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Hazardous Waste

Many common household products are legally defined as hazardous. These materials can pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment when improperly used or disposed. The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program provides the only proper way to dispose of hazardous products when they are no longer wanted.

HHW Facilities are open FREE OF CHARGE to residents of the unincorporated county of Santa Cruz and the cities of Scotts Valley, Capitola and Santa Cruz. This program is not available to City of Watsonville residents. If you are a resident of Watsonville call (831) 768-3133 for information regarding hazardous waste disposal.

The Santa Cruz County Household Hazardous Waste Program is sponsored by the Coun-ty of Santa Cruz and the cities of Scotts Valley, Capitola and Santa Cruz.

IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY: Caused by the improper use of household chemicals, call 911.

CAUTION: Household hazardous waste must be transported with extreme care in labeled, sturdy, leak-proof containers.

TRANSPORTATION LIMITS: State law limits the amount you can transport to 15 gal-lons liquid or 125 pounds solid hazardous material per vehicle trip.

What to Bring What Not to Bring
Fluorescent tubes & bulbs
Paint & stains
Solvents, degreasers & cleaners
Flammable liquids
Pesticides & herbicides
Art & hobby supplies
Outdated medicines
Hypodermic needles and other medical sharps transported in a red sharps container
Photographic chemicals
Pool, hot tub & spa chemicals
Thermometers and other mercury-containing devices
Road and boat flares
NO containers over 5 gallons
NO compressed gas cylinders over 1 lb.
NO explosives or ammunition
NO infectious wastes
NO radioactive materials
NO reactive wastes
NO waste oil, oil filters, batteries, antifreeze (take to disposal site recycling center)

For information on proper disposal of hazardous items not accepted at the HHW Facilities, please contact County of Santa Cruz Environmental Health Services at 454-2022.

The Second Chance Store

The Santa Cruz County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program sorts out the safe, quality items that can be reused. These items are available to the general public for FREE. Items commonly available include: stains, aerosols, adhesives, caulking, gar-den products, household cleaners, automotive products and wood preservatives.

Universal Waste

Hazardous waste regulations designate a category of hazardous wastes called "universal waste" (U-waste). This category includes commonly used products that contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium. U-wastes are barred from disposal in the trash. For more information on universal waste, please consult the information provided by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the County of Santa Cruz Disposal Site Recycling Guide. Below are some examples of U-wastes and how to handle them properly:

Batteries - drop off at County disposal site recycling centers

TVs & monitors - take to disposal site scalehouse (TVs or monitors with a broken screen must be bagged.)

Electronic products - drop off at County disposal site recycling centers

Fluorescent lamps - free drop off at HHW Facilities or free take-back at retail stores

Mercury-containing thermometers - free drop off at HHW Facilities
Business Hazardous Waste

The HHW Facilities are designed for HOUSEHOLD hazardous waste. Businesses with small quantities of hazardous waste may qualify as Small Quantity Generators. Businesses generating hazardous waste in excess of the regulatory limits for Small Quantity Generators may not use HHW Facilities. Large generators should visit the County Environmental Health Services Hazardous Waste website or call 454-2022 for assistance.

Small Quantity Generators

State and Federal hazardous waste laws limit the use of household hazardous waste collection programs to households and those businesses that generate less than 100 kilograms (about 27 gallons or 220 lbs.) of hazardous waste per month and less than 1 kg of extremely hazardous waste per month (40 CFR 261.5 & CA Health & Safety Code 25218-25218.12). Businesses that qualify as Small Quantity Generators may use the County HHW Facilities at Buena Vista and Ben Lomond at a small cost. SQG waste is not accepted at the City of Santa Cruz site on Dimeo Lane. See the HHW Rates for charges that apply.

Buena Vista Location

1231 Buena Vista Drive
Watsonville, CA

(831) 454-2430 or
(831) 454-5154

Santa Cruz County Landfill
Open Monday - Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

BV Household
Hazardous Waste
Open every Wednesday,
Friday and Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

Ben Lomond Location 

(1 Mile North of Glen Arbor Rd)
9835 Newell Creek Road
Ben Lomond, CA

(831) 454-2430 or
(831) 336-3951

Santa Cruz County
Transfer Station
Open Monday - Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

BL HHW Facility
Open every Thursday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm

Other Household Hazardous Waste 

City of Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility
Open every Saturday
7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

(3 miles north of Santa Cruz city limits off Hwy 1)
605 Dimeo Lane
Santa Cruz, CA

(831) 420-6270

Santa Cruz County
Solid Waste & Recycling
Main Office

701 Ocean Street, Room 410
Santa Cruz, California 95060
(831) 454-2160

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