Household Hazardous Waste

Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program

The Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program (HHW) helps protect the environment and public health by collecting and properly disposing of hazardous waste from homes and small businesses. This program also provides the community with practical pollution prevention options for the use and recycling of products containing hazardous substances.

Bring your household hazardous waste to one of the free HHW drop-off events outlined in our Operating Schedule. Please note: HHW does not accept any household hazardous waste at the business office. Site addresses and directions to the facilities are only made available to residents at time-of-appointment to prevent unauthorized drop-offs and to ensure safe collection by professional staff.  

     To participate, click the self-service link below:  
     Make an Appointment or call ​(408) 299-7300  

Attention Cupertino and Palo Alto residents: Please do not make an appointment with the link above.  Contact your city's Household Hazardous Waste program listed below:

You may not use the residential program.  If you are a small business, call (800) 207-8222 to find out if your business qualifies for the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG​) Program.

For more information on household hazardous waste or to locate a drop-off designated facility, please contact the Santa Clara County HHW appointment line at (408) 299-7300, Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or via email.

Additional Resources

Earth 911:  
Earth 911 offers a comprehensive, user-friendly recycling and product disposal information available. Provides recycling and product disposal resources for over 200 families of materials, and is the only recycling search on the web, with information for over 100,000 programs and locations across the U.S., including:

  • Municipal curbside programs
  • In-store, retail programs
  • Drop-off locations and centers
  • Mail-back programs
  • Local & municipal events

California Materials Exchange (CalMAX): 
CalRecycle's CalMAX portal connects businesses, organizations, manufacturers, schools, and individuals with the most effective online resources for exchanging materials. One business' trash is another business' treasure. By reusing materials, we conserve energy, resources, and landfill space, while reducing disposal, green house gas emissions, and purchasing costs.

Fluorescent Lamp Drop-off Locations within Santa Clara County
Recycle your fluorescent bulbs (compact bulbs & straight, circular, spiral, & U-bent tubes) for FREE at the following retail stores during normal business hours. Recycling partner drop-offs are for residents (households) ONLY. Businesses please call (408) 299-7300 and ask for a business drop-off.

Recycling Programs in Other Counties

For more information on waste reduction and recycling in the following counties:


Battery Safety & Disposal

BatterySafetyBatteriesduracellimageIn California, batteries are considered hazardous waste when they are discarded because of the metals and/or other toxic or corrosive materials contained within. This includes all batteries sizes: AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9 Volt, and all other batteries, both rechargeable and single use. Therefore, batteries must be recycled, or taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility or an authorized recycling facility.
Until they can be disposed of properly, caution should be taken when storing used or old household batteries. It is recommended that the exposed positive (+) terminals of the batteries be covered with electrical tape (or stored separately in ziplock bags) to inhibit the terminals from coming into contact or rubbing with other terminals or objects that can potentially cause a fire.

Where to Recycle or Safely Dispose Household Batteries

Santa Clara County has free household drop-off locations where residents can properly dispose of their used batteries during business hours. Recycling drop-off locations are for residents (households) ONLY. Residents are reminded to tape the positive (+) terminal on the batteries before dropping them off (D.O.T Regulation).

CalRecycle Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Local Solutions

Other Solutions

  • The Big Green Box — The Big Green Box™ is a national program that offers companies, consumers, municipalities, and other generators, a low cost, easy, and flexible way to recycle their batteries and portable electronic devices. Once The Big Green Box™ is purchased, all shipping, handling, and recycling fees are included. The Big Green Box™ includes a UN approved, pre-labeled container, pre-paid shipping to and from the recycling facility, and of course, all recycling fees.
  • Battery Solutions — Battery recycling solutions for businesses, governmental agencies, and consumers.
  • Kinsbursky Brothers Inc — A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permitted battery-recycling facility in California.

Business Disposal

Businesses are requested to call PSC Environmental at (916) 351-0980 to inquire about disposal and obtain business drop-off locations.

The cost of disposal for businesses is $25.00 processing fee and $1.00 per pound of waste.

For more information on recycling batteries, visit CalRecycle.

Additional Helpful Links

Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) outlines battery safety compliance advisory
CA Department of Toxic Substance Control


Where should I take my old batteries? Many local government agencies and retailers run programs that accept batteries and send them off for recycling. For information on local collection programs, locate your local governmental household hazardous waste agency (listed by county) for the latest information in your area:

How should I store my old batteries until I can take them to a recycling center? Store your old batteries in a safe, dry place and out of the reach of children. For an extra measure of safety, place masking tape or some other seal over the terminals (battery ends).

Are retailers required to accept used batteries from consumers for recycling? Retailers of rechargeable batteries sold to consumers must accept and collect used rechargeable batteries for reuse, recycling or proper disposal. Although retailers are not required to take back any other kind of universal waste batteries, many voluntarily take back alkaline and other universal waste batteries. Check with your local retailer.

Medication Disposal



The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors adopted a Safe Drug Disposal (SDD) ordinance in 2015. The Medication, Education and Disposal (MED) Project is a community drug take-back program and provides drop off locations at local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies to allow residents to bring expired or unwanted medicines to a convenient, centralized location for proper disposal. MED Project accepts expired medications, medicinal liquids and controlled substances. Do not flush medications down the toilet. 

Residents can safely dispose of medications in different ways:

  • Several Locations throughout Santa Clara County
  • Mail Back Packages
  • Take Back Events

For a list of drop off locations, mail-back package distribution locations, or take-back events, see below:

For more information, visit the Santa Clara County Recycling & Waste Reduction Division


dontFlush website header 611x275px updated 1 11 17 01 768x346
Don't Rush to Flush
 - find a drop off bin near you 




Additional Helpful Links


Sharps (Household Needles & Syringes) Disposal

State law prohibits a person from placing home-generated sharps in their trash or recycling containers.  Home-generated sharps are defined as disposable hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets, and other medical devices used for self-injection or blood test. 

To safely dispose of your used home-generated sharps, place them in an approved biohazard container and contact your physician, clinic administrator, or pharmacist and ask if they have a take-back program in place. 

If you purchase sharps on-line, request a pre-addressed, prepaid mail-back box for your used sharps. The Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program also accepts home-generated sharps as well as many pharmacies throughout the County. SharpsContainer

Properly disposing home-generated sharps is as easy as:

  1. Purchase a sharps container from your local pharmacy.
  2. Place home-generated sharps in the container.
    Keep out of reach of children.
  3. Bring the full, sealed container to one of the listed facilities below for free disposal.

Properly disposing of your used sharps will help protect your family,
community, the public and our environment.


Sharps disposable containers can be purchased at local pharmacies. If you have further questions or need more information, please contact the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program at 408-299-7300.

The following County Fire fire stations have drop boxes that accept approved sealed sharps containers (as pictured above):
NOTE: approved sharps container size requirement for these drop boxes are 1 or 1.5 quart size ONLY!

Receptacles that resemble mailboxes are clearly marked, and located outside the fire stations. Sharps containers deposited in the receptacle are picked up by Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Other Disposal Options

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
Place used home-generated sharps into an approved sharps container. When container is 3/4 full, permanently seal container and make an on-line appointment to dispose through HHW or call HHW Hotline Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm 408.299.7300. 

Palo Alto residents, please call your city's HHW program directly at: City of Palo Alto - 650-496-6980


  • Kaiser Permanente - Campbell Medical Offices (Kaiser Members only) - 220 E. Hacienda Avenue, Campbell 95008


Los Altos

  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation – Los Altos Center (Patients only) - 370 Distel Circle, Los Altos, CA

  • Los Altos Pharmacy – 255 2nd Street, Los Altos 650-948-1212

Los Gatos

  • Community Hospital of Los Gatos (Patients only) – 815 Pollard Road, Los Gatos

  • FMC Dialysis (Patients only) - 14651 S. Bascom Avenue, Los Gatos

  • Mission Oaks Campus of Good Samaritan – 15891 Los Gatos-Almaden Road, Los Gatos

  • Shannon Fire Station - Drop Box - 16565 Shannon Road, Los Gatos 95030
    Approved Sharps Container Size Requirement: 1 or 1.5 quart size for drop-off box

  • Summit Veterinary Hospital & Kennel - 23291 Summit Road, Los Gatos


  • West Valley Fire Station - Drop Box - 19800 Cox Avenue, Saratoga 95070
    Approved Sharps Container Size Requirement: 1 or 1.5 quart size for drop-off box

Click here for a list of sharps drop-off locations within Santa Clara County

Mail-Back Systems - By using an approved mail-back system, you can dispose of your medical waste in a safe and economical fashion. These systems allow you to safely return your medical waste in an approved container to an appropriate medical waste treatment facility. Current list of mail-back services authorized for use in California can be found here.

211Logo2Santa Clara County 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, non-emergency information and referral service that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Mandarin, and 140 other languages. 2-1-1 was launched in February 2007, and is managed by the United Way.

2-1-1 provides access to critical health and human services. Like 9-1-1 for emergency service, 2-1-1 has been set aside by the Federal Communications Commission for the public to easily access community information. Callers receive personalized information from a live phone specialist who can answer questions about a variety of nonprofit services and agencies. Phone specialists can also assist callers during a crisis in Santa Clara County as well as refer them on where to go to volunteer or donate to their favorite cause.

2-1-1: for Everyday Needs and in Times of Crisis:
Information and Services can be found in the following areas:

  • Clothing, Food, Personal Goods and Services
  • Disaster Planning, Response and Recovery
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment
  • Education and Training
  • Employment Services and Financial Assistance
  • Family, Individual and Community Services
  • Health, Fitness, and Environmental Services
  • Housing, Shelter and Transportation
  • Legal, Immigration and Criminal Services
  • Mental Health, Self Help Groups and Counseling Services
  • Senior and Disability Services

To locate information in any of the above areas, search the 2-1-1 Database.

Disaster & Emergency Updates Information:
Find out the latest about disaster and emergency information in your area and how to keep yourself prepared in the event of a disaster.

Community Bulletin:
Events and resources are available at your fingertips. For seasonal updates and information about new resources, please visit the Community Bulletin Board.

Thousands of children are injured or killed every year by safety seats that are improperly fastened by parents or caretakers. Most collisions occur within a mile of the home, so buckle up your child in a safety seat every time, no matter how short the trip may be.

It is estimated that more than 80% of all car seats are improperly installed. Below are agencies within Santa Clara County that can provide car seat installation information and teach you how to properly install a car seat.

NHTSA Car Safety graphic

SafeKids Ultimate Car Seat Guide

Car Seat Inspection Agencies within Santa Clara County

AAA  - Car Seat Inspection Locations in Northern California, Nevada & Utah
   Offers FREE car seat inspections and education at more than 90 locations.
   Find a location near you and call for your car seat inspection appointment today.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) - Hollister-Gilroy
740 Renz Lane, Gilroy, CA 95020
Car seat checks by appointment only.
     Schedule an Appointment: call 408.848.2324

California Highway Patrol (CHP) - San Jose
2020 Junction Avenue, San Jose 95131
Car seat checks by appointment only.
     Schedule an Appointment: call 408.467.5400

     CHP Child Booster Seats, Safety Seats and FAQ's

Good Samaritan Hospital – (ACCESS)
2425 Samaritan Drive, San Jose 95124
Car seat checks by appointment only. Space is limited.
Appointments are offered the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month, 9:00am – 12:00 Noon
Location: East parking lot of Good Samaritan Hospital (Between aisles P & Q).
     Schedule an Appointment 

Stanford Children's Health
725 Welch Road, Palo Alto 94304
Car seat checks by appointment only.
     Car Seat 101: A Best Practice Guide to Rear Facing Car Seats
     Car Seat Fitting for Apple Employees
     Safely Home Community Car Seat Event

Milpitas Police Department
1275 N. Milpitas Boulevard, Milpitas 95035
Car seat checks by appointment only.
     Schedule an Appointment: call 408.586.2400

Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety
700 All American Way, Sunnyvale 94086
Car seat checks by appointment only, available on Wednesdays only from 1:00-4:00pm, excluding holidays.
     Schedule an Appointment: call Car Seat Hotline @ 408.730.7179 
     NOTE: You must live in Sunnyvale to schedule a car seat inspection at this location.

Beep! Beep! Car Seat at Tiny Tots of Campbell
138 Railway Avenue, Campbell 95008
Car seat checks by appointment only, offered twice a month     
     Schedule an Appointment

How to prepare for your appointment:

  • Please allow up to 6-8 weeks for a time slot.
  • Read the car seat manual and attempt to install the car seat before your appointment.
  • Bring both the car seat instruction manual and your automobile owner’s manual to the appointment.

What to expect during your appointment:

  • Instruction and demonstration on how to correctly install your car seat.
  • Ensure you are using the correct seat based on child’s age, weight and height.
  • Check to see if the car seat has been recalled.
  • Obtain in and around car safety information to protect your child(ren).

Additional Helpful Links


9-1-1 is recognized as the nationwide emergency telephone number.
Santa Clara County has an Enhanced 9-1-1 or E9-1-1 system that automatically displays the telephone number, address and name for which the phone is listed if the call is made from a wireline or "landline" telephone. If the caller is unable to remain on the line, unable to speak or if the call is disconnected, the dispatcher (call taker) can still obtain enough information to send help. Some 9-1-1 systems can reconnect a caller and transfer callers to other agencies or telephone numbers with a single button.


PSA Video: What Happens When You Call 9-1-1 in Santa Clara County 


How to Report Emergencies

  • Dial 9-1-1.
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Remain calm. 
  • State your name, location of the emergency and telephone number.
  • Provide as much information as possible.
  • Stay on the telephone, answer all questions asked, and follow any instructions that the 9-1-1 dispatcher may give.

WHERE? Where are you located?  Provide address or location information.
WHAT? What happened?
WHO? Who is involved?  Is anyone hurt?
WHEN? When did it happen? Is the emergency going on right now?
WHY? Remain on the phone, dispatcher will ask follow-up questions.

9-1-1 Safety Tips

Stay on the line. 
Your call will be answered as soon as possible.

Do have any information available.
Write it down if necessary.

Do let the dispatcher ask the questions.
The dispatcher will determine how to best help you.

Do stay on the line as long as needed.
The dispatcher may need to update information.

Telephone Tips for Emergencies

Bill Wilson Center (BWC) Parenting Workshops

BWC Parenting Workshop focuses on building and strengthening the skills and resources parents need to care for, guide and encourage their children. With an emphasis on communication skills and mutual respect, our curriculum follows the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (S.T.E.P.) program.

This program helps parents build meaningful connections with their children so they can better understand the cause of their child's misbehavior.

For more information, dates or to register, please contact Bill Wilson Center at (408) 243-0222 and ask for an Intake Counselor.

BWC Services Flyer

Parent Project®

The District Attorney's Office in collaboration with law enforcement agencies countywide, school districts countywide, the City of San Jose, and counseling agencies countywide present:
Because the tougher it gets to be a kid...the tougher it gets to be a parent!

Created by a psychologist, an educator, a police officer and attending parents, the Parent Project® is a program with proven results for parents dealing with challenging teens.

For every question you ask, we promise concrete answers:

  • Sidestep arguments and conflicts at home
  • Improve school attendance and performance
  • Prevent, recognize or intervene in alcohol/drug use and/or gang activity
  • Address threats of violence or running away

For more information, dates or to register, please contact Parent Project Coordinator at (408) 808-3794 or by email.

Parent Project Website