Household Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste, including electronic waste, accounts for significant amounts of toxic waste in landfills. Items such as electronics, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, paints, pesticides, cleaning products, old medications and other chemicals are illegal to put in the garbage or pour down a drain or gutter because they contaminate our soil, drinking water and air.

DROP OFF

To schedule an appointment for drop off, please contact the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste program or call the appointment line at: (408) 299-7300. Household Hazardous Waste drop-offs are by appointment only.

BATTERIES

Batteries

Curbside Battery Collection
Put household batteries (e.g. rechargeable, alkaline, button) inside a tightly sealed plastic bag, and place on top of your closed recycling cart on collection day.

Apartment Battery Collection
Check to see if your building has a designated area for battery collection in your building. If you don’t see one in a shared location, contact your property manager to request a collection.

Property Managers
Establish a centrally located collection container at your property – a lobby, multi-use room, mail room or clubhouse – for residents to place their bagged batteries or cell phones. When you’re ready to schedule a collection, place them all in a sealed plastic bag and leave in the mutually determined collection location or on top of your blue recycle cart for collection.

You may also place cell phones in the sealed plastic bag along with batteries.

Drop Off
Most Walgreens, Whole Foods and Radio Shack‘s also accept old batteries and cell phones for recycling. We advise you to check with your local store first before you go.

For safety, please tape over the contact points of each lithium battery. Look for “Lithium” or “Li” (most button and rechargeable batteries).

MEDICATIONS

Medications

When medications are disposed of in the trash or down the drain, they can end up in the wrong hands, or in our soils and waterways. Waste water treatment facilities are not properly equipped to remove medicinal substances from the water. The result? A wide range of pharmaceuticals have been found in our rivers and lakes.

Drop Off
Confidential drop-off containers are often available at local police departments. Click here for full list of locations.

PAINT

Paint

Drop Off
Residents are able to drop off both latex and oil-based paints at various PaintCare locations or the SMaRT Station.

SHARPS

Sharps

Residents with medical conditions requiring the use of hypodermic needles are required to arrange for proper disposal. California law prohibits the disposal of “sharps waste” in trash or recycling containers.

Home generated sharps waste includes: Hypodermic needles, pen needles, syringes, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for medical purposes.

Drop off
Please contact your health care provider, local pharmacies, hospitals or clinics to ask if they offer a collection program.

Before drop-off, place home-generated sharps waste in biohazard containers. Biohazard containers are available for purchase at local pharmacies and some office supply stores. Visit Flows to Bay for more information on sharps drop-off locations.

Mail-Back Service
Check out CalRecycle’s sharps waste mail-back services.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CA Integrated Waste Management Board Information Line
(800) 553-2962
Department of Toxic Substances Control (to report hazardous waste violations only)

(800) 698-6942

Poison Control Center
(800) 876-4766

California Poison Action Line
(800) 222-1222

ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Hotline)
(888) 426-4435