In California, it is illegal to dispose of household hazardous waste in the garbage, down the drain, or by abandonment. Household hazardous waste needs to be disposed of through a Household Hazardous Waste Program.
Improper and illegal disposal can contaminate our drinking water, impede wastewater treatment plants, pollute local waterways and endanger workers. It can also lead to penalties and fines.
Upper Valley Disposal & Recycling cannot accept any HHW in the garbage or recycling containers, however, Napa County runs a permanent facility for residents and businesses to properly dispose of these materials. There are also several drop-off events through out the year that are on the event calendar.
What is Household Hazardous Waste?
Hazardous waste is waste with properties that make it potentially dangerous or harmful to human health, animals and the environment when disposed of improperly. Hazardous waste can be liquids, solids, or contained gases.
According to the EPA, hazardous waste has the following characteristics:
- IGNITABILITY– Liquids or solids that are flammable or combustible
- CORROSIVITY – Highly reactive substances that cause rust, corrosion, and obvious damage to living tissue; acids and bases are common corrosive materials
- REACTIVITY – Substances that, when mixed, create toxic, unstable, or explosive reactions
- TOXICITY – Poisonous materials
Many of the common household products like batteries, cleaners, paints and fertilizers we use every day are considered household hazardous waste.
Examples of HHW
- Carburetor cleaners
- Drain openers
- Fluorescent bulbs / tubes
- Gasoline and fuel additives
- Glues and cements
- Grease and rust solvents
- Latex and oil-based paints
- Lighter fluids
- Mercury containing items (thermometers, thermostats, etc.)
- Oven cleaners
- Paint thinner and stripper
- Photo chemicals
- Polishes and cleaners
- Pool chemicals
- Rechargeable or alkaline batteries
- Transmission fluids
- Unwanted medications (no controlled substances – contact your pharmacist if you are unsure if your medication is a controlled substance)
- Used oil and oil filters
- Wood and metal cleaners
- Wood preservatives
Where Can I Take HHW?
Napa County operates the permanent HHW facility.
It is located at 889-A Devlin Road, off Highway 29 in south Napa.
- The facility is open every Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Residential Households do not have to make an appointment and there are no fees.
- Businesses that generate less than 220 pounds or 27 gallons of hazardous waste per month can dispose of their waste here but are required to obtain a here but are required to obtain a Hazardous Waste Generator Permit. Call Napa County Environmental Management at (707) 253-4471. An appointment is required.
- For more information call: 800-984-9661 or 707-259-8608.
You can safely and legally dispose of your unusable hazardous products at this facility. The facility accepts all types of household hazardous waste except radioactive materials, explosives and ammunition.
- Do not mix materials
- Try and keep materials in the original containers when possible
- Secure materials in the car so they do not spill
- Keep to the accepted material limits
- 15 gallons liquid or combined liquid/dry weight of 125 lbs. (liquid weighs 8.5 lbs. per gallon) per visit.
For more information, visit the Napa County Household Hazardous Wastes website. Please note, you will be leaving the UVDS website.