Too Toxic To Trash
Household hazardous waste (HHW) is considered to be any leftover or unused portions of chemical products you use in your kitchen, bathroom, garage, automobile, or yard. Household hazardous waste can pass through treatment processes or storm drains and get discharged into creeks, the Bay, or the Pacific Ocean. For safety and environmental reasons it is illegal to dispose of HHW in the garbage, sewers or storm drains.
Problems with Improper Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste
- Contaminate our waterways and drinking water
- Physical injury to sanitation workers
- Contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets
- Present hazards to children and pets if left around the house
- Harm wildlife and the environment
Properly Dispose of HHW
Click below for drop-off locations in San Mateo County
||Got Cooking Oil? Don't throw it in the trash! Recycle it!
San Mateo County Environmental Health Department sponsors a FREE countywide program to collect, recycle and properly dispose of household hazardous waste. HHW Collections are held virtually every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (except Holiday weekends) at the permanent facility in San Mateo. Additional collections are held in several other locations throughout the county. Make an appointment online or call Environmental Health at 650-363-4718 and select option 3.
NOTE: For residents in Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, San Carlos, San Mateo, and Unincorporated San Mateo* you may contact At Your Door Special Collection (formerly known as Curbside Inc.), at 800-HHW-PKUP (800-449-7587) for a HHW Door-to-Door Pickup Option.
*Unincorporated San Mateo County neighborhoods included in the program: Burlingame Hills, San Mateo Highlands and Baywood Park (Crystal Springs area), Harbor Industrial, Devonshire Canyon, Palomar Park, Oak Knoll, Kensington Square, Emerald Lake Hills, Sequoia Tract and Trailer Ranchero and North Fair Oaks (area of CSA-8)
- Oil-based paints, varnishes and stains
- Paint thinner
- Household cleaners
- Aerosol spray cans
- Furniture and metal polishes
- Pesticides and garden chemicals
- Pool and spa chemicals
- Photographic chemicals
- Art and hobby supplies
- Automotive Products**
- Batteries (home & car)**
- Hobby supplies
- Propane tanks from barbecues
- Mercury Containing Items (fluorescent light bulbs*, old thermometers, etc.)
Not Accepted Materials
- Biological materials
- Business-generated materials
- Radioactive materials
- Compressed gas cylinders
**No need for an appointment if you take the following to local Drop-Offs:
Household Products Database
Less Toxic Household Recipes
EnviroBlog Environmental Connections to Public Health
The Story of Stuff Video (20 min)
California Product Stewardship Council Product Stewardship involves consumers, government agencies and product manufacturers sharing the responsibility of reducing the impact of product waste on our environment. It is analysis and understanding of a product’s lifecycle and its long-term effect on our world. Quite simply, recycling is only part of the solution.