Hazardous Waste

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Products purchased by the general public that may pose a hazard to human health or the environment are known as hazardous waste.

Common items may be hazardous because they exhibit one or more of the following properties: 

  • Toxic: poisonous when ingested, inhaled or touched (such as rat poison or bleach).
  • Flammable: Easy to ignite (such as lighter fluid and paint removers).
  • Corrosive: eats away materials and living tissue by chemical action (such as oven cleaner).
  • Reactive: creates an explosion or generates deadly vapors (such as bleach mixed with ammonia)

The following are some examples of hazardous waste: aerosol cans (full or partially full), acids, antifreeze, brake/transmission fluid, floor and furniture cleaners, gasoline and other flammables, herbicides, household cleaners, paint (oil and latex), pesticides, poisons, pool chemicals, propane canisters (both empty and full), solvents, and used motor oil. TVs, computer monitors, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, batteries, and other mercury-containing devices are considered Universal Waste (or U-Waste) and are also illegal to throw away in the trash.

Do you have hazardous waste?

  • Residents—Yolo County residents can bring their hazardous waste to the household hazardous waste (HHW) Drop-Off Days at the Yolo County Central Landfill for free. Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide.
  • Businesses—Businesses can dispose of their hazardous waste though Yolo County’s Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Program at the Yolo County Central Landfill.
  • UC Davis Students living on UC Davis campus: The University of California Davis separately funds their own household hazardous waste collection program. As such, residents of the University are NOT eligible to bring HHW materials to the county HHW facility.  For information about proper on-campus disposal, please call (530) 752-7456 or send email to recycling@ucdavis.edu. Check out the UC Davis environmental stewardship website at sustainability.ucdavis.edu/action/recycle/index.html.

Other items that cannot be thrown away in the trash:

Used Tires: When buying new tires, most dealers will take back your old tires. Used tires can be taken to the Yolo County Central Landfill. Fees may apply.
Car Batteries: Automotive batteries can be recycled for free on a daily basis at the Yolo County Central Landfill. State law requires stores to accept your old battery upon the purchase of a new battery.
Used Syringes And Other Sharps

Not sure if something you have is hazardous? Check our Recyclopedia

Other emerging issues in hazardous materials management include pharmaceuticals, treated wood and lead in jewelry.