Hazardous Waste Disposal: Easy and Free

I visited one of Orange County’s household hazardous waste facilities last week. I could not believe how fast and easy it was.


Orange County Waste and Recycling operates four locations for dropping off your household hazardous waste: Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Irvine, and San Juan Capistrano. All the centers are open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They are closed on major holidays and rainy days.


I went to the Irvine location. I had my trunk filled up with paint cans (we recently repainted our house so I needed to dump the old paint colors), used batteries, burned out CFL bulbs, and a neighbors old TV.


It seriously could not have been easier. I pulled right up – no waiting. I gave them my zip code. You don’t even have to get out of the car – actually they ask that you don’t. The super-friendly staff (yes, super friendly, I couldn’t believe how nice they were) opened my trunk and took everything out. They thanked me and I drove off. In all, it took about four minutes.


So please, please, if you have any hazardous waste, don’t throw it in the regular trash, don’t wash it down the drain or allow to go into storm sewers, and don’t let it sit around collecting dust (and posing a danger for kids) in your garage.


Products like as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients should be dropped off at hazardous waste. Improper disposal of these wastes can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.


Here are the types of hazardous waste items not to be placed in regular trash but accepted at the HW collection facilities:


For a larger more readable version of this list, click here.


OC Waste and Recycling also offers a materials exchange program at each of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers. There, you can find a variety of partially used items like paint, pesticides, pool cleaners, etc. – all for free. And you don’t even need to drop anything off to pick up an item. You can stop at any the centers the next time you need any products for your next project. You could save a ton of money and provide a great reuse for household items that would otherwise end up in the trash.




When I pulled away, I was just in awe that we have services like this available – free, fast, friendly. I got my garage cleaned out, helped a neighbor, diverted hazardous waste from the landfill, and all for free.


Learn more about Allison. You can find her on twitter ocgreenmama.


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