Last Chance Mercantile – A Place to Responsibly Drop and Shop

As a child I had fun going with my father on his flea market adventures for fishing gear and music albums. It was at a flea market that he bought me my first music records at the age of 9, Joan Jett and the Stray Cats. It was because of him that I grew to love public markets that sell used treasures.

Second hand has been a way of life for me. I have developed a love for digging for faux fur coats, costume jewelry and old furniture that can be found nowhere else. It’s a great way to get my shopping fix without spending a fortune. 

Imagining myself as a roller derby superhero with an Evel Knievel helmet found in the Last Chance resale store.


Last Chance Mercantile, a reuse and recycle drop off center and resale store in Monterey County.

As an adult I still enjoy a leisure half day of yard and estate sale-ing for the fun of it, whether or not I bring something home. It excites me to find an old, one-of-a kind item, hold it up and imagine all the people it’s seen and places it’s been, then put it down and move on.

As a professional organizer I visit thrift stores and reuse centers weekly. It’s usually to drop off my client’s unwanted clutter after a home organizing project, but sometimes I hang out and look around. When helping people get organized in Monterey County, I drop and window shop at Last Chance Mercantile.

Last Chance Mercantile is a well-designed materials recovery program of the Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD.) The entire place includes 1) a recycling drop off center for aluminum cans & glass, paper, cardboard, metals and plastics, 2) a household hazardous waste collection station, 3) materials recovery facility (Last Chance Mercantile,) 4) the Monterey Peninsula landfill, 5) and two renewable energy projects. It’s brilliantly designed to make it convenient for people to reduce, reuse, recycle, properly dispose of household hazardous waste, and get environmentally educated in one visit. 

Electronic waste recycling bins for computers, monitors, printers, televisions, radios,  misc. cords, wires, and just about anything you can plug in that no longer works. This stuff is considered hazardous waste and should never be placed with regular trash. You can drop it all off here at no charge.


Drive up and recycle cans, bottles, #1-7 plastics, mixed paper, cardboards, metals, and on occasion they have special days to drop off bulky polystyrene foam (call to ask). 




The resale shop’s drive in and drop off tent accepts clothing, housewares, books, furniture, building materials, tools, sports equipment…much more than your average thrift store. While other donation centers may turn you away for lack of space, Last Chance has more than enough room to take it all. It is truly the “Last Chance.”

Reusable goods donation tent.

Inside the Last Chance resale shop. It can get a little messy in here, but that’s because so much comes in and out all day long…and that’s a GOOD thing.


Last Chance Mercantile salvage yard. Here you can find bedroom and office furniture, rugs, sofas, tables, chairs, exercise equipment, bicycles, skis and snowboards, doors and windows, sinks, commercial display racks, hot tubs, patio furniture, the list goes on…

Drive in and drop off at the donation tent


Proceeds from the Last Chance Mercantile resale store go back into creating 115 environmentally responsible jobs at the facility and their big picture environmental programs, including the Small Planet educational garden where they hold school tours, public workshops and information tables on composting and vermicomposting.


The Small Planet educational garden.

 You can pick up low-cost potting soil, compost, top soil,  and wood chips for your garden project while there.


Low-cost potting and top soil available in the last chance salvage yard.


Pick up your wood chips at Last Chance.


A history of MRWMD from Cal Recycle:

“Since 1991, the Monterey Regional Waste Management District in Marina, California, has been distributing surplus and salvage materials to the general public. Originally, materials were redistributed at a “quasi-flea market” at the landfill; later this process developed into an auction held monthly for the more sought-after materials, and finally developed into a weekly sale of all materials. As the demand for the salvaged materials increased, the materials were moved into an old storage facility and yard located on site. This move created LCM. LCM increased its hours of operation as the demand for the facility rose and sales increased. A new, 5,000 square foot facility was built in 1996 that enables people to donate materials prior to disposing of their waste and paying to do so. Since the building’s inception, the facility now operates six days a week.” 

MRWMD drop-off facilities serves businesses and residents of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Sand City, Seaside, and the unincorporated areas of Big Sur, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Corral De Tierra, Laguna Seca, Moss Landing, Pebble Beach, San Benancio, and Toro Park. Anyone can shop at Last Chance Mercantile. Stop by next time you’re in the area to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

Hours of Operation

Administration Office Hours
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Landfill Disposal & Material Recovery Facility Hours
Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Last Chance Mercantile Hours
Monday – Friday – 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility Hours
Monday – Friday – 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Buy Back Hours
M-F, 10a.m.- 4p.m. & Saturdays, 9a.m.-3p.m.

Closed on Sundays & these Holidays:
Memorial Day, Independence Day,
Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day,
Christmas Day, New Year’s Day

Contact Information

Monterey Regional Waste Management District (Public Agency)
14201 Del Monte Boulevard
Post Office Box 1670
Marina, California 93933-1670
Major Cross Street: Highway 1 
(831) 384-5313 
(831) 384-3567 

More photos of what you can find at Last Chance Mercantile:



Isabella Guajardo, also known as Girl With A Truck™, is a professional home organizer and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Living in Oakland and Monterey, she travels in her truck to work with clients throughout the SF Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay, Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Peninsula. She shares simple and creative ways to stay organized and stylish while reducing, recycling and re-purposing. Join Bella Organizing on Facebook. Gift certificates are available.

Call (510) 229-7321 to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation.