Household hazardous waste should NEVER be placed in garbage, recycling, or yard waste carts. U.S. households generate more than 2 million tons of hazardous waste each year. The average household stores from 3 to 10 gallons of hazardous waste.
Although most of the products’ labels listed here do not usually contain the word “hazardous”, they are just as hazardous as any industrial waste. Potential hazardous chemicals in these products can be:
poisonous or lethal when ingested, touched or inhaled even in small quantities (rat poison, cleaning fluids, pesticides, bleach)
easily ignites (lighter fluid, spot and paint removers)
eats away materials and living tissue by chemical action (oven and toilet bowl cleaners)
creates an explosion or produces deadly vapors (bleach mixed with ammonia cleaners)
Careless use and disposal of these substances contaminate our food, soil, water, and air; and seriously threaten the ecosystems on which we depend.
Household hazardous wastes (HHW) should never be thrown into the trash or washed down the household or storm drains.
Hazardous chemicals can “pass through” treatment processes or storm drains and get discharged into the environment. This occurs because wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove hazardous chemicals from wastewater, and storm drains flow directly to the Bay without any treatment at all. HHW thrown into the garbage can injure workers during collection or mix with other chemicals when landfilled. Groundwater used for drinking or irrigation can be contaminated when waste products are poured onto or seep into the ground. Follow this link for proper HHW disposal.
All hazardous wastes, including solvents, cleaners and pesticides, can be taken to the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District’s facility at 4797 Imhoff Place, Martinez. Call 1-800-646-1431 for information and hours or visit the district’s website at www.centralsan.org.
Many auto service stations, auto parts stores and oil changers accept used motor oil and oil filters for recycling. Call Contra Costa County’s recycling hotline at 1-800-750-4096 for your nearest location.
Motor oil is a household hazardous waste that can be recycled curbside:
- Pour used motor oil into Valley Waste Management-provided containers. Call 925-935-8900 to request one.
- Place the container beside your burgundy recycling cart.
- 2 gallons maximum of oil per pickup.
You may recycle used motor oil, as well as anti-freeze at the Walnut Creek Recycling Center, for a fee. Operated by Valley Waste Management, the Center is located at 480 Lawrence Way, Walnut Creek. Call VWM at 925-935-8900 for more information. Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
E-Waste (televisions, monitors, & electronics)
State law prohibits putting CRT-containing devices (computer monitors and TVs) in the garbage.
CRT devices are accepted free of charge as reuse items during either of your area’s two annual Reuse & Cleanup collections. You may set out up to five (5) electronic waste items (computer processor, keyboard, mouse, printers, etc.) for this collection.
Pacific Rim Recycling will accept, at no charge, CCCSWA service area residents’ computer equipment and TVs at its Benicia facility, 3690 Sprig Road, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday – Friday. Maximum of five (5) items per car.
If you cannot wait for a reuse collection, a curbside pickup of electronic waste is available for a fee through Allied Waste Services. Call 925-603-1144, ext.1 to arrange a pickup. The fee covers disassembly, removal and recycling of hazardous materials.
Cell phones may be recycled at stores that sell them. Please contact your local phone store for more information.
For information on our new battery recycle program, click here!
Rechargeable batteries can be returned to stores that sell rechargeable batteries.
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD), in partnership with Mt. View Sanitary District, opened a permanent Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility October 25, 1997. The facility is located adjacent to the CCCSD’s wastewater treatment plant at 4797 Imhoff Place in Martinez. All Central Contra Costa County residents are eligible to use the facility at no charge.
HHW Hotline – 800-646-1431
The HHW Collection Facility accepts HHW from residents free, Tuesday through Saturday 9am to 4pm with no appointment required. Small businesses can use the facility by appointment on Wednesdays for a nominal fee, which is based on the type and quantity of waste they need to dispose.
Most of the hazardous waste collected at the facility such as latex paint, antifreeze, and used motor oil is recycled or reused. Collected products that can be reused are given away at no charge to residents and businesses through an innovative waste exchange program. The remaining HHW is disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.
In addition to CCCSD’s HHW facility, below are a few disposal alternatives for Motor Oil and Anti-freeze.
- Used motor oil can be recycled curbside for residents in the CCCSWA service area. Call Valley Waste Management (VWM) at 935-8900 for more information and to request reusable oil containers.
- Used motor oil and antifreeze, as well as, most recyclable materials, can be taken to the Walnut Creek Recycling Center for a small fee. Motor oil is accepted at the Recycling Center for a charge of $1 per gallon. Antifreeze is $3 per gallon. The Recycling Center is located on Lawrence Way and is open Tues-Sat from 8:30am to 5:OOpm. For more information, see the WC Recycling Center page or call VWM at 935-8900.
- Used motor oil can also be recycled at many of your local service stations and auto supply stores. Call your local service station, or the County Recycling Hotline at 1-800-750-4096, for more information.