FAQ's

What are hazardous wastes?

Hazardous wastes are any solid, liquid, or contained gaseous materials which are no longer used and, if not handled or disposed of properly, could damage or pollute the land, air, or water. They can also cause injury or death to exposed individuals. A waste is hazardous if it exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • IGNITABILITY — Ignitable vapors can create fires under certain conditions. Examples include liquids, such as solvents that readily catch fire, and friction sensitive substances.

  • CORROSIVITY — Corrosive wastes include those that are acidic and those that are capable or corroding metal, such as tanks, containers, drums, and barrels.

  • REACTIVITY — Reactive wastes are unstable under normal conditions. They can create explosions and/or toxic fumes, gases, and vapors when mixed with water.

  • TOXICITY — Toxic wastes are harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed. When toxic wastes are disposed of on land, contaminated liquid may drain from the waste and pollute ground water.

There are several types of hazardous wastes typically found on farms and ranches. A few examples are:

  • ACUTELY HAZARDOUS WASTES — waste materials which are so dangerous in small amounts that they are regulated the same way as large amounts of other hazardous wastes.

  • USED OIL OR FUELS — can be considered hazardous if not properly handled.

  • UNUSABLE PESTICIDES, RINSATES & RESIDUES — materials classified as hazardous.

  • SPENT SOLVENTS — such as those used in parts washers, etc.

  • PAINTING SUPPLY WASTES — including spent thinners, flammable waste paints, and hardened paint containing lead, chromium, or barium.

  • SPENT WOOD PRESERVATIVES — such as residues or spilled materials containing pentachlorophenol, chromated copper arsenate(CCA), or creosote.

  • BATTERIES — spent lead-acid batteries not intended for recycling.

What else can I do to avoid hazardous waste problems?

There are some simple do's and don'ts of hazardous waste handling:

  • DO minimize the amount of hazardous waste you generate. In addition to the suggestions for minimizing unusable pesticides given above, many "green" products are available which work as well as hazardous products, but result in a waste which is non-hazardous.

  • DO take advantage of special collection programs that may be available for outdated chemicals.

  • DO clean up any hazardous waste spills immediately, but only if you are not putting yourself in physical danger. If a spill is too big or too dangerous, contact the Central Pollution Control Board

  • DON'T dispose of oil, fuels, solvents, pesticides, etc. on the ground or in a stream or gulch.

  • DON'T mix hazardous waste with used oil or other substances. This makes the entire mixture a hazardous waste, increasing the volume of hazardous waste and the difficulty and cost of proper disposal.

  • DON'T burn hazardous waste. This may contaminate the ground or air, and it may create a danger for those breathing the air.

What are hazardous wastes?

Hazardous wastes are any solid, liquid, or contained gaseous materials which are no longer used and, if not handled or disposed of properly, could damage or pollute the land, air, or water. They can also cause injury or death to exposed individuals. A waste is hazardous if it exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

Q: What can Household Hazardous Waste do?

A. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is any unwanted household product labeled as flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive. The most common products include aerosols, anti-freeze, asbestos, fertilizers, motor oil, paint supplies, photo chemicals, poisons, and solvents.

Improper disposal of these products is not only illegal, but can contaminate drinking water, pollute the bay, and seriously injure garbage and recycling collection and landfill employees.

Q: Where can I take my Household Hazardous Waste?

A. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is any unwanted household product labeled as flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive. The most common products include aerosols, anti-freeze, asbestos, fertilizers, motor oil, paint supplies, photo chemicals, poisons, and solvents.

Improper disposal of these products is not only illegal, but can contaminate drinking water, pollute the bay, and seriously injure garbage and recycling collection and landfill employees. Santa Clara County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program offers a free disposal program to all residents to ensure safe disposal. To find out more information on HHW and future collection events visit cpcb.nic.in/Common_HW_incinerators.php

Paint Can Tip: If you have only a small amount of paint in a paint can, allow the paint to dry. Then remove the lid and you can place the can in your recycling bin.

Hazardous waste should NEVER:

  • be placed out for recycling/garbage collection

  • be dumped in sewers, drains or open bodies of water

  • be buried in the ground

  • be burned

  • be disposed of in landfills

Examples of household hazardous waste products:

  • aerosol cans

  • antifreeze (radiator fluid)

  • automotive batteries

  • bleach

  • barbeque and camping fuel

  • compressed gas cylinders / propane tanks

  • chemical lawn fertilizers

  • compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)

  • gasoline

  • household cleaners and disinfectants (toilet, oven or drain)

  • herbicides (weed killers)

  • insect repellent

  • pesticides / insecticides (rodent and insect killers)

  • paint brush cleaners / solvents

  • latex and oil-based paints (oil-based/alkyd)

  • disposal of regular garbage items that need special handling

  • swimming pool chemicals

  • varnish remover

  • used oil products











Be a label reader

These danger symbols identify many hazardous waste products.