The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility
- Residents: Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (The Reuse Room closes at 3:30 p.m.)
- Businesses: Monday – Saturday, by appointment only:
- Holiday closures: Nov. 11, Nov. 24-25, Dec. 24-Jan. 2, Jan. 16, Feb. 13, Feb. 20.
What Is Household Hazardous Waste?
Any waste produced in the home which contains substances that can harm the environment, wildlife, or people is “household hazardous waste.” An easy way to identify such items is by finding these words on product labels: explosive, flammable, toxic, poison, harmful, corrosive, reactive, danger, warning, and caution.
Despite increased awareness within our communities, chemicals are still reaching our waterways when people improperly dispose of common household hazardous wastes (such as paint) through sewers and landfills. You can help by using up the products, giving leftovers to someone else to use, or bringing them to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility for reuse, recycling, or safe disposal. Go here for a video and tips on how to safely pack your items.
Items accepted at the facility include:
• Fluorescent bulbs & lights (CFLs)
• Thermostat switches
• Pool chemicals
• Cleansers & polishes
Personal care products
• Mercury fever thermometers
• Fingernail polish & remover
• Hair care products
• Perfumes & colognes
• Motor oil
• Brake fluid
• Transmission fluid
• Car batteries
Paint and paint-related products
• Latex & oil-based paints
• Wood stain & varnishes
• Paint remover/paint thinner & solvents
Garden and pest-control products
• Grease (large quantities, as from a turkey fryer)
• Propane tanks (5 gallon or less)
We do NOT accept the following:
• Medical wastes (including sharps, syringes, needles, lancets, etc.)
• Electronic waste (computers, TVs, cell phones, etc.)
• Explosives (ammunition, fireworks, etc.)
• Unlabeled or unknown compressed gas cylinders (propane accepted)
• Wastes contaminated with PCBs (fluorescent light ballasts accepted)
• Treated wood wastes
Please click here for our Disposal Guide with locations where you can safely dispose of those and other items.
State regulations limit the transportation of hazardous waste to 15 gallons or 125 pounds per vehicle per visit. Individual containers are limited to 5-gallon capacity.
There is no drop-off fee and no appointment necessary for residents of central Contra Costa County. Small businesses require an appointment and are charged a nominal fee.
Check Our Reuse Room for Free Items
Our goal is to reuse and recycle as many of the items brought to the facility as possible. So when you visit, be sure to check out our Reuse Room. It’s stocked with items brought in for disposal that are still in usable condition, such as paints, cleansers, and gardening products. They are free for the taking!
If our facility in Martinez is too far, there are many places throughout the county that accept paints, batteries, and other Household Hazardous Wastes. They are too numerous to list here; please check these Alternative HHW Locations.
For more information, please call 1-800-646-1431 or visit CentralSan.org.
Household Hazardous Waste FAQs
Q: Your Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is too far away. Where else can I dispose of hazardous waste items? Also, your facility doesn’t accept sharps or e-waste. I know not to put them in the trash, but where can I take them for safe disposal?
A: There are many locations throughout central Contra Costa County that accept sharps, e-waste, batteries, paint products, and other items that should never be put in the trash or poured down drains. Please check these resources to find locations closest to you:
• Alternative HHW Locations
• 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687)
Q: Should I bring unwanted pesticides to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, even if the labels say it’s OK to put in the trash?
A: Yes, please bring all unwanted pesticides – as well as herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides – to the facility for disposal, regardless of what labels say. All “cides” are designed to kill something. Even products labeled as “less toxic” or “safer” may still pose risks to the environment, so bringing them to the facility is the safest way to dispose of them. Recycle EMPTY containers when possible.
Q: Why do I have to show my driver’s license when I use the facility?
A: Use of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is limited to residents and small businesses within the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District and Mt. View Sanitary District service areas, since a portion of their sewer service charges cover the costs of operating the facility. By scanning your driver’s license (or seeing other proof of your address), we can verify that you are an authorized user. It also provides us with a way to track facility usage by community, something we are required to monitor.
Q: Why don’t you do curbside pickup of household hazardous wastes?
A: State regulations allow curbside collection of latex paint, motor oil and filters, and universal wastes (such as batteries and e-waste) only. (Please check with your garbage company about these services.) Those regulations do NOT allow curbside collection of mercury-containing fluorescent lamps, pesticides, chemicals and all other forms of household hazardous waste. Such items left on the curb could be accessed by children or pets; they could spill, flow into storm drains, and cause harm to the environment. It’s more cost effective, safer, and better for the environment for individuals to bring items to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility on an as-needed basis.