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Best Scrounging Spot for Literary Dumpster Divers 

El Cerrito Recycling Center

The terms "recycling center" and "literary community" are rarely found in the same sentence — or on the same half-acre — but if you venture all the way up Schmidt Lane in El Cerrito, and if you've got any lucky timing at all, you're likely to find the two come together. Turning off San Pablo Avenue toward the hills, you'll pass through a sedate residential neighborhood, marred only by the row of power lines climbing adjacent Moeser Avenue, until you reach the end of the road. Tucked back against a steep, barren patch of the hills in what looks like an old rock quarry (although it claims to be a City of El Cerrito "Nature Area") is the Recycling Center; here, in a corner next to the bins of metals, plastics, and glass, is a collection of bookshelves surrounded by a passel of bookworms. They arrive by bicycle, car, and somehow even by foot, and eagerly pick up, drop off, page through, and discuss the textual comings and goings. Be polite, be cool, be well-read, and you should come away with good literary loot. Beware of the shorter Daylight Saving Time hours.

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