Household Hazardous Waste Program

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Many common household products are legally defined as hazardous. These materials can pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment when improperly used or disposed. The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program provides the only proper way to dispose of hazardous products when they are no longer wanted.

In case of an emergency caused by the improper use of household chemicals, call 911.

Step 1: Who May Participate and Where Do I Take My Waste?

HHW Facilities are open FREE OF CHARGE to residents of the unincorporated County of Santa Cruz and the Cities of Scotts Valley, Capitola and Santa Cruz. Please bring proof of residency with you (e.g. driver license, utility bill).  

Households that qualify for the program may use the County HHW Facility at the Buena Vista, Ben Lomond, and City of Santa Cruz Sites.

Not available to City of Watsonville Residents

Call (831) 768-3133 for information.

The Santa Cruz County Household Hazardous Waste Program is sponsored by the County of Santa Cruz and the cities of Scotts Valley, Capitola and Santa Cruz.

Step 2: Accepted Wastes and Transportation

TRANSPORTATION LIMITS: The maximum amount you can transport to the HHW is 15 gallons liquid (motor oil 5 gallon limit) or 125 pounds solid of hazardous materials per vehicle trip.  These requirements are due to storage capacity limits, state regulations, and for your safety.

If you have more than 15 gallons or 125 pounds, you may drop-off 15 gallons or 125 pounds per trip, return to your home and pick up another 15 gallons or 125 pounds, then return to the drop-off location to dispose of your remaining waste with your second visit.  If you have more than 30 gallons or 250 pounds of waste to dispose at the HHW, please call (831) 454-2606.

ATTENTION: Place HHW in a plastic bin or box lined with a plastic trash can liner - this will keep the HHW from tipping or leaking (containers may not be returned).



  • Latex & oil-based paints
  • Motor oil, oil filters & antifreeze limit of 5 gallons per visit
  • Fluorescent tubes & bulbs limit of 25 tubes/bulbs per visit (PCB ballast also accepted, but must be removed from fixture prior to arrival at HHW)
  • Cleaning products
  • Solvents & flammable liquids
  • Emergency road flares
  • Non-empty aerosols
  • Automotive products
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Pool, hot tub, & spa chemicals
  • Photo chemicals
  • Thermometers & other mercury-containing devices
  • Household Batteries (alkaline, button batteries, nickel-cadmium)

Not Accepted

  • NO Latex or oil based paint greater than 15 gallons per visit. Visit PaintCare's take back program for additional locations
  • NO Motor oil greater than 5 gallons per visit. Visit CalRecycle's oil take back program for additional locations
  • NO Medicines or sharps. Visit Med-Project to safely dispose of medicines and sharps.
  • NO Reactive wastes
  • NO Radioactive materials
  • NO Explosives or ammunition (includes marine flares)
  • NO Compressed gas cylinders over 1 lb

For information on proper disposal of hazardous items not accepted at the HHW Facilities, please contact County of Santa Cruz Environmental Health Services at 454-2022.