Hazardous Waste and Sharps Disposal

Some products we use around our homes contain hazardous ingredients. These include many household cleaners, nail polish remover, motor oil, weed killer, hobby supplies, car batteries, household batteries, fluorescent bulbs, sharps, some electronics and bug sprays.

Household Hazardous Waste
Household Hazardous Waste

Many household products are made of chemicals that can harm us. If these items are used, stored or disposed of improperly, you, your pets or the environment can be injured.

Hazardous materials dumped on the ground or into the gutter can contaminate soil and the underground water supply – Fresno’s primary source of water. This page provides you with a guide for the disposal of hazardous products.

To protect you, your family, pets and the environment, these products must be used carefully and disposed of properly. Please don’t put HHW products in the trash, on the ground, down the sewer or into the gutter.

How can you tell if a product is hazardous?
Check the label on the container for key words:


Things to keep in mind:

  • Purchase only what you need, buy small amounts, check the label for the above key words, and avoid purchasing hazardous products
  • Read and follow label directions carefully. When you must use a hazardous substance, apply only as directed and only as much as needed.
  • Wear protective clothing such as safety glasses and gloves, and work in well-ventilated areas.
  • Store hazardous products in the original containers, in a cool dry place, away from children, pets and food. Check for leaks. Do not mix products or store products together that may be incompatible. This may cause toxic chemical reactions such as: explosions, fires, skin and eye irritations. Do not store hazardous products for more than one year from date of purchase.
  • Keep the number of the Poison Control Center visible and posted near the telephone in case of emergency (800) 222-1222

Batteries contain poisons that can be harmful to humans and the environment. In 1996 the Battery Act was passed making it illegal to throw batteries into the trash.

Rechargeable batteries can be charged up to 1,500 times before they need to be replaced. Once they need to be disposed of, they can be taken back to the store you purchased them from. You can also bring them to one of the local businesses that recycle batteries. Click on the PDF below for a list of local businesses that recycle small household quantities of rechargeable and single use batteries.

Fresno Area CFL & Battery Recyclers

If you have several types of hazardous items to dispose of, you may wish to contact the County of Fresno to get information about Household Hazardous Waste. To find out more, please call (559) 600-4259 or email recycling@co.fresno.ca.us.

Additional questions, please call COF Hotline (559) 621-1111

Fluorescent Bulbs

As of February 8, 2006, all fluorescent bulbs within the State of California must be properly disposed of. For more information contact the County of Fresno at (559) 600-4259 or recycling@co.fresno.ca.us.

Click on the PDF below to see a list of businesses in the Fresno area that recycle small household amounts of CFL bulbs and or batteries.

Fresno Area CFL & Battery Recyclers

Companies that recycle fluorescent bulbs:
Air Cycle Corporation located in Lisle, IL. provides the “Bulb-eater,” a valuable on-site bulb-crushing machine that contains the vapors produced from fluorescent bulbs. This allows for greater employee safety and reduces recycling costs by 50%.

Lighting Resources, LLC located in Simi Valley, CA offers a full-service lamp and ballast transportation operation. This company is designed specifically to handle lamps and ballasts. Vehicles are available to handle your materials regardless of the quantity or location. Please call (800) 572-9253 for additional information, quotes, or to schedule a pick-up.
Websites that offer additional information:

Additional questions, please call COF Hotline (559) 621-1111

Sharps and Pharmaceuticals

All home generated sharps (needles) CANNOT be placed in your trash can.

“Sharps” is the term used to describe any item that is capable of puncturing the skin such as syringes, needles, lancets, broken glass with blood on it, scalpels, etc. Because these ‘sharps’ potentially have disease-carrying blood or other bodily fluids on them, they are capable of ‘injecting’ that blood or fluid into anyone who comes in contact with them.

Mail-back Programs:

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility: You can also take used sharps in a red certified medical waste container to any HHW drop-off event. Please call Fresno County at (559) 600-4259 or visit their website for more information.

To better serve our Community against the illegal and uncontrolled disposal of sharps and pharmaceutical waste, the City of Fresno in partnership with Health Wise Services has placed special receiving kiosks at seven strategically selected locations throughout the City. The City’s new and innovative program helps to address an Assembly Bill (AB333) mandate making the disposal of sharps and pharmaceuticals (medical waste) in landfills illegal.

The Kiosks are secure and placed near a City Police or Fire Department station. Each of the safe and secure locations are open 24 hours and are easy to use. The Red Kiosk is for sharps and the White/blue kiosk is for medication.

The City asks that all materials be placed in a secure plastic or tin container, no larger than one gallon in size with a screw lid or top.

Sharps & Rx Kiosk Locations

Disposal Guide

Explosive – Can catch fire, explode or give off dangerous fumes when exposed to water or air.

Reactive – Unstable chemicals that may react spontaneously with flammables, water, or other chemicals – may by explosive.

Poisonous / Toxic – May cause injury or death when inhaled (breathing), ingested (eating or drinking), or absorbed through the skin (touching).

Corrosive – Can “eat through” clothes, metal, etc. and severely burn skin.

Flammable – Can catch on fire.

All items listed (except weapons) can be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. For information call (559) 600-4259 or visit the Fresno County Website.

All starred (*) items can be dried out outside, away from kids and pets, then placed in the gray trash container.

These items are Corrosive & Toxic – Do Not Mix with Other Substances

  • Ammonia-based products
  • Bathroom/Kitchen cleaners
  • Bleach
  • Car Wax (solvents)
  • Chlorine cleaners
  • Disinfectant
  • Drain Openers
  • Glass cleaners
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Oven cleaners

These items are Explosive – Take to the Police or Sheriff’s Department

  • Ammunition
  • Firearms

These items are Flammable

  • Aerosol sprays
  • Disinfecting sprays
  • Deodorant sprays
  • Hairspray

These items are Flammable, Corrosive & Toxic

  • Asphalt
  • Driveway Sealants
  • Roofing Tar*
  • Rug & Upholstery Cleaner*
  • Rust Remover*
  • Thinners

These items are Flammable & Toxic

  • Cleaner/Degreaser
  • Copper Polish*
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Enamel
  • Floor polish*
  • Furniture polish*
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Motor Oil
  • Nail Polish Remover*
  • Oil-Based Paint
  • Shoe polish*
  • Silver polish*
  • Spot Remover*
  • Stains
  • Solvents
  • Stripper
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Turpentine
  • Varnishes
  • Wood Preservatives

These items are Toxic

  • Abrasives
  • Antifreeze
  • Artist/Model Paint* (leftover paint must be taken to HHW event but a completely empty, dried out container can be placed in the blue cart)
  • Batteries (radios, toys, etc.)
  • Car Batteries
  • Fertilizer
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
  • Fungicides
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Medicine
  • Mercury (please click here for more information)
  • Mothballs
  • Latex Paint* (leftover paint should be soaked up with kitty litter and placed in the gray cart but the empty, dried out container can be placed in the blue cart)
  • Oil Based Paint (leftover paint must be taken to HHW event but a completely empty, dried out container can be placed in the blue cart)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Scouring Powder
  • Water-Based Paint* (leftover paint should be soaked up with kitty litter and placed in the gray cart but the empty, dried out container can be placed in the blue cart)
  • Weed Killer