HAZARDOUS WASTES

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Telephone: (805) 658-4321

Fax: (805) 658-4324

General Questions: VCRecycles@ventura.org

Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays

Location: 800 South Victoria Ave, Ventura, CA 93009

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION EVENTS

To serve residents of Unincorporated Ventura County, as well as the cities of Ojai, Santa Paula and Fillmore, the County of Ventura sponsors several events each year for the collection of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) at the Ventura County Pollution Prevention Center and Santa Clara River Valley Collection Facility.

These events are reserved only for residents of Unincorporated Ventura County, Ojai, Santa Paula, and Fillmore. Most other Ventura County cities offer their own recurring collection events as well, free for residents within their jurisdictions. For more information on events in your city, please follow the “All Other Jurisdictions” link below for HHW services available in your area.

DOOR-TO-DOOR HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION

Residents of Unincorporated Ventura County are eligible for one (1) free HHW pickup appointment each quarter through their local waste hauler. Not sure who to contact for HHW collection? Use our Interactive Map to find the local waste hauler for your area.

Athens Services Customers            E.J. Harrison Customers
HHW Home Collection Program       Ventura County Services
(805) 856-0113                                     (805) 647-1414

COMMERCIAL HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL

Businesses who do not generate more than 100 kg. (about 220 lbs.) of hazardous waste, or 1 kg. (about 2 lbs.) of an acutely hazardous waste, in a calendar month qualify as Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs). The County of Ventura provides low-cost hazardous waste disposal program for CESQGs, offering significantly reduced disposal costs compared to independently contracting a fully permitted hazardous waste hauler.

Businesses within the unincorporated communities of Ventura County may contact Clean Earth Inc. directly at (800) 714-1195 for details. For businesses in other cities within Ventura County, please contact the Hazardous Waste Program Administrator for your jurisdiction by following the “All Other Jurisdictions” link in the section above.

USED OIL, UNIVERSAL & ELECTRONIC WASTE (E-WASTE)

For resources to assist with the recycling of used oil or e-waste, please follow the links below.

OTHER HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

While there are various outlets for the disposal of hazardous wastes provided within Ventura County, some material may require special handling beyond what these services are permitted to provide. We have collected some helpful resources below to assist residents with safely handling and disposal of these unique items.

SMOKE DETECTORS

Smoke detectors utilize a very small amount of radioactive material, usually americium-241, to create an ionized flow of air through the device. When that ionized flow is disrupted by smoke, the alarm will be triggered. These units are safe for your home since the americium is securely contained in a metal chamber within the device housing, but throwing them in the trash may release radioactive material into the environment during the disposal process. Because radioactive material requires a special permit for transport, ionizing smoke detectors are not accepted at most HHW facilities, however the original manufacturer may offer a mail-back program. The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides a helpful list of manufacturers, their contact information, the brand(s) of detectors they accept, and any associated recycling charges on their website, located here.

For detectors from defunct brands or those who do not offer a mail-back program, the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) has compiled a directory of commercial outlets for common radioactive materials, including smoke detectors, which may be downloaded here in PDF format.

Ionizing smoke detectors are required by law to be to have an attached warning label, usually with the international radiation trefoil symbol as shown in the illustration above, either on a sticker or molded into the plastic housing of the smoke detector itself, warning of the radioactive material contained within. If there is no symbol present on the unit’s label or housing, the detector may be considered safe to be recycled as normal electronic waste. However, if there is any sign that a label was removed from the device, even if a warning or trefoil symbol is not molded into the housing, then the detector must be assumed to contain radioactive material and disposed of as radioactive waste.

EXIT SIGNS, WATCHES, ETC.

Some exit signs, watches, firearm sights, and clocks also contain radioactive material, in this case tubes of tritium gas (3H), which give them their characteristic green glow in low-light environments. As with smoke detectors, the radioactive material in tritium-containing devices is safely enclosed within the device housing, but could potentially be released if mishandled or improperly disposed of. CRCPD’s directory of commercial outlets for common radioactive materials, which may be downloaded here in PDF format, also includes outlets for tritium-containing devices.

While they are increasingly rare, vintage watches or clocks produced prior to 1970 may have been manufactured using radium-containing paint to create this glow-in-the-dark effect. Radium is a highly radioactive substance that may be harmful over periods of prolonged exposure. If you are the owner of vintage timepieces that glow in the dark, especially if the product housing is damaged or compromised in any way, please contact the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Radiologic Health Branch for guidance. The Brea field office may be reached by telephone at (714) 524-1409 or by visiting their website, located here.

Most HHW facilities accept expired or unwanted medications; however, medications containing controlled substances are not accepted pursuant to state and federal regulations. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and Ventura County Behavioral Health have established a countywide program, Ventura County Responds, to help safely dispose of unwanted or expired pharmaceuticals, which can be accessed here.

Many Sheriff and city Police stations have pharmaceutical drop-boxes in their station lobbies for residents to safely dispose of unwanted or expired medication as well. For details on participating stations, please download the PDF guide by clicking here.

Although medical sharps (needles) are not accepted at the County’s Pollution Prevention Center, there are several medical offices in Ventura County that offer sharps collection services. For information on participating locations, please click here.

With proper care, lithium-ion batteries are safe for use in your home electronics, but should never be thrown into a trash or recycling can. These batteries are extremely hazardous when carelessly disposed of, not just to the environment but to the dedicated personnel working at our local waste haulers, transfer stations, and landfills. Call2Recycle and Earth911 have helpful search tools for finding free drop-off locations near you, and the local HHW facilities provided by your county and city governments accept lithium-ion batteries for recycling as well. Residents of unincorporated Ventura County, as well as the cities of Ojai, Santa Paula, and Fillmore, may make an appointment at the Ventura County Pollution Prevention Center or Santa Clara River Valley Collection Facility by clicking here. Most other cities within Ventura County offer their own scheduled collection events as well, which can be found by visiting our Jurisdictional HHW Resources page.

PRODUCT REUSE PROGRAMS

Since 2012, Ventura County has partnered with PaintCare to participate in the California Paint Product Stewardship Program, which provides several locations to drop off unwanted paint for recycling, completely free of charge. Use their Drop-Off Site Locator to find a participating retailer near you.

Several HHW collection programs also offer direct reuse services, offering various products such as cleaners, paints and stains, as well as other common household items completely free of charge. By reusing products instead of buying new, you help protect the environment by preventing harmful chemicals from being added to the waste stream.

Disclaimer

The information contained on this website is intended for educational purposes only. As such, any reference to specific companies, brand names, or products should not be construed as an endorsement or favoring by the County of Ventura.