Household Hazardous Waste
Household hazardous waste may NOT be disposed of in the trash!
Household hazardous waste (HHW) is any material discarded from a residence that may cause a human or environmental hazard. When disposed of improperly, these wastes can do serious damage to the health of humans, wildlife and the environment.
What is considered HHW?
Household hazardous waste falls into four basic categories:
- Flammables include paints, dry or wet, petroleum based products, and polishes.
- Corrosives include acids, bases, batteries, and drain clog remover.
- Toxics include poisons, pesticides, gardening chemicals, ammonia, and solvents.
- Oxidizers include pool chemicals, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, and perchlorates.
- Other miscellaneous include propane, helium, small oxygen tanks, smoke detectors.
Electronics waste cannot be disposed of in the trash!
Like HHW, electronic waste cannot be disposed of in the trash. Computers, switches and monitors are examples of electronic waste. For more information, please visit the Electronic / Universal Waste page.
City of Cupertino Customers
Cupertino residents call Curbside Inc. hotline (800) 449-7587 or visit wmatyourdoor.com to schedule collection of their household chemicals, paint, fertilizers, fluorescent bulbs, thermometers, propane tanks, medicines, sharps, pool and spa chemicals and batteries (car and household) e-waste and other items directly from their home.
- Never leave hazardous products within reach of children.
- Never mix chemicals. They can produce deadly gases and possibly explode.
- Do not dispose of hazardous materials in the trash, sewer, storm drains, bodies of water, or on the ground.
- Do not refill empty containers unless the label states this is OK.
- Never remove product labels and always leave products in their original containers.
- Purchase only what you will need. If you have extra, share with a neighbor.
- Store in original containers away from food, pets, and children until a household hazardous waste disposal event is held.
DON'T GET STUCK WITH YOUR SHARPS!
On September 1, 2008, a new state law took effect that made it illegal to dispose of sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers. The law requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container. Home-generated sharps waste includes hypodermic needles, syringes and lancets that are used for medical purposes. Improper disposal of sharps waste not only poses a threat of environmental contamination of surface and groundwater, but may also affect the health and safety of sanitation workers, adults, children and even pets.
What Should You Do With Your Sharps Waste?
Take-back Programs By Doctors, Pharmacies, Hospitals and Medical Clinics:
Place home-generated sharps waste in biohazard containers. The containers are available for purchase at local pharmacies and some office supply stores. Then contact your health care providers, local pharmacists, hospitals or clinics to ask if they offer a take-back program.
Countywide Household Hazardous Waste Program:
Note: Residents MUST place sharps waste in biohazard sharps containers, which are available for purchase at your local pharmacy, before bringing it to sharps waste drop-off locations.
Cupertino Fire Station
20215 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Biohazard Sharps Container Size Requirement: 1 or 1.5 quart size for drop-off box
Sunnyvale Material and Recovery Transfer Station (SMaRT Station)
301 Carl Road
For more information on pharmacies and other locations that accept used sharps waste within the Santa Clara County or to use its Online Appointment System to dispose of your sharps waste, visit Santa Clara Department of Health: Household Hazardous Waste Program or call 408-299-7300.
Mail Back Services:
If you purchase sharps on-line, please remember to request a pre-addressed, prepaid mail-back box for your used sharps. A list of mail back services can be found at
California Department of Health: Medical Waste Management Program.
Visit California Integrated Waste Board for a list of companies that are authorized to provide sharps waste mail back services in California.