Civic Center Park, behind 2180 Milvia St., May 14. 10:30am-6:30pm.

  • Create a free Carbon Health account and reserve a spot.
  • Those under 18 need permission from a parent or guardian via a signed consent form, parent or guardian present at vaccination, or phone call to parent or guardian
  • Note: Appointments for 12-15 year olds are drop-in only at this time.

Drop-in availability depends on supply. Making an appointment is the best way to confirm a dose for yourself or your child.

MyTurn will also offer other locations, such as local pharmacies, supermarkets with pharmacies and other. Private healthcare providers like Kaiser, Sutter Health and Stanford Health Care now vaccinate both members and nonmembers.

As Students Move Out, Keep Berkeley Clean

As Cal students move out for the summer, tenants and landlords can help keep our streets clean and safe by planning ahead, using City of Berkeley services, and properly disposing of the items they no longer need.

Dumping mattresses and other items on the sidewalk creates a mess, can be a safety hazard, and doesn't promote reuse. Please use the available mattress collection and recycling options for mattresses and box springs. Avoid fines for illegal dumping that can reach up to $1,000 a day.

Plan ahead with prepaid trash bags or extra pickups

Start thinking now about what to keep and what to discard. The property owner or authorized contacts listed on the refuse account can call 510-981-7270 to take advantage of these City services:

  • Order extra curbside collection or a short-term dumpster.
  • Schedule a free Bulky Waste Pickup for extra refuse (for 1-4 unit properties).
  • Purchase prepaid trash bags or plant debris bags (for 1-4 unit properties). Prepaid trash and plant debris bags can be purchased at the Transfer Station or the Berkeley Ace Hardware.
  • Curbside mattress collection is available for 1-9 unit properties this year for up to 2 mattresses or box springs at no charge.
  • Take a variety of items directly to the Transfer Station. Residents may drop off up to 2 mattresses or box springs and up to 2 electronic devices for free. 

Find ways to reuse unwanted items

Keep reusable items out of landfills. Abandoned furniture and debris on sidewalks or in the public right-of-way can result in citations and fines up to $1,000 a day.

  • Unopened Food: Help neighbors in need by donating unopened food to the Berkeley Food Network.
  • Furniture and Household Goods: Reuse stores like Urban Ore accept some furniture and household items in good condition. 
  • Textiles: Drop off textiles, including clothing, shoes, handbags, backpacks, and linens/bedding at the Textile Recycling Drop Box at the Berkeley Recycling Center for reuse.
  • If using sites like Craigslist, Freecycle or Nextdoor for reusable items, take precautions when arranging pickups or drop offs - all parties should wear face coverings, keep six feet apart, avoid physical contact, and wash their hands before and after the exchange.

Recycle items that can’t be repurposed

For recyclable items that can't be repurposed, use your building's recycling carts or bins to recycle. Not sure if an item is recyclable? Review guidelines.

For single-family homes or small apartment complexes with Ecology Center Recycling collection, review the Ecology Center's recycling guidelines for program specifics. Extra cardboard can be bundled and placed curbside next to your Ecology Center recycle cart on your recycling service day.

For items that can't be recycled curbside:

  • The Recycling Center located at 669 Gilman Street accepts a variety of recyclable items, including clothing and household textiles, scrap metal, appliances, cooking oil, and cardboard boxes.
  • Electronics: Computers, televisions, microwaves, stereos, and programmable gadgets should never be put into garbage cans, debris bins or placed curbside. Recycle up to 2 electronic items at the Transfer Station for free. The Computer & Technology Resource Center (located at 2nd & Page St. in Berkeley) takes most electronic devices for free. Learn more about the items they accept at or call them at (415) 883-1428.
  • Household Hazardous Waste: Hazardous items like paint, cleaning supplies, batteries, and fluorescent bulbs cannot be placed in curbside containers, and must be disposed of properly. Visit for drop off sites.
  • Check the RE:Source Guide to find local reuse, repair, recycling, and safe disposal options for almost anything.

Keep Refuse Workers Safe

Please take precautions to keep refuse and recycling workers safe. For both refuse and recycling, all your materials should fit inside your cart with the lid closed completely. If boxes are too big to fit inside your recycling cart, break them down and cut them apart.

Report Illegal Dumping

We can all play a valuable role in keeping our streets clean and safe. If you see illegal dumping, call 311 or 510-981-2489 to report.

Community Town Hall On Fire Safety - May 19th

The month of May is National Wildfire Prevention Month. It's that time of year when we all need to turn our attention to the risks of wildfire in our area and focus on prevention and preparedness.

Every year for the past many years I have co-hosted a community town hall on Fire Safety with Councilmember Susan Wengraf and Councilmember Sophie Hahn. This year, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we will host a Fire Safety Town Hall via Zoom, with capacity for 500 attendees, on May 19th at 7pm.

While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, climate change is driving longer fire seasons in California, starting earlier and ending later. The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by almost three months. Drought conditions are contributing to dire predictions about what to expect this year. 

Our Fire safety Zoomposium panel will focus on Prevention and Preparedness and how Berkeley is working to keep you safe during fire season. We will learn about our new evacuation plan and other strategies for early notification, vegetation management, and the Safe Passages program. We will also learn about how to organize your block or neighborhood as a FireWise group.

Register for the webinar and get the zoom link here

Sign up for emergency notifications on AC Alert

2021 Fire Fuel Chipper Program

Note: Households in the designated chipper zones will receive a brochure in the mail with more  information. The Fire Fuel Chipper program is operated by the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department’s Urban Forestry Unit.

This program includes the use of an onsite chipper to dispose of vegetation that has been assembled by residents and left near the street. The Vegetation Debris Program, which is operated by Public Works’ Zero Waste Division, offers delivery and pick-up of 30-cubic yard bins to neighborhoods that have a larger need for green waste disposal. Both programs allow residents identified in the Fire Surcharge Area to dispose of hazardous vegetation/fire fuels. Learn more here

Lori Droste
Berkeley Vice Mayor

Want to request a City service? 

Use Berkeley's online 311 form (either through the General Request form or a specific topic) or call 311 from a landline, or 510-981-2489.  Please note that my office routes all the service requests we receive through this customer service center, so your request will be handled most efficiently by directly contacting 311. 


Sign up for emergency notifications on AC Alert  and crime prevention/updates on Nixle.  

Monthly work days have started up again in Garber Park

Spring is the best time to get outdoors. Please join the Garber Park Stewards for their monthly workday, the 3rd Saturday of month, 10AM-Noon. All are welcome to join, no experience necessary, this month on May 15. Opportunities to work alone or in small, social distancing groups, as well. For more information, contact Shelagh at [email protected] or visit

Pets being turned into shelters are declining - help us understand why

If you’ve found a lost pet, had your pet go missing, or adopted a pet in the Bay area within the last five years, we want to hear from you.

Complete an online survey to help Berkeley Animal Care Services better understand animal sheltering trends in the Bay Area. Your feedback will help us match our services to the needs of pet owners our community.

We’ve seen a sharp decline in the number of pets entering our animal shelter since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Berkeley Animal Care Services took in 844 dogs in 2019 and only 517 in 2020. We saw a similar drop in cats - we received 358 in 2020, 146 fewer than the year before. Other shelters in the region and across the country are experiencing the same trend.

We want to understand what’s behind the decrease in these numbers, and whether there are opportunities we can build on to minimize the number of pets entering shelters going forward.

Thank you for your participation, and please share this survey widely.