Aerosol (FULL Spray Cans)
Antifreeze contains toxic chemicals that can cause serious health problems and even death. It is especially dangerous to animals and children because of its sweet taste. Two tablespoons of antifreeze can kill a small dog!
Never dispose of spent antifreeze in the garbage, toilet, sink or storm drains. Please take it to one of SVR’s locations.
Household batteries – the kind used in flashlights, toys, electronics etc – contain small, but very potent amounts of heavy metals and corrosive chemicals. These toxic substances can contaminate our soil and water if they end up in the landfill. It has been illegal to put household batteries into the garbage since 2006.
Consider buying and using rechargeables instead of single-use batteries or look for items that don’t require batteries (e.g. hand wound watch). Rechargeable batteries have a much longer life span: up to 800 charge-discharge cycles before they have to be replaced.
Additional drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries ONLY:
Rechargeable batteries can be dropped off for recycling at any store that also sells them, e.g. Radio Shack, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Office Depot/Staples. To find a participating retailer in your zip code visit Call 2 Recycle.
Tip: Get a free battery bucket from SVR or use an empty jar or sealable plastic bag to collect spent household batteries at home or at work.
Car batteries, also referred to as a lead-acid battery, contain about 21 pounds of lead, 3 pounds of plastic and 1 gallon of sulfuric acid each! These materials pose a hazard to people’s health and the environment if they’re not handled properly.
Please recycle your car battery at one of the following locations, so that the materials can be reclaimed and made into new batteries (some locations may even pay you or provide a refund for returning the spent battery).
Cleaners (Bleach, Drain Openers, Toilet Cleaners)
Chlorine or Bleach is one of the most corrosive and deadly chemicals and yet it can still be found at every supermarket and drugstore in the nation, and under countless kitchen sinks. Choose Less Toxic Alternatives or make your own non-toxic cleaners with a few simple ingredients!
Never pour cooking oils, fats or greases down the drain. Even small amounts can cause problems in your home plumbing or further down the sewer line. Instead collect used cooking oil in a container for recycling; small amounts of grease can be put directly into the garbage. Businesses must collect and recycle cooking oil and grease. Visit Clog Busters for more information.
Used cooking oil can be recycled into soaps, industrial lubricants, biodiesel and other products. SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel (formerly Salinas Tallow) is the local company that accepts used cooking oil/grease from local restaurants, markets, and grocery stores and recycles it into biodiesel.
Cooking oil can also be recycled for free at SVR’s HHW Collection Facility in Salinas.
CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights) or fluorescent tubes and bulbs are safe while in use but are considered hazardous waste when discarded. They contain toxic mercury vapor and other heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. When fluorescent tubes and bulbs are broken or crushed in the landfill, heavy metals are released. They can contaminate soil and water, and harm wildlife.
Spent fluorescent tubes and bulbs can be dropped off for recycling at SVR’s HHW Collection Facility in Salinas or most major home improvement retailers, including Lowe’s, Home Depot and Ace Hardware, offer free recycling collection for unbroken bulbs.
Tip: Bundle and tape tubes together to avoid breakage.
Paint contains solvents and other chemicals considered hazardous. Paint that ends up in the garbage, sink or storm drains can pollute our soil and drinking water, and harm wildlife. Leftover latex paint can be dropped off for free at any of SVR’s locations.
Oil-based paint and any other type of paint is only accepted at SVR’s HHW Collection Facility in Salinas.
Pesticides & Fertilizers and other Garden Chemicals
Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can persist in nature for extended periods of time, eventually infiltrating the food chain (which we are a part of). Consider purchasing Less Toxic alternatives or using organic mulch or compost to keep your garden and yard looking its best!
Pharmaceuticals (Prescription Medications)
Got Drugs? NEVER flush them down the drain! Recent reports of trace levels of pharmaceutical compounds in our nation’s drinking water supplies have raised awareness of water quality protection.
Click here for more information on how to properly dispose of pharmaceuticals in the Salinas Valley.
Recycling used motor oil and filters is easy in the Salinas Valley. You have several options:
- Curbside Collection
- Single-family homes can recycle used motor oil and filters on the curb on their regular collection day. Click on the link above for details and set-out rules.
- Drop-off Collection Centers:
Various locations in the Salinas Valley accept used motor oil and filters free of charge: Find a local Used Motor Oil Collection Center
- SVR Recycling & Disposal Facilities
Each of SVR’s facilities accepts and recycles used motor and filters for free!
Sharps (Needles or Syringes)
State Law makes it illegal to throw home-generated sharps, needles or syringes in the garbage or recycling; improper sharps disposal can affect janitors, house-keepers, recycling or waste management workers, pest control workers, groundskeepers, and children or household pets among others. Needle-sticks can spread infections or life-threatening diseases. For more information on how to properly store and dispose of needles in the Salinas Valley click here.
For a limited time, residents can exchange a full, approved sharps container at SVR’s HHW facility in Salinas and receive a new container for free! This program is made possible by a grant from CalRecycle.
Thermometers, Thermostats & Other Mercury Containing Items
Mercury is a heavy metal and extremely toxic. Just one gram – the amount in an old-fashioned mercury thermometer – can contaminate a 20-acre lake! Mercury can be absorbed by fish and other organisms and harm humans who eat the fish, causing long-term health problems such as damage to the kidneys and nervous system.
Many older thermometers, thermostats, electrical switches, and gauges such as barometers and manometers contain mercury. To see if your thermostat contains mercury, carefully remove the front cover of the thermostat to look for a small ampoule containing a silver liquid. If you see this, you have a mercury thermostat.
Tip: Double-bag mercury-containing items before you drop them off at SVR’s HHW Collection Facility in Salinas