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HHW FAQs

What is household hazardous waste?

Many products found in your home are potentially hazardous substances. They can poison, corrode, explode, or ignite when handled improperly. When discarded in the trash, these substances are considered household hazardous waste that can threaten human and environmental health. The HHW Collection Facility gives local residents and small businesses an  environmentally safe disposal and recycling alternative.

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What happens when customers arrive at the HHW Collection Facility?

Each customer is greeted by a technician and surveyed to determine eligibility and demographic information by presenting a California Driver's License. We are a full service operation. Please remain in your vehicle at all times. The technician will unload household hazardous waste from your vehicle and transfer it to the facility for sorting and processing. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of the "Reuse Room" before they leave the facility.

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What happens to used oil?

Used oil is first pumped into 55 gallon drums, tested for contaminants, then pumped into a 1,000 gallon oil tank. Periodically, a used oil recycling company removes the oil for transport to an oil recycling facility.

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Is household hazardous waste tested?

Some household hazardous waste is delivered to the facility in unlabeled containers. Chemical properties of household hazardous waste must be determined to enable proper sorting and packaging of chemically compatible materials for safe transport. Unknown waste will be classified by technicians as flammable, poisonous, corrosive, reactive or oxidizing. Once classified, the waste will be packaged with other compatible materials.

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How is household hazardous waste sorted?

First, reusable products are segregated from the waste stream and placed in the reuse room for customers to take, free of charge. Used oil, latex paint, car batteries and anti-freeze are segregated and packaged separately for recycling. Household hazardous waste that is not reusable or recyclable is sorted by compatible chemical properties and safely packaged into drums. These drums are then transferred to the storage bays in preparation for transport to recycle, treatment, or disposal facilities.

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Why is it necessary to sort household hazardous waste?

Sorting household hazardous waste eliminates the possibility of incompatible chemicals mixing, reacting, and/or causing injury to workers or the environment during processing or transport. Sorting also allows us to follow the California Integrated Waste Management Board's waste management hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle before disposal.

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What happens to household hazardous waste after it leaves the facility?

Packaged HHW that cannot be stocked in the Reuse Room is sent for recycling, treatment, or disposal.

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What types of products are available in the Reuse Room?

Types and quantities of products available for reuse will vary depending on what customers drop off. Only usable products in their original containers will be placed in the reuse room. We generally anticipate that latex paint will be available for reuse, as well as a variety of household cleaners and garden products. Banned products and environmentally sensitive materials will not be offered for reuse.

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