Safe Steps for a Successful Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Experience

If you have a variety of unwanted toxic items at home, the safest way to dispose of them is at a County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) event.

Before you load up the car and make an appointment, read on for tips to make your experience a safe and successful one.

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5 Ways to Reduce Hazardous Waste

Here are five ways to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated in your home and the time you have to spend disposing of it.

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1. Clean Safer
You don’t bake with bleach, but did you know you don’t have to clean with it either? Many ingredients you cook with can also be used to clean your home. Think lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. For cleaning recipes, visit: smchealth.org/safercleaning

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Reduce Hazardous Waste in Your Life

reducinghhwEach time you make an appointment to drop-off household hazardous waste through San Mateo County’s program you are protecting the environment. However, we all recognize it can be a burden to sort and shuffle all that waste into your car, make an appointment, and then drive to get rid of it! But what if we told you there was a way to reduce the amount of drop-off trips while also protecting the environment? Good news, there is a way!

If you reduce the amount of hazardous materials you purchase, the less waste you accumulate, and the less trips you have to make! Not only does it make your life more convenient, it’s safer, may save some cash, and does even more to save the environment.

Today there are so many less-toxic alternatives to replace products that end up as hazardous waste. Here are some to consider….

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San Mateo County Wins Exciting Awards

Elizabeth Rouan and her award.

Elizabeth Rouan and her award.

San Mateo County attended a statewide conference in early November and came back with two awards we are very proud to share!

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Environmental Health Tips

ehtipsIn honor of tomorrow (October 5) being “National Do Something Nice Day,” Environmental Health Services (EHS) is relaying answers to some of its most frequently asked questions from the public and businesses.

From food inspections to hazardous waste dumping and everything in between, read on for useful tips that may come in handy in the future.

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Dropping off Your Household Hazardous Waste is as Easy as 1-2-3!

San Mateo County's Household Hazardous Waste Program is a "full-service" program.

San Mateo County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program is a “full-service” program.

San Mateo County has offered a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program for over 24 years for residents to drop-off a variety of HHW such as cleaning chemicals, batteries, paint, fluorescent lights, propane tanks and more.

The program is free to residents and continues to be a popular way to get rid of unwanted toxic waste.

Next time you use the program – whether it is at our permanent facility in San Mateo or one of our temporary events in Daly City, La Honda, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Portola Valley, or South San Francisco – here are some quick tips to help you help us make the program a success for everyone.

  1. Make an appointment. You can do so online at smchealth.org/hhw or by calling (650) 363-4718, select option 3.
  2. Gather your waste in a sturdy box. Don’t mix waste and make sure they are in their original containers. Check our website for a list of accepted waste. The limit per appointment is 10 gallons or 50 pounds.
  3. Arrive at your designated time. The HHW program is “full-service” so stay in your vehicle while we take the waste directly from your car. Just make sure to place it all in an easily accessible location for staff to reach.

And that’s it!

Visit smchealth.org/hhw for more information on how to make an appointment and what wastes are accepted.

Batteries, Batteries Everywhere!

Do you know how to recycle old batteries?

Do you know how to recycle old batteries?

Have you ever opened a drawer in your home and found a pile of unwanted batteries you don’t know what to do with? You are not alone!

Batteries are used in so many of our everyday devices that we often find ourselves left with a drawer full of them piling up and don’t know what the next step is to get rid of them. Don’t fret, because we have the answers for you! There are many battery recycling options available in San Mateo County, and if you want to keep batteries from piling up in the first place, purchasing rechargeable batteries may be the solution you have been looking for.

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What is Household Hazardous Waste, and how do I get rid of it safely?

Household Hazardous Waste is any toxic chemical or product you use at home

Household Hazardous Waste is any toxic chemical or product you use at home

While cleaning your basement, closets, bathroom and kitchen, you may come across some old and unwanted household chemicals and other things we refer to as “household hazardous waste” or HHW for short. This may include things like paint, weed killer, batteries, fluorescent lights, household cleaners like bleach and floor polish, and many other chemicals. Some bottles or containers may have product still inside that is unused or barely touched. So, what to do with this stuff that you don’t want in your home? Not a good idea to throw it in the garbage or dump it on the ground because that contaminates water and soil. Luckily for San Mateo County residents, there are several options to choose to help you manage your household chemicals safely. Continue reading