| Household Hazardous Waste
Many common products we use in our homes or at work contain hazardous components. Such products include cleaners, leftover paints, car products, batteries, pesticides, etc. The used or leftover contents of such consumer products are known as household hazardous waste (HHW). These products may contaminate the environment when poured on the soil, down a household or storm drain, or dumped in the garbage. It's harmful to our environment and, in most cases, illegal to put these materials into the trash or down the drain.
HHW includes materials like:
The Alameda County Environmental Health Department currently operates three drop-off facilities for household hazardous wastes. The facilities, located in Hayward, Livermore and Oakland, are free to all Alameda County residents on a limited drop-in and/or appointment basis.
- Oakland Facility – 2100 East 7th Street, Oakland
- Hayward Facility – 2091 West Winton Avenue, Hayward
- Livermore Facility – 5584 La Ribera Street, Livermore
Please visit www.stopwaste.org or call them at 1-800-606-6606 for hours of operation and specific household hazardous waste they will accept.
For information regarding Berkeley Recycling, please visist the Community Conservation Center website at http://berkeleyrecycling.org/index.php
Universal wastes (UW) is a category of household hazardous wastes that are generated by a wide variety of people. Examples include:
1. Electronic devices: Includes any electronic device that is a hazardous waste (with or without a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)), including televisions, computer monitors, cell phones, VCRs, computer CPUs and portable DVD players.
2. Batteries: Most household-type batteries, including rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, silver button batteries, mercury batteries, alkaline batteries and other batteries that exhibit a characteristic of a hazardous waste.
3. Electric lamps: fluorescent light bulbs, high intensity discharge lamps, sodium vapor lamps and electric lamps that contain added mercury, as well as any other lamp that exhibits a characteristic of a hazardous waste. (e.g., lead).
4. Mercury-containing equipment: Thermostats, mercury switches, mercury thermometers, pressure or vacuum gauges, dilators and weighted tubing, mercury rubber flooring, mercury gas flow regulators, dental amalgams, counterweights, dampers and mercury added novelties such as jewelry, ornaments and footwear.
5. CRTs: The glass picture tubes removed from devices such as televisions and computer monitors.
6. CRT glass: A cathode ray tube that has been accidently broken or processed for recycling.
7. Non-empty aerosol cans.
These wastes are hazardous upon disposal but pose lower risk to people and the environment than other household hazardous wastes. The Universal Waste Rule, which has been in effect since February 8, 2002, is intended to promote recycling as well as proper disposal by easing certain regulatory requirements.
Table of Universal Waste recycling locations within Berkeley:
You may download the TMD Universal Waste Flyer here.
For more informaiton on Universal Wastes, visit the California Department of Toxic Substances Control at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/UniversalWaste/Index.cfm
For more information on electronic product management, please visit the California Department of Toxics Substances Control at http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Electronics/
For tips on reducing household hazardous waste, visit U.S. EPA at http://www.epa.gov/osw/wycd/homeandgarden.htm.
For environmentally friendly household products, visit U.S. EPA at http://www.epa.gov/dfe/ and Alameda County at http://www.stopwaste.org/home/index.asp?page=585.
For more UW recycling options outside of Berkeley, visit the California Integrated Waste Management Board database.