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Household Hazardous Waste

Overview

Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste

What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?

HHW is waste from your home that is toxic, corrosive, flammable, or reactive based on its chemical properties. Products such as batteries, paint and paint thinner, pesticides and fertilizers, and poisons are considered hazardous waste.

It’s illegal and unsafe to dump this waste in the trash or down the drain. Empty containers are not hazardous waste and can be managed safely in the garbage. Leave the lids off so waste haulers can see that the container is empty and non-hazardous.

If you have questions, contact us at hhw@smcgov.org or (650) 372-6200.

HHW PROGRAM OVERVIEW

English surveyEncuesta en Español - You’ll have a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card!

We want to know what you think! Take the HHW Program survey and give feedback to help create a vision for a program that represents our collective expectations and hopes for a safe and healthy community.

San Mateo County’s HHW Program helps residents reuse, recycle, or responsibly manage residential hazardous waste for free. There are multiple easy and free ways to safely and properly remove HHW from your home. County residents can:

  1. Make an HHW drop-off appointment.
  2. Take advantage of battery and used oil pick-up on recycle/garbage collection day
  3. Find local recycling and disposal options for paint, electronics, fluorescent lights, medicines and more – no appointment needed!

Click here to sign up for household hazardous waste drop-off event notifications.

TOP THREE HHWs AND HOW TO PROPERLY RECYCLE THEM

Batteries

Paint

Fluorescent Lights

Have other items? Find alternative recycling options for electronics and more here.

General information

What Goes Where

Learn which types of waste are and are not accepted in the HHW Program. You’ll also find a list of alternative safe management options for hard-to-recycle and special items.

Accepted Items 

ACCEPTABLE WASTE TYPE OTHER RECYCLING/DISPOSAL OPTIONS

Aerosol cans (spray paints, hair spray, and other aerosol sprays EXCEPT food grade products like cooking oil sprays)

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Convenient HHW Pick-Up Options

Depending on your hauler, you may have different curbside options available to you. All haulers below offer a household battery pickup program, and some provide additional services such as used motor oil and filters, used cooking oil, and compact fluorescent lights. Click on your hauler for more information.

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MOVING? THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

HHW can only legally be transported by the person or persons who generated that waste. If you’re moving out make sure to properly dispose of your HHW, and if you’re moving in—confirm that you’re not stuck with the leftovers. Products such as batteries, paint and paint thinner, pesticides and fertilizers, and poisons are just some examples of hazardous waste — and probably won’t make the move.

Moving creates a long list of to-do’s whether you’re buying or selling a home. Here’s a checklist to help you stay organized.