Household Hazardous Waste Program

Household Hazardous Waste Has Its Place... And it's not inside any Mission Trail collection bin.

Hazardous waste can't be thrown out with the garbage, recycling or organics. Before you toss it, check the label. If it's marked Danger, Warning, Poisonous, or Flammable, it's probably toxic.

For no additional charge, Mission Trail offers curbside pickup for household batteries, cell phones & PDAs, used motor oil & filters, cooking oil, and water-based (latex) paint. Please review the handling instructions below:

  • Household Batteries - should be placed inside a clear zipper-locked bag and placed on top of your blue cart on collection day. We'll collect alkaline and pile lithium batteries including A, AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt, 9-volt, rechargeable, camera, watch, hearing aid, calculator and similar. Please put a piece of tape over the positive terminal on all batteries before placing in a bag.
  • Cell Phones & PDAs - Place inside a clear plastic zipper-lock. Leave bag on top of your blue recycling cart for collection.
  • Used Motor Oil & Filters - Contain in free jugs/bags provided by Mission Trail. Contact us to order. Please place contained oil/filter next to your recycling cart for collection.
  • Cooking Oil - Contain in original (or similar) bottle/jug. Must have secure screw-top lid and be clearly labeled.
  • Water-based Paint - Contain in original can. Make sure lid is secure. Place can(s) next to your recycling cart for collection. Note that empty, dry paint cans go inside the recycling cart.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps/Bulbs - Contain in a clear plastic zipper-lock bag. Leave bag on top of your blue recycling cart for collection.

Do not mix batteries, cell phones & PDAs, and CFLs together.


Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off
Residents may also take toxic items to Santa Clara County's free household hazardous waste collection facility. Visit www.hhw.org or call 408-299-7300 for information. The County accepts paint, polishes, thinners, solvents, cleaning fluids, poisons, pesticides, pool chemicals, propane, helium, small pressurized tanks (propane, helium, oxygen), smoke detectors, prescription & over-the-counter drugs, sharps (in appropriate container), and more.

How do I dispose of e-waste?
Computers, printers, televisions, fax machines, VCRs, stereo components, video game players, and other forms of e-waste contain hazardous substances and require special handling. Through Mission Trail's Cleanup/Bulky Item Collection Program, Los Altos residents can have one e-waste item collected for no charge every six months. Alternatively, residents can deliver e-waste to any number of free collection sites. For a list of sites, visit www.hhw.org, www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Electronics/, and www.recyclestuff.org.

Looking to dispose of sharps?
The Los Altos Pharmacy, located at 255 2nd Street, collects needles & lancets. Program is free to local residents. Sharps must be inside an approved biohazard container.

Where can I take unwanted/expired medications?
Medications are considered hazardous and cannot safely or legally be placed in any Mission Trail cart. Medications can be taken to one of the free County Household Hazardous Waste drop-offs. For details, please call 1-408-299-7300 or visit www.hhw.org. Some pharmacies and hospitals will also take medications back, please call first to confirm.