Disposal of Hazardous Waste
Household Hazardous Waste
Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) 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.
- Make an Appointment or call (408) 299-7300
Attention Palo Alto Residents:
Please do not make an appointment with the link above. Contact your city’s Household Hazardous Waste program for more information:
- Palo Alto HHW (650) 496-5910
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.
Earth 911 offers comprehensive, user-friendly recycling and product disposal information. 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.
Recycling Programs in Other Counties
Locate your local governmental household hazardous waste program (listed by county) for the latest information in your area:
Battery Safety & Disposal
In 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 of Batteries
Santa Clara County has free household drop-off locations where residents can properly dispose of their used batteries during business hours. Residents are reminded to tape the positive (+) terminal on the batteries before dropping them off (D.O.T Regulation).
- Call(2)Recycle Drop-Off Locator — Find where to drop off and recycle single use batteries, cell phone batteries, and rechargeable batteries.
- CalRecycle Electronic Waste Management — Recycle your batteries and electronics.
- Local Governmental Household Hazardous Waste Agencies — Locate your local governmental household hazardous waste agency (listed by county) for the latest information in your area.
- The Big Green Box — The Big Green Box™ is a national program that offers companies, consumers, municipalities, and other generators, a low cost and flexible way to recycle batteries and portable electronic devices.
- Kinsbursky Brothers Inc — A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permitted battery-recycling facility in California.
Businesses are requested to call PSC Environmental at (916) 351-0980 to inquire about disposal and obtain business drop-off locations.
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:
- Medication, Education and Disposal (MED) Project 1.844.MED.PROJ or 1.844.633.7765
- Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program 408.299.7300
- Mail-Back Services for unwanted medicine are available to homebound residents upon request.
Please call the hotline at 1.844.MED.PROJ or visit the mail-back page of https://med-project.org/locations/santa-clara/mail-back-services/ to request a pre-paid envelope to return unwanted or expired medicine.
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.
Properly disposing of your used sharps will help protect your family,
community, the public and our environment.
ALL SHARPS MUST BE DISPOSED OF IN APPROVED SHARPS CONTAINERS.
PLEASE DO NOT THROW SHARPS IN THE TRASH.
1. Do not place sharps or sharp containers in the garbage. Keep out of reach of children.
2. Place home-generated sharps in an approved container and dispose of sealed container by the following methods:
• Take to a Sharps Drop-Off Location
• Use a Mail-Back Service: https://med-project.org/locations/santa-clara/mail-back-services/
For more information on the proper disposal of sharps or medication, visit MED-Project