Household Hazardous Waste Program

The County of San Benito Integrated Waste Management Regional Agency sponsors Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection days every third Saturday of the month.  These events serve the cities of Hollister, San Juan Bautista, and the unincorporated areas of San Benito County. The purpose is for residents of San Benito County to lawfully dispose of household hazardous waste that is not accepted by the landfill. Hazardous wastes are any unused or leftover portions of products containing toxic chemicals. There is no charge for dropping off this waste. This program is limited to household hazardous waste generated by residents, and proof of residency is required.  The limit is either 15 gallons (total) or 125 pounds of material per trip.

For additional information on collection programs, call the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Regional Agency at 831-636-4170

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Household hazardous waste (HHW) items are labeled with warnings of POISON, DANGER, CAUTION, WARNING, OR PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS. Remember, any hazardous waste that you use in your home, yard, or garage, including automotive fluids (oil, gas, etc), can be brought to the HHW collection events.

Yard: Pesticides, Fungicides, Weed Killers, Pool Chemicals, Small Propane Tanks

: Paint (all kinds), Paint Thinner, Wood Preservatives, Glues & Adhesives, Solvents, Photo Chemicals 

Garage: Antifreeze, Oil & Filters, Gasoline, Wash & Polishes, Auto Batteries, Engine Cleaners, Brake Fluid

House: Ammonia Based Cleaners, Bleach Based Cleaners, Aerosol Sprays, Polishes, Fluorescent Lamps, Nail Polish & Remover, Medications & Syringes

NOT ACCEPTED: Explosives, Ammunition, Radioactive Waste, Biological Waste (syringes & lancets must be in an approved Sharps container available free to San Benito County residents). Call 831-636-4110 for more information.

For additional information on what to do with Household Hazardous Waste, please click the image below

Consider using these safer and less toxic alternatives listed in the table below

Ammonia-based cleaners NEVER MIX AMMONIA & CHLORINE! It produces a deadly gas.  Instead use a white vinegar/water  mixture or dissolved baking soda
Automotive wax or polish For chrome: mix baking soda and water into a paste
Batteries Use rechargeables, solar powered, or AC adapters
Chemical fertilizer Use compost, wood ashes, peat moss, fish meal, and/or manure
Chlorine bleach use vinegar, baking soda, and borax
Disinfectant Use 1/2 cup borax in 1 gallon water
Drain cleaner Use a wire snake, boiling water, 1/2 cup baking soda & 1 cup vinegar, a plunger; seal off top of drain – expanding chemical reaction pushes the clog out – follow with boiling water; use a strainer on every drain and clean regularly
Flea repellent Use an herbal collar (eucalyptus buds or rosemary), put brewer’s yeast in pet’s food; use a flea comb.
Floor & furniture polish Olive oil and lemon juice, 2:1 ratio; or vegetable oil soap
Fungicide Avoid overhead or evening watering to prevent fungus growth; use a sulfur dust & spray or a dormant oil spray without copper
Glass cleaner Use water and vinegar in an 8:1 ratio
Herbicide Hand weed; keep lawn short; compost, mulch, and cover bare ground
Insecticides Caulk openings; for ants, use chili powder to hinder entry; for roaches, use traps or boric acid & powdered sugar mixture
Lighter fluid Use an electric charcoal starter
Oven cleaner Use baking soda & water immediately after spill, copper scrubbers, and/or non-chlorinated scouring powder
Paint thinner/solvents Use water based products or let solids settle, carefully transfer solvent & reuse
Paint strippers Use sandpaper, a heat gun, steel wool, and/or emery cloth
Paint (water based) Donate extra paint to community development projects, local high school theatrical departments and remember to only buy what you need
Pesticides Use water-based or powdered products when possible; practice companion planting (see links below for more information)
Rodenticides Use live traps
Rug cleaners Use baking soda, club soda, Simple Green
Rust remover Moisten spot with lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and expose to sunlight;  for whites, cover stain with cream of tartar, gather so tartar stays on stain, dip in hot water for 5 min, wash
Smoke detector Buy non-ionized smoke detectors
Thermometers Use electronic ones instead of mercury filled
Windshield washer fluid Use fluid without freeze protection in spring and summer