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Learn about how you can help keep San Diego Bay free of household hazardous waste with the Port of San Diego!

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ThatsMyBay graphic depicting various Household Hazardous Waste icons
Where Can I Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste? 

Start here: WasteFreeSD is San Diego County’s one-stop zero waste resource for recycling and diversion of household items and hazardous waste from landfills.  

Find WasteFreeSD here

More resources are featured below!

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

From acid and adhesives to wax and wood stains, you would be surprised at how many items in your everyday life can be considered household hazardous waste.

Everyone uses hazardous chemicals in their homes, whether it’s an all-purpose cleaner to keep your home tidy, motor oil to keep your car running, or even a pack of batteries to power small (or large!) items. When these items are expired and ready to be disposed of, they become classified as hazardous waste.

Keep Hazardous Waste Out of San Diego Bay! 

When hazardous waste items are improperly disposed down the sewer, storm drains, or the regular trash, we run the risk of untreated chemicals seeping into our soil, groundwater, and the natural environment such as our beautiful San Diego Bay. The effects of introducing common household chemicals to the environment can be catastrophic to human health and the bay ecosystem.

How do I Identify Household Hazardous Waste?

If you’re wondering, “what makes an item hazardous?” We’ve got you covered with a few easy-to-remember hints as well as a breakdown of common hazardous waste categories.

Hazardous Waste Hint 1: Check the Label  

Products like latex paint cans or prescription drugs should have indicators on their label that let you know if the contents inside are hazardous. Often, there will be recommended product disposal information indicated as well. Common indicators include the words, “DANGER,” “WARNING,” or “CAUTION.”

Hazardous Waste Hint 2: Always Ask & Check Out the Resources Near You!

If you feel like your item contains potentially harmful chemicals, check out the manufacturer’s website for advice and guidance on appropriate product disposal. For additional advice and resources, look no further than your local city or county! Slide down the page for helpful local resources as well.

Let's learn more about the types of household hazardous waste

Automotive Waste

Automotive waste can include fluids, engine oil or solvents used during normal vehicle repair and maintenance. Improperly disposing of automotive waste down the sewer, storm drains, or in the regular trash results in contamination of our wastewater treatment systems, ground water, and natural waterways, posing a threat to human and environmental health. 

Examples: used motor oil, oil filters, unused antifreeze, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, fuel 



ThatsMyBay graphic depicting various Automotive Waste icons

ThatsMyBay graphic depicting empty battery icons


Depending on their intended use, batteries can come in a variety of types and sizes. Improperly disposing of batteries in the regular waste bin can increase risk of injury to sanitation workers from reactivity, cause fires, impact air quality, and pose a threat to environmental health. 

Examples: automobile batteries, household batteries, rechargeable batteries


Electronics such as household or office devices no longer in use in working or non-working condition are known to contain heavy metals such as mercury or lead. These contaminants can seep into ground water or reach waterways during storm events if improperly disposed of in the regular trash, harming human and environmental health. 

Examples: computers, monitors, televisions, phones, printers 



ThatsMyBay graphic depicting various e-waste icons

ThatsMyBay graphic depicting various Household Hazardous Waste icons

Household Chemicals

Household chemicals can come in a variety of products. These are non-consumable products commonly designed to help with home or office maintenance and improvement. If these products are handled or disposed of incorrectly, they can pose a threat to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. 

Examples: cleaners, Latex paints, oil paints, wood stains, solvent, pool chemicals, glues, adhesives



Yard Chemicals

Yard chemicals are the additives and products used in lawn and garden care to improve plant/lawn health or prevent or eliminate weeds, insects, and other harmful plant diseases. If disposed of improperly, yard chemicals can pose health risks to humans, wildlife, and the environment. 

Examples: pesticides, fertilizers, weed and vegetation killers

ThatsMyBay graphic depicting various Yard Waste icons

ThatsMyBay graphic depicting various Pharmaceutical Waste icons

Pharmaceutical Waste

Pharmaceutical waste can refer to products used for personal health and treating ailments, such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, or syringes. While these products may be beneficial to the people using them, they can lead to long lasting environmental impacts if improperly disposed. Pharmaceuticals that make their way into the natural environment cause greenhouse gas emissions. They also can alter the growth and development of plants, animals and marine life, and are a factor in creating  antibiotic resistant bacteria that could be harder to treat. 

Examples: medicine, sharps – including needles, lancets, syringes 

And more!

  • Mercury items such as thermometers and thermostats
  • Aerosol cans
  • Propane
  • Fluorescent lights - including tubes and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
  • Large appliances – including refrigerators, ovens/stoves, air conditioners, microwaves 
ThatsMyBay graphic depicting various Household Hazardous Waste icons

Where in San Diego can you dispose of your Household Hazardous Waste? 

Follow the links for more information!

 San Diego County: 
City of San Diego:
Chula Vista*: Chula Vista Environmental Services 
Coronado: City of Coronado Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Imperial Beach*: City of Imperial Beach Household Hazardous Waste Collection
National City*: National City Public Works Trash & Recycling

*South Bay Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility will accept household hazardous waste from Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and Unincorporated San Diego County residents, free of charge and no appointment necessary! 

State: California Department of Toxic Substances Control  
  • The California Department of Toxic Substances Control works to protect the environment and communities by ensuring compliance with hazardous waste laws.  Find them here
National: Safer Choice  
  • Safer Choice is an EPA Pollution Prevention program that helps consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that perform and contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment.   Find them here



Looking for more ways to take care of your bay?  

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Composting is fun and easy! 

Learn the basics with the Port of San Diego. 

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acartoon graphic of water, a pink car, a city skyline, and #ThatsMyBay logo

Vehicle Maintenance


Taking good care of your bay means taking care of your car! 



Rocker Storm Drayne Is ready for rain with his umbrella!

Are You Ready for Rain?

Prep Before it Rains!




Han on Hank - a green monkey - is on a blanket with a picnic basket

Go Zero Waste!

Adopt a zero-waste lifestyle and help keep our beautiful bay resources alive for years to come! 



a little green monkey poses with reused items

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to help keep your community (and bay) in ship shape! 



a cartoon seahorse is sickened by bacteria from dog poop

Scoop the Poop

Scoop the Poop! Pick up after your pet so their waste doesn't get washed into the bay.



Rocker Storm Drayne Is ready for rain with his umbrella!

Storm Drayne

Everything seems so fresh and clean after it rains, but that is because all of the blown away napkins, dropped trash, leaked oil, and whatever else - get washed into storm drains, and into the bay. Prevention is key!



Trash Trooper Troy

Take Care of Your Trash

San Diego Bay doesn’t just belong to all of us - it belongs to each of us.



Hang on Hank

Traveling With Trash

Keep a Monkey Grip on Your Trash! Hang-on Hank says, "When traveling with trash, be sure it doesn't escape from your car or truck so there is no risk of it blowing into the bay."

The Drayniacs are Storm Drayne's biggest fans.

Drayniacs Know Your Drains

Everything seems so fresh and clean after it rains, but that is because all of the blown away napkins, dropped trash, leaked oil, and whatever else - get washed into storm drains, and into the bay. Prevention is key!



Meet Mike The Mime - He wants you to Mime Your Cigarette Butts

Mime Your Butts

MIke the Mime’s message is loud and clear - Mime Your Butts!


Trash Trooper Trish says "that's my bay!"

Keep A Lid On It

Meet Trash Trooper Trish and help us keep our bay clean by keeping a lid on it!





Bay Brotocol

Bay Brotocol

Two bay loving bros are shocked to see a neighbor over watering his lawn, allowing chemicals to seep into storm drains. They are happy to turn their unsuspecting overwatering neighbor into a brocean bro that knows how to take care of his bay.





He was thrown or blown from a moving vehicle earlier this afternoon near the Laguna Mountains at the top of the watershed and witnesses were unable to catch him. We're told that a storm then began, and Lil Wrapper was swept into a storm drain with other debris.

Lil Wrapper

From Lil Wrapper to littered wrapper. How does a promising snack star on the rise in east county, end up as a potential threat to innocent seahorses in #SanDiegoBay?



Pollution Pirate Pete is confused by these shiny trinkets and takes his “valuables” to get appraised only to find that his immortal plastic bounty is a bust.

Keep the Seas Plastic Free

Leaving just one small piece of trash may seem like no big deal - but those little bits add up, and they don't just stay put or go away on their own.



a person is holding a pump out hose and pointing at the viewer

Dump at the Pump

We want you to have fun on your boat - just make sure it all stays on your boat...vessel sewage is not allowed to be discharged into the bay!