Universal Waste

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In February 2006, the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) banned all Universal Waste (or u-waste) from the trash. U-waste includes TV and computer monitors, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, batteries, and other mercury-containing devices. These items are illegal to throw away in the trash.

DTSC: Universal Waste Information for Businesses
DTSC: Universal Waste Information for Residents

Electronics

Computer monitors and TVs are illegal to throw away in the trash. Electronics are accepted at the Yolo County Central Landfill for recycling free of charge Mon-Sat 6:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sun 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For more information about electronic recycling, call (530) 666-8856. DTSC information about electronics.

Fluorescent Bulbs and Tubes

Fluorescent bulbs and tubes contain mercury that can pollute the environment and contaminate groundwater. Broken tubes and bulbs in a trash can or dumpster can create clouds of mercury vapor that can linger around the area for hours, exposing anyone nearby to the harmful chemical. Information about what to do if a fluorescent bulb breaks.

Disposal information for residents

The Yolo County Central Landfill will accept fluorescent bulbs and tubes from residents for proper disposal every day during normal operating hours. There is a $2.00 convenience charge regardless of the number of bulbs/tubes brought in. Residents of Yolo County can also bring fluorescent bulbs and tubes to the weekly Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Days at the Yolo County Central Landfill, held every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for free disposal. Davis Ace Hardware no longer accepts fluorescent bulbs and tubes for recycling. They were taking the bulbs and tubes back for a short time because of a hazardous waste grant received by Yolo County from the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Disposal information for businesses

Businesses can dispose of their fluorescent bulbs and tubes through the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Program at the Yolo County Central Landfill or through a mail-back program. See the Business U-Waste Guide for more information.

Batteries

Both single-use and rechargeable batteries contain toxic chemicals that can be released into the environment if not disposed of correctly.

Disposal information for residents

Residents may bring their batteries to several locations in Davis for free disposal or may bring them to the weekly Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Days at the landfill, held every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for free disposal.

Disposal information for businesses

Businesses can dispose of their batteries through the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Program at the Yolo County Central Landfill or through a mail-back program. See the Business U-Waste Guide for more information. Businesses may NOT bring their batteries to the battery collection sites around town. Businesses may NOT bring their hazardous waste to Yolo County’s household hazardous waste drop-off days at the landfill. These programs are operated by Yolo County and are for residential generated wastes ONLY.

Businesses may request a free battery recycling box from Call2Recycle.org to collect rechargeable batteries and cell phones. The recycling box is small and comes with a prepaid shipping label. Once the box is full, seal it, place the prepaid shipping label on the box, ship it off to Call2Recycle, and they will send another empty box. This program is completely free and offers a safe way to recycle rechargeable batteries and cell phones.

Mercury-Containing Devices

Some universal wastes, like mercury fever thermometers and other devices that contain liquid mercury, are hazardous because they contain enough mercury to pose a health risk. Mercury containing items include: mercury thermostats, mercury switches. mercury thermometers and mercury-added novelties (including practical joke items, figurines, jewelry, toys, games, greeting cards that play music, ornaments, yard statues and figures, candles, holiday decorations, and shoes with lights). In 2003, the California Mercury Reduction Act banned sale of mercury-added novelties in this state, but some people still have them in their homes. More information about items that may contain mercury.

Disposal information for residents

Residents of Yolo County can bring mercury-containing devices to the weekly Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Days at the Yolo County Central Landfill, held every Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for free disposal.

Disposal information for businesses

Businesses can dispose of their mercury-containing items through the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Program at the Yolo County Central Landfill.