Household Hazardous Waste

California hazardous waste rules ban California residents from throwing household hazardous waste (HHW) in their trash cans. Common household hazardous materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Aerosols
  • Cell Phones
  • Flammable Fluids
  • Household Cleaners
  • Oil Based Paint & Stains
  • Propane & Helium Tanks
  • Used Motor Oil
  • Automotive Fluids
  • Computers
  • Fluorescent Lights
  • Latex Paints & Stains
  • Pesticides
  • Sharps-Hypodermic Needles
  • Used Oil Filters
  • Batteries, Car & Household
  • Fertilizers
  • Garden Chemicals
  • Mercury Thermometers & Thermostats
  • Pool Chemicals
  • TVs

Hazardous materials generated by your household can be safely disposed of through the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Program. Drop-off events are held the 1st weekend of every month at their facility in San Martin. There is no charge to participate, but you must call 408-299-7300 to preregister.

Batteries
Household batteries may be recycled in Morgan Hill's curbside recycling program. Batteries should be placed in a zippered plastic bag and placed on top of your recycling cart. No automotive batteries will be accepted at the curb. These local merchants have also volunteered to become household battery collection centers:

  • BookSmart
    421 Vineyard Town Center
    408-778-6467
  • Johnson Lumber/Ace Hardware
    600 Tennant Avenue
    408-778-1550

Cell Phones, Electronic Waste and Printer Cartridges
Electronic devices often contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, copper, and chromium and it is illegal to place these items in the garbage. Here are some local disposal options.

  • Electronic items are accepted at DG Global, Inc. at 875 Jarvis Drive in Morgan Hill. Here is a list (PDF) of the items that they accept or call 408-320-1560 to verify if they will accept your item. Please be aware that there is a charge to drop off some consumer electronics due to disposal costs.
  • Bring them to the San Martin Transfer Station at 14070 Llagas Avenue, San Martin. There may be a fee; call 408-842-3358 for more information.
  • Any retailer that sells cell phones is required by law to accept and recycle old cell phones or, if you prefer, there is a collection box in the lobby of the Centennial Recreation Center at 171 W. Edmundson Avenue.
  • You may take your empty printer cartridges to Staples at 1123 Cochrane Road, 408-779-7505, for recycling.

Used Motor Oil and Filters
Used motor oil and other automotive fluids should never be poured down the storm drain, in the sewer, or on the ground. If your home receives curbside recycling from Recology, you can recycle your oil and filters at the curb too. Call Recology at 408-842-3358 and a special container for your used oil and a plastic bag for the filter will be delivered on your next recycling day. Put the oil container and the bagged filter next to your recycling bin for collection on your recycling day.

If your home does not have curbside recycling, you can bring your used oil and filters to these locations that accept oil and filters at no charge:
  • FasterLube, 408-779-7373
  • O'Reilly Auto Parts, 408-776-7705
  • Autozone, 408-778-2840

Sharps Disposal
Home generated sharps (disposable hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets, and other medical devices used for self-injection or blood test) must be properly disposed of. They are accepted by the Santa Clara County HHW program, at the San Martin Transfer Station, or see a list of other drop off sites (PDF). There is also a sharps collection bin at the Centennial Recreation Center, 171 W. Edmundson Avenue.

Prescription Drug Disposal
Do not flush expired or unused medications down the toilet!
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are not completely removed when passing through waste water treatment plants. Harm to marine and plant life can be caused by improper disposal. Visit Unwanted and unused prescription medications can be disposed of in the blue collection bin in the lobby of the Morgan Hill Police Department, 16200 Vineyard Boulevard, open weekdays, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Medication Education & Disposal information.

More Information
View the following links to learn more about the proper disposal of household hazardous waste: