Hazardous Waste butterfly


Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) includes waste – chemical and solid – generated incidental to maintaining a residence, small business, vehicle and yard. It carries labels which indicate that it is harmful to humans, animals and/or the environment.

Household Hazardous Waste also includes other types of regulated waste: 

  • Universal Waste (batteries, fluorescent bulbs, items with mercury, etc.)
  • Electronic waste (computers, televisions, cell phones, etc.)
  • Health Care Products (medications & sharps)

It is illegal to dispose of hazardous waste in the trash, storm drains, or sewer. 

Some items, such as household and car batteries, used oil, and water based paint, are eligible for curbside pick up with GreenWaste Recovery. Please see the see the Single-Family Recycle Guide and Multi-Family Recycle Guide for more information or call 831-920-6707.

Monterey Regional Waste Management District accepts HHW at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility in Marina.

Categories of accepted waste include: 

  • Household Products 
  • Personal Care 
  • Paint Products 
  • Universal Waste Outdoor Products 
  • Electronic Waste

Click Here or call the HHW Facility at 831-384-5313 ext. 27 for a complete list of acceptable items.

Preventing Waste Water Pollutionmrwpca

Learn how to properly dispose of the following items to prevent water pollution:

Disposable WipesDisposable cleaning and disinfecting wipes do not break down quickly in water. If flushed, they can clog your sewer line of the public sewer systems, potentially causing sewage overflows which can put public health at risk, damage the environment, and cause property damage.

If you use disposable cleaning/disinfecting wipes, moist towelettes, baby wipes, personal hygiene wipes or similar disposable or "flushable" products, put them in the trash, never in your toilet.

Wipes are NOT biodegradable, and have to be manually removed from the equipment at wastewater treatment plants and sent to the landfill. 

See the effect of disposal wipes on a California water treatment plant in this video.

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)Grease is one of the leading causes of clogs and sewage overflows. Cooking fats, oils and grease cool and congeal inside sewer pipes and build up over time. Eventually, the pipe becomes clogged so that wastewater can’t flow through it.

For more information on how to properly dispose of fats, oils and grease see: Clogbusters 

Household Cleaners Most households contain a wide variety of cleaning products, disposable wipes, and first aid kits. These may contain harsh chemicals, which when washed down the drain, can mix with other chemicals present in the sanitary sewer. There they form toxic gases and compounds that can flow to the wastewater treatment plant and negatively impact the treatment processes. Chemicals from cleaning products can also pass through the plant and negatively affect organisms and vegetation in the Monterey Bay.

Many toxic and harmful commercial cleaners, bug killers and weed killers can be replaced by less harmful products. See the Monterey One Water website for alternative household solutions.

Household Hazardous WasteAll hazardous products exhibit at least one of the following properties: 


Toxic: even in small quantities may immediately poison, or cause injury or death through repeated exposure, when inhaled into the lungs, eaten, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin (e.g. rat poison, pesticides, bleach). 
flammable Flammable: usually liquids that easily ignite and burn (e.g. lighter fluid, spot and paint removers). 
corrosive Corrosive: substances or vapors that can burn skin on contact and can eat away the surface of other materials (e.g. oven and toilet bowl cleaners). 
reactive Reactive: substances that react with air, water or another substance to produce toxic vapors or explode (e.g. bleach when mixed with ammonia-based cleaners). 

Household hazardous wastes should never be flushed into down sewer drains because these wastes can kill the active bacteria at the waste water treatment facility. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed or able to handle many of these hazardous wastes. Wastewater treatment facilities cannot remove all heavy metals and these may contaminate sewage sludge, water supplies and animal habitats.

The Monterey Regional Waste Management District offers residents a convenient and safe collection program for household hazardous waste 

MercuryMercury from thermometers, thermostats, certain kinds of switches and blood pressure cuffs can pollute the Monterey Bay. These items should not be disposed of in the trash either, because mercury from broken devices can vaporize into the air. Instead bring mercury devices to a collection site. 

The Monterey Regional Waste Management District offers residents a convenient and safe collection program for household hazardous waste 

PharmaceuticalsFlushing prescription medicines down the toilet may not be removed during the wastewater treatment process and could heavily affect our wildlife after it is discharged into the bay and ocean.

The Monterey County Health Department has guidelines and information about safe and proper disposal and drop off locations.

stay informed

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