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There’s Nothing Scarier Than Hazardous Waste! Recycle Right This Halloween

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This Halloween season, you may have seen toxic waste barrels on display as scary decorations or hazmat suits on sale as costumes. The truth is, Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is no joke!

Hazardous chemicals could be lurking under your sink and in your garage. What is HHW? Household Hazardous Waste is any product labeled: toxic, poison, corrosive, flammable or irritant. Products like these can’t be thrown in the regular trash, or even in the recycling bin because they can seep into our groundwater supplies, causing contamination of our drinking water. Even products like pesticides or pool chemicals that might get washed off a lawn, sidewalk or driveway can pose a risk to waterways from water that is carried from storm drains and gutters into the ocean.


HHW items like these can’t be disposed of in the trash or flushed down the drain.

But HHW isn’t just confined to household cleaners and liquids like paint. Even everyday items like batteries, CFL (or “curlicue”) light bulbs, and electronics have poisonous chemicals like mercury that have to be disposed of properly.


Household batteries shouldn’t be thrown in the trash.


E-Waste like computer monitors, TVs, cell phones, CPUs, and more contain hazardous chemicals that can be recycled property at an HHW collection event.


Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs contain mercury and can’t be thrown in the regular trash.


SHARPS, needles, and lancets are hazardous medical waste and should not be thrown in the regular trash or recycling bin.


The good news is that L.A. County residents have many ways they can recycle these common, household items. One way is to bring your hazardous items to a local HHW Roundup Event. HHW Roundups are held in a different city in the County every weekend, and rotate among all the Cities to provide coverage to everyone in L.A. County. There’s probably an HHW collection event coming up soon near you!


HHW collection events are sponsored jointly by Los Angeles County and the Sanitation Districts. To find a local HHW collection event near you, check the LA County Department of Public Works’ online schedule.


L.A. County also has seven permanent S.A.F.E. centers. SAFE stands for Solvents, Automotive, Flammables, Electronics. At these permanent collection centers, City and County residents can recycle their HHW and E-Waste for free. This includes motor oil, paint, SHARPs, expired medications, batteries, and more. Most centers are open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am–3pm (see locations for specific details). Visit the LA County Sanitation website for more details.

If thinking about getting rid of household cleaners, automotive fluids and other hazardous waste sends a shiver down your spine, make use of these resources to #recycle this holiday season.


One thought on “There’s Nothing Scarier Than Hazardous Waste! Recycle Right This Halloween

  1. That’s good to know that there are a lot of problems with getting rid of things like batteries by putting them in the trash. I like the idea of avoiding throwing away anything hazardous, so that’s good info. I should make sure I collect all my batteries, and then maybe have someone help me get rid of them properly.


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