Household Hazardous Waste Accepted Items for Disposal

Hazardous Waste Recyclable Items

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Antifreeze ~ Engine Coolant

Residents may drop-off used or unwanted antifreeze / engine coolant at the HHW Collection Facility.

Antifreeze or engine coolant contains ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that if accidentally ingested can have serious and harmful effects.  Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include severe diarrhea and vomiting.  Coolant containing ethylene glycol should not be disposed of in a way that will result in it being ingested by animals, because of its toxicity. Many animals like its sweet taste. As little as a teaspoonful can be fatal to a cat, and four teaspoonfuls can be dangerous to a dog. 

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Batteries

Batteries can contain lead, mercury, cadmium, lithium, nickel, zinc chloride and other harmful heavy metals
and materials.  Many of these metals are recovered in the recycling process.

Disposing of any type of battery in the garbage is illegal and batteries are banned from the trash.  This includes all batteries: AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt, and all others, both rechargeable and single use.

Lead-acid batteries,  such as car, motorcycle and marine batteries are also banned.

FREE Drop-off at West Contra Costa Household Hazardous Waste Facility

Residents may, for free, safely and properly dispose of any and all types of batteries at the West County HHW Collection Facility.

FREE Battery Drop-off at retail stores, government locations and community centers

In addition to taking unwanted batteries to the HHW collection facility, residents may drop off household batteries for recycling at the many battery drop-off locations throughout the West Contra Costa County region. See list of locations for San Pablo, El Cerrito, Hercules, El Sobrante, Richmond, and Pinole below.

FREE rechargeable battery recycling program with thousands of drop-off locations Call2Recycle has a free program for rechargeable batteries.

Rechargeable Battery Drop-off Locator Web Site

Household batteries are banned from being disposed of in the trash. In California all discarded batteries are considered hazardous waste. This includes AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt, and all other rechargeable and single-use batteries. Recycle your household batteries at one of the following locations in West Contra Costa County.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: A new Department of Transportation (DOT) law regarding battery disposal.

Many types of batteries must be taped or placed in individual plastic bags prior to disposal to prevent a possible spark. This will reduce the risk of fire during storage and transportation.

Please tape over the positive terminal of the following batteries, or place them in individual plastic bags:

  • Alkaline batteries that are 9-volts or greater
  • Lithium batteres: found in cameras, computers, watches (For small, circular batteries, tape around the entire battery)
  • NiCad, Zinc Chloride and rechargeable batteries (found in cellphones, power tools, toys)

Free Household Battery Collection Locations in West Contra Costa County

 

*Drop off in Photo Department

El Cerrito

El Cerrito Recycling Center, 7501 Schmidt Ln, 215-4351

Staples, 11545 San Pablo Ave, 510-231-0388
*Walgreens, 11565 San Pablo Ave, 510-234-9200
 

El Sobrante

Oliver’s Hardware, 4071 San Pablo Dam Rd, 223-4450

*Walgreens, 3630 San Pablo Dam Rd, 758-1294
 

Hercules

Hercules Library, 109 Civic Dr, 245-2420
Radio Shack, 3700 San Pablo Ave, 964-1591(Store Closed - Visit Radio Shack in Pinole)
 

Pinole

Pinole City Hall, 2131 Pear St, 724-9010

Pinole Senior Center, 2500 Charles Ave, 724-9802
Pinole Community Center, 635 Tennent Ave, 724-9062
Radio Shack, 1592 Fitzgerald Dr, 222-7424

Richmond

Ace Hardware, 4920 McBryde Ave, 233-1068

Radio Shack, 4250-D MacDonald Ave, 236-2866
Richmond City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza, 620-6512

West County Resource Recovery, 101 Pittsburg Ave, 412-4500
Whale Point Marine & Hardware Co., 205 Cutting Blvd, 233-1988
City of Richmond Fire Stations (#61-68):
Station #61: 1401 Marina Way S.
Station #62: 140 W. Richmond Ave.
Station #63: 5201 Valley View Road
Station #64: 4801 Bayview Ave.
Station #66: 4100 Clinton Ave.
Station #67: 1131 Cutting Blvd.
Station #68: 2904 Hilltop Drive

San Pablo

Radio Shack, 104 San Pablo Town Center, 232-9221
San Pablo City Hall, 13831 San Pablo Ave, 215-3055
San Pablo Senior Center, 1943 Church Ln, 215-3096
*Walgreens, 13751 San Pablo Ave, 233-9220
*Walgreens, 15650 San Pablo Ave, 243-0300

Brought to you by...

This program is sponsored by the West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority and funded by a grant from CalRecycle.

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Controlled Substances

No Controlled Substances will be accepted at the HHW collection facility.

It is illegal for collection facilities to accept certain prescription medications known as "controlled substances". These are drugs that have a potential for addiction and/or abuse such as narcotics and tranquilizers.  Common controlled substances include codeine, phenobarbitol, and anabolic steroids.

Information on controlled substances disposal is provided by the DEA Call Center

800-882-9539

For a complete list of controlled substances visit the Federal DEA list of controlled substances.

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Electronic Devices

Most electronic devices contain several materials (lead, mercury, copper, cadmium) that are harmful to humans and the environment. Many of these materials are common and seem safe, but if ingested, absorbed into your skin, or leached into drinking water serious and harmful health effects will result.

Many electronic devices are banned from the trash.

Banned Electronic Devices:

  • Computer Monitors
  • Televisions
  • Printers
  • VCRs & Stereos
  • CD & DVD Players
  • Cellular Telephones
  • Microwave Ovens

(FREE Drop-off at HHW facility)

Residents may, for free, safely and properly dispose of any and all types of banned electronic devices at the West County HHW Collection Facility.

(FREE Drop-off at E-Waste Collection Events)

In addition to dropping-off electronic waste at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility there are a number of ongoing Electronic Collection Events held throughout Contra Costa County.

Click on the following links for an upcoming collection event:

Working Electronics

If you have electronic devices in working condition and would like to donate them for reuse contact:

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Fats, Oil & Grease (FOG)

Thinking of frying a turkey?

- Do you know what to do with leftover used cooking oil and grease?

Never wash cooking fats, oil or grease (FOG) down the drain, as they can cause the sewer line to back up into your home. If the drain clogs and causes a sewer line blockage it may cause the back up to flow onto the street and into the storm drains which flow to the Bay.  This material is harmful to the Bay and the creatures that live there.

Recycle it Instead!

The West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority provides a free residential FOG drop-off program.  Most cooking fats will be turned into bio diesel.  Please do NOT mix with automotive waste (no auto oils or lubricants) – these cannot be separated.  No restaurants will be serviced.  Maximum fifteen (15) gallons per person (three 5-gallon containers please).

Used Oil for Bio-Diesel

West Contra Costa County residents may take their FOG to the West County HHW Collection Facility.

There are numerous locations in West County that accept used cooking oil for use as bio-diesel.  Visit BayWise.org to see an online search engine with a directory of used cooking oil drop-off locations.

 

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Fluorescents Lamps & Tubes

(FREE Drop-off at HHW facility)

Residents may, for free, safely and properly dispose of any and all types of lamps and lights at the West County HHW Collection Facility, including fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), metal halide lamps, and sodium vapor lamps.

Fluorescent lamps and tubes contain mercury* – a harmful heavy metal.

These lamps and tubes are banned from the trash.

*Mercury is extremely toxic and should generally be handled with care; in cases of spills involving mercury (such as from a broken fluorescent lamp or tube) specific cleaning procedures are used to avoid toxic exposure.  Use extreme caution when cleaning up a broken lamp.  It can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes.  Mercury can cause both chronic and acute poisoning.

(FREE CFL Drop-off at Home Depot)

Home Depot also collects CFLs – At each store, customers can simply bring in any expired, unbroken CFL bulbs.  CFLs in plastic bags are to be deposited into a collection receptacle located on the front end of the store near the entrance, by the Returns desk or near the exit doors inside the store.

 

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Household Cleaners & Landscape Chemicals

(FREE Drop-off at HHW facility)

Residents may drop-off cleaners, chemicals and poisons at the West County HHW Collection Facility. There are many products found in the home, garage, shed and storage closets that are classified as HHW.

Below is a partial list of items commonly found around the home.

These items are banned from the trash:  

  • Bleach
  • Pesticides
  • Ammonia
  • Lamp Oil
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Rat Poison
  • Drain Cleaner/Opener
  • Ant & Roach Poison
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Medical Waste ~ Pharmaceuticals & Sharps

(FREE Drop-off at HHW facility)

West Contra Costa residents may drop-off unwanted or old medicine, pharmaceuticals and “sharps” (needles, syringes and lancets) for free at the West County HHW Collection Facility.

Proper Medicine/Pharmaceuticals / Sharps Disposal Made Easy

1.  Keep medicine/pharmaceuticals in original container;

2.  Leave the drug name intact.  Black out personal information, including names, prescription numbers and doctor’s name;

3.  Drop-off unwanted medicine/pharmaceuticals at the HHW Collection Facility at 101 Pittsburg Ave., Richmond.

Note: No controlled substances will be accepted.

Pharmaceuticals Now Present in the Environment

**News Release May 2012 - Look Below for Additional Drop Off Locations for Pharmaceuticals**

Pharmaceuticals are now being detected in water and soil by scientists worldwide.  A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study found pharmaceutical and personal care product contaminants in 80 percent of 139 streams sampled in 30 states.

Pharmaceuticals enter wastewater treatment plants through either excretion or flushing of unused medications. These pharmaceuticals may not be completely degraded or removed at the wastewater treatment plant. Regardless of the level of treatment, most conventional wastewater treatment cannot effectively eliminate pharmaceutical compounds.

Concern about Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

Researchers suspect that hormones and pharmaceutical compounds in the water may be responsible for effects on wildlife including feminization of male fish, sluggish activity or reduced appetite.  Short and long term human health effects are currently unknown.

In addition, pharmaceutical use in the general population is growing, so more unwanted drugs are generated and being improperly disposed and thus creating increased environmental concerns.

**Announcing Four New Locations to drop off Pharmaceuticals - May 2012**

San Pablo and Pinole Police Departments and the West County Wastewater District office are new drop-off locations for unwanted and expired home-generated pharmaceuticals.  These new convenient locations allow West Contra Costa County residents to properly dispose of old pharmaceuticals and keep them out of the water supply and garbage.  Controlled substances are not allowed in the collection bins per State and Federal Laws.

New Locations:

San Pablo Police Station: 13880 San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo
Pinole Police Station: 880 Tennent Avenue, Pinole
Richmond Police Station: 1701 Regatta Blvd, Richmond

West County Wastewater District Office: 2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond

 

Other locations  accepting unwanted pharmaceuticals:
West County Permanent HHW Collection Facility:  101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond
El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center:  7501 Schmidt Lane, El Cerrito
 

 

For more information on visit the CalRecycle Pharmaceutical Drug Waste page or the EPA’s Pharmaceuticals page.

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Mercury Containing Items

 

There are devices and products that we often use that contain mercury*. 
Mercury is harmful to humans and the environment.  Many of these materials are common and seem safe, but if ingested, absorbed into your skin, or inhaled serious and harmful health effects will result.  

All mercury containing devices and items are banned from the trash.

  • Electrical switches and relays
    – These typically contain about 3.5 grams of mercury each. Mercury switches can be
    found in some chest freezers, pre-1972 washing machines, sump pumps, electric space
    heaters, clothes irons, silent light switches, automobile hood and trunk lights, and ABS brakes.
  • Thermostats that contain mercury
    – There is mercury inside the sealed glass "tilt switch" of the old style thermostats (not the newer electronic kind).
  • Pilot light sensors
    – Mercury-containing switches are found in some gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces, and space heaters.
  • Mercury gauges
    – Some gauges, such as barometers, manometers, blood pressure, and vacuum gauges contain mercury.
  • Mercury thermometers
    – Mercury thermometers typically contain about a half gram of mercury. Many health clinics, pharmacies and doctor's offices have thermometer exchange programs that will give you a new mercury-free fever thermometer in exchange for your old one.
  • Mercury-added novelties
    – Examples include greeting cards that play music when opened; athletic shoes (made before 1997) with flashing lights in soles; and mercury maze games.

*Mercury is extremely toxic and should generally be handled with care; in cases of spills involving mercury (such as from a broken fluorescent lamp or tube) specific cleaning procedures are used to avoid toxic exposure.  Use extreme caution when cleaning up a broken lamp.  It can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes.  Mercury can cause both chronic and acute poisoning.

(FREE Drop-off at HHW facility)

Residents may, for free, safely and properly dispose of any and all types of mercury containing items at the West County HHW Collection Facility.

Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program

Bring your old mercury containing thermometer to the HHW Collection Facility and exchange it for a Free new digital thermometer – Compliments of the West County Wastewater District.

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Needles, Syringes & Lancets = “Sharps”

(FREE for residents that generate needles, syringes and lancets – Sharps Drop-off program* at HHW facility)

*All sharps must to be in an approved bio-hazard container.

Why You Should Be Careful with Sharps

Improper disposal of used or unwanted “sharps” (needles, syringes, lancets and other sharps items) can cause a serious injury and pose health risks to the public and waste workers. Waste workers are exposed to potential needle stick injuries and potential infection when inappropriate containers break open inside garbage trucks or sharps become exposed when sent to recycling facilities. Housekeepers and janitors may also be injured when loose sharps poke through trash bags. Used needles can also cause painful infections and transmit serious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis.

The Law

Beginning on September 1, 2008, State law made it illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers, and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved bio-hazard sharps container.

The California Health and Safety Code defines "home-generated sharps waste" as hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household.

 

Do the Right Thing ~ It’s as Easy as Saying “1-2-3”

1. Call 1-888-412-9277 and request a FREE sharps collection container
– it will be mailed to you at no cost;

2. Place your used or unwanted “sharps” in the collection container then drop-off the full
container at the HHW Collection Facility at 101 Pittsburg Ave., Richmond;

3. Pick-up a new replacement sharps collection container while at the HHW Collection Facility.

Important Update: Sharps Biohazard Container Information for West County Residents Effective September 1, 2010

Due to increased demand for sharps biohazard containers, we (West County Resource Recovery and Recyclemore) implemented a new policy for obtaining the biohazard container. Effective September 1, 2010, only one will be mailed to new residents/customers requesting a biohazard container. A database will keep track of mailed containers and addresses. If a resident drops off one or more used biohazard containers at the HHW Facility, they will be allowed only one new container. When the mobile collection truck picks up a used biohazard container at a resident's home, only one new container will be given out.

Residents can visit the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) website to find out if the pharmaceutical manufacturer has a free sharps container available. Senate Bill 486, passed in October 2009, required that by July 1, 2010:

“…all pharmaceutical manufacturers that sell or distribute a medication in California that is usually intended to be self-injected at home through the use of a hypodermic needle, pen needle, intravenous needle or any similar device, to 1) submit a plan describing their actions to support or provide for the safe collection and proper disposal of the waste devices, and 2) educate consumers about safe sharps management and collection opportunities.”

The CalRecycle website that lists the manufacturers who have turned in a plan is www.calrecycle.ca.gov/homehazwaste/sharps/reporting/default.htm

If residents need more containers they can ask the pharmacy where they get their medications. For further information about obtaining biohazard containers you may contact:  

1)     Barnett Medical Services: www.barnettmedservices.com

2)     Sharps Compliance Inc.: www.sharpsinc.com

3)     Stericycle: www.buysharpsonline.com

4)     www.xmeddisposal.com

5)     Waste Management: www.thinkgreenfromhome.com

6)     www.earth911.com also has additional information

Most of these companies charge a fee for the containers and are a mail-back system.

We do not endorse any of these companies and do not intend this to be a complete list.

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

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Paints & Solvents

(FREE Drop-off at HHW facility)

Residents may drop-off paints & solvents at the West County HHW Collection Facility.

The following are banned from the trash:

  • Latex paint
    (empty and dry metal paint cans can be placed into your recycling bin);
  • Oil-based paint
  • Nonempty aerosol paint or solvent cans
    (all nonempty aerosol cans are banned from the trash)
    (if completely empty, aerosol cans can be placed in your recycling bin);
  • Solvents
    (includes materials such as paint thinners, finger nail polish remover, etc.)

 

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Universal Waste

State Law makes it illegal to place in the trash (“throw away”) Universal Waste
items such as batteries, fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs),
cellular telephones, electronic devices, TVs and monitors, computers and laptops.

Here is a list of links to information on free disposal options for these items.

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Used Motor Oil & Filters

Take Pride in Your Ride! ~ Recycle Used Motor Oil & Filters

West Contra Costa County residents have several options for recycling used motor oil & drained filters.

Used oil when improperly disposed is harmful to you, your children, wildlife and the natural environment.

It is illegal and against the law to pour used oil down any drain or to throw used oil and filters in the trash.

Have you heard the news? "Frequent oil changes do not necessarily mean better performance or longer engine life. By following the manufacturer's recommendations, you will not only do right by your ride, but you'll also benefit the environment by using fewer resources."  Visit CheckYourNumber.org to see oil change recommendations for your particular vehicle. For more information on the State of California used oil recycling programs visit CalRecycle.

Motorcycle Owners Check out RidersRecycle.com for helpful tips and resources on used oil recycling and more!

FREE Drop-off at HHW facility

Residents of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo and El Sobrante may drop-off used oil and filters at the HHW Collection Facility.

FREE Curbside Collection Program Also Available to Richmond Sanitary Service Customers (Hercules, Pinole, El Sobrante, Richmond, and San Pablo only)

Easy and Safe Used Motor Oil & Filter Recycling

Residents of Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Hercules and Pinole:

  1. Call Richmond Sanitary Service (RSS) 510-262-7100 to request a Free oil change kit.
  2. Drain used oil from the engine and the oil filter into the container.  Place filters in the plastic bag. 
  3. Call RSS to schedule a pick-up.
  4. Set out a full oil container & drained filter in plastic bag in view of or near the curb on your scheduled oil collection day. Your kit will be replaced with an empty oil collection kit.

Residents of El Cerrito:

  1. Call El Cerrito Recycling Center 510-215-4350 for a free oil recycling kit.
  2. Drain your oil into a drain pan. Transfer used oil from pan into a reusable container with a tight-fitting lid.  Put your drained filter into a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Call 510-215-4350 to schedule an appointment to have your oil & filter picked up curbside.

   Set out a maximum of 2 containers & 2 filters in view of or near the curb on your scheduled collection day.

FREE Used oil & filter drop-off at Retail Locations

Residents may drop-off these items off for recycling at several Used Oil & Filters Recycling Centers.  In addition to those locations found in the previous site locator, you may drop of used oil at many locations in West County.

*locations that also accept oil filters

Richmond:

AutoZone*
1350 Macdonald Blvd
Richmond, CA 94801
(510) 233-8608

O'Reilly Auto Parts
243 23rd St
Richmond, CA 94801
(510) 234-6364

O'Reilly Auto Parts
12925 San Pablo Ave
Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 235-7373

AutoZone*
13100 San Pablo Ave
Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 236-6650

Firestone Store*
1001 Hilltop Mall
Richmond, CA 94806
(510) 222-4422

 Oil Changer
3144 Shane Dr
Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 758-7517

 Marina Bay Yacht Harbor*
1340 Marina Way South
Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 236-1013

 West Contra Costa HHW Facility*
101 Pittsburg Avenue
Richmond, CA 94801
(510) 412-4500

 

San Pablo:

Auto Zone*
14270 San Pablo Avenue
San Pablo, CA 94806
(510) 236-3100

Complete Auto Repair Service (CARS)*
13052 San Pablo Avenue
San Pablo, CA 94806
(510) 232-2277
 
O'Reilly Auto Parts 
14420 San Pablo Ave
San Pablo, CA 94806
(510) 232 6100

Speed Lube
14639 San Pablo Ave
San Pablo, CA 94806
(510) 236-9617

 El Cerrito:

O'Reilly Auto Parts
10680 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 524-3940

O'Reilly Auto Parts
9989 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, Ca 94530
(510) 524-0267

Speed Oil Change Center*
10175 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 524-4203

Honda of El Cerrito*
11755 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94547
(510) 412 - 6107

 Marty's Motors*
10929 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 235-6000

 Midas Auto Center*
10903 San Pablo
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 237-8640

 Quality Tune Up #57*
10069 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 527-0247

 El Sobrante:

El Sobrante Town Garage*
4012 San Pablo Dam Rd
El Sobrante CA 94803
(510) 222-1500

 Pinole:

O'Reily Auto Parts*
1442 Fitzgerald Dr
Pinole, CA 94564
(510) 758-5155

O'Reilly Auto Parts
1251 Tara Hills Dr
Pinole, CA 94564
(510) 741-1161

AutoZone*
1475 Fitzgerald Dr
Pinole, CA 94564
(510) 758-4200

 Rodeo:

 Pinole-Rodeo Auto Wreckers
700 Parker Avenue
Rodeo, CA
(510) 758-2095