Hazardous Waste

Hazardous 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.

Residential
Although Recology San Mateo County does not handle hazardous waste, you can learn more about safe disposal with San Mateo County Health Department or FlowsToBay.org.

Commercial
Businesses may contact the County of San Mateo for more information on business hazardous waste disposal. Call (650) 372-6200 or visit smchealth.org/VSQG.

BATTERIES

Batteries

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

Apartment Battery Bucket Collection
Check to see if your building has a designated area for battery collection. If you don’t see one in a shared location, contact your Property Manager to request a free Recology Battery Collection Bucket.apt_batteries

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 in a collection bucket, provided at no charge by Recology San Mateo County. When you’re ready to schedule a collection, place the bucket in the mutually agreed upon collection area and call Recology San Mateo County to schedule your free pickup.

Drop Off
Most Walgreens, Whole Foods and Best Buys also accept old batteries and cell phones for recycling. Please check with your local store first before you go.

You may also drop off batteries at the Shoreway Environmental Center.

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 available at the following San Mateo County Police Departments:

  • Belmont: 1 Twin Pines Lane (650) 595-7400
  • Burlingame: 1111 Trousdale Drive (650) 777-4100
  • Hillsborough: 1600 Floribunda Avenue (650) 375-7400
  • San Carlos: 600 Elm Street (650) 802-4277
  • San Mateo: 200 Franklin Parkway (650) 522-7710
  • San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office: 400 County Center, Third Floor, Redwood City, CA (650) 599-1536

PAINT

Paint

San Mateo County has retailers that provide take-back programs at no charge. Residents can drop off both latex and oil-based paints at the locations below (operated by PaintCare), however you may want to call ahead to confirm hours of operation and program parameters:

Drop Off

  • Kelly Moore, 201 Old County Road, Belmont
  • Sherwin-Williams, 1525 Rollins Road, Burlingame
  • Kelly Moore, 1391 Woodside Road, Ste 100, Redwood City
  • Kelly Moore, 1075 Commercial Street, San Carlos
  • Dunn-Edwards, 3580 El Camino Real, San Mateo
  • Kelly Moore, 616 South B Street, San Mateo
  • Sherwin-Williams, 2240 El Camino Real, San Mateo

For further information on this program, please go to www.paintcare.org

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
Contact your health care provider, local pharmacies, hospitals or clinics to ask if they offer a collection program.

Biohazard containers used to contain sharps waste 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
For more information, check out CalRecycle’s website for Mail-Back Services.

MOTOR OIL

Motor Oil

Did you know that just one quart of motor oil that is disposed of improperly can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of fresh water? Please do your part to properly recycle used motor oil and filters.

Residential Curbside Collection
Place motor oil and filters next to your blue recycle cart for pickup on your regular collection day.  You may request up to five one-gallon plastic jugs for your used motor oil and up to five zippered plastic bags for your used oil filters, at no cost. You may also use your own clear zip-top plastic bags and clear plastic containers for used motor oil, such as a one-gallon milk jug.  Please be sure that lids on plastic containers are tightly sealed.

If you are an apartment or condo tenant, please learn more about motor oil drop off locations by visiting FlowsToBay.org/usedoil.

E-WASTE

For more information on Electronic and Universal waste and how it dispose of it properly, please visit our E-Waste and Universal Waste page.

 

 

Language Assistance:
We offer a free Language Line with over 170 different languages through our Customer Service Department. Please contact us for more information.You can also visit RecycleWorks of San Mateo County for general recycling and waste reduction information.