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One of the first dumps in El Cerrito was at the corner of Central and Belmont Avenue. People dumped there for years. It was marshy land and the tide backed up the water from the bay. At the present time, this property houses a lumber company. [Editor's note: the lumberyard closed and was later demolished.]
Another dump used for years was on Gladys Avenue near where the Cameron School is now built. The caretaker of this dump was Mr. W. J. Prather who lived at 7100 Gladys Avenue. This is all Castro School property now and has all been filled over.
The other dump was at the Hutchinson Quarry site at the head of Schmidt Lane, which was abolished years back. At the present time the city of El Cerrito does not have a public dump within the city limits. On Central Avenue, almost all the way out to Point Isabel at the edge of the road, one could see where people have illegally dumped their trash.
North of the Central Avenue dumps, a knoll sticks up which the kids called Lilico Hill. This was named after a family of this name who lived near the top of the knoll. Children would often go to the top of this hill and coast down with their wagons that they had made from the material they had salvaged from the dumps.
In later years the Chung Mei Home had been turned over to the Western Baptist Bible Church.
Copyright Mervin Belfils, October 1975
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