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Household Hazardous Waste, Pharmaceuticals, and Sharps

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility

Hazardous wastes generated by residents and businesses are reaching our waterways through sewers, storm drains, and landfills. To help prevent pollution to our water environment, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District and Mountain View Sanitary District partnered in 1997 to open a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility in Martinez. If you're like most people, you probably have hazardous waste products somewhere in your home or business, such as common cleaning agents; personal care products; automotive care products; paint products; and miscellaneous home, garden, and pest control products. When you've finished using these products, don't discard them in your regular garbage. Do the right thing for the environment and take them to the HHW facility. The drive-through service is fast and efficient, offered free of charge to residents, with appointments available to businesses for just a nominal fee. The facility also includes a reuse room that contains items in their original containers that are available free of charge and suitable for reuse.

Items NOT accepted at the facility include medical waste, sharps, and medications; wastes contaminated with PCB's at more than 50 parts-per-million (note: fluorescent light ballasts containing PCB's will be accepted); radioactive material; explosive waste; compressed gas cylinders (BBQ style propane tanks are accepted); and electronic waste.

The facility is located at 4797 Imhoff Place in Martinez, and is open Monday - Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for residents (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the reuse room); and Monday - Saturday by appointment only for small businesses. For a complete list of what is accepted at the facility and other information, please visit www.centralsan.org and click on the link to Household Hazardous Waste, or call 1-800-646-1431.

Pharmaceuticals and Sharps

 The disposal of unwanted or expired pharmaceuticals down a drain or toilet is both illegal and damaging to the environment. Research has found that small amounts of pharmaceutical drugs collect in streams, lakes, and rivers by entering through wastewater treatment plants that treat residential, commercial, and industrial wastewater. The majority of these pharmaceuticals enter the sewer system through disposal of unused or expired medications down the toilet or drain. Wastewater treatment plants are designed to remove conventional pollutants such as solids and biodegradable materials; they are not designed to remove man-made pollutants such as medications. Increased amounts of pharmaceuticals in surface water bodies have been shown to increase bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

The City of Martinez offers a free and convenient disposal service at the Martinez Police Department, located at 525 Henrietta St., across from City Hall. The City asks those using the pharmaceutical disposal bin to:

1.     Empty all pills, caplets, etc. into a zip lock bag prior to placement in the container.

2.     Take empty pill containers away for disposal in a home recycling bin. Remove any and all personal information from container prior to placing it in the recycling bin.

3.     Do not place needles or other “sharps” type instruments in the pharmaceutical disposal container. A separate disposal unit specifically designed for “sharps” is conveniently located just a few feet away in the room to the right.

Items not accepted in the pharmaceutical disposal bin are:

            -Aerosol cans

            -Needles, lancets, or pen needles (any sharps)

            -No controlled substances

            -Personal care products

            -Thermometers

For “Sharps” disposal bin:

Please only deposit needles, lancets, and similar items. Please make sure these items are deposited in a rigid, sealed container. For more disposal locations, click here.

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