Household hazardous materials, also known as household hazardous waste (HHW), are any products labeled: toxic, poisonous, corrosive, flammable, combustible or irritant. A typical home can contain a vast array of hazardous products used for cleaning, painting, beautifying, lubricating and disinfecting the house, yard, workshop and garage. If disposed of improperly, household hazardous waste can contaminate the air, water, soil, and possibly the food we eat.

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(Image courtesy of StopWaste

How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste 

Door-to-door home collection

To schedule an appointment for home pick-up, please call (800)-714-1195.

Permanent collection facilities

Open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proof of residency (formal ID or utility bill with Encinitas address) is required. The facilities are closed in observation of the following holidays:

  • 4/17/22 Easter
  • 5/30/22 Memorial
  • 7/4/22 Independence Day
  • 9/5/22 Labor Day
  • 11/24/21 Thanksgiving Day
  • 12/25/22 Christmas Day
  • 1/1/23 New Years Day

City of Poway’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility 

12325 Crosthwaite Circle
Poway, CA 92064

City of Vista Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility 

1145 E. Taylor Street
Vista, CA 92084

Disposal tips:

  • Make sure lids to containers for HHW are tightly secured.
  • Place containers in a sturdy cardboard box or plastic tub lined with two or more heavy-duty trash bags.
  • Make sure the load is placed securely in the back or in the trunk before traveling to the facility. The California Department of Transportation limits the transport of household hazardous waste to 15 gallons or 125 pounds per vehicle.

Universal Waste

Universal Waste or “u-waste”  includes many common products used daily that contain hazardous elements and need to be disposed at a designated collection facility. It is illegal to dispose of universal waste in trash or recycling containers, storm drains, open fields, etc. Universal waste is accepted through the City’s Household Hazardous Waste program. Some examples include household batteries, electronic waste (see below), and fluorescent lamps and tubes.

Universal Waste - Environmental Protection Agency

Electronic Waste

Electronic waste or "e-waste” refers to any unwanted electronic device or Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and is classified as universal waste. Common examples of e-waste include computer monitors, televisions, telephones and cellphones. Electronic waste may be collected through the City’s Household Hazardous Waste program. In addition, many schools, churches and other charitable organizations host one-day e-waste collection events throughout the year.

What is E-Waste? - CalRecycle

Solana Center E-Waste Program

In partnership with the City, Solana Center offers e-waste disposal. See Solana Center's website for more information and please note:

  • Please see staff at front door before unloading. 
  • All unloading must be performed by customer, staff will not be able to assist.
  • All customers must log their drop off by completing the E-Waste Drop-Off form.
  • A $5 donation is requested in order to help us continue offering this collection program to the community.
  • See Solana Center’s webpage for a complete list of allowed and prohibited items.

Solana Center for Environmental Innovation E-Waste Program
Open Thursdays 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

137 N. El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024

760-436-7986 ex. 700

Household Battery Collection

For the convenience of residents, non-rechargeable alkaline batteries are accepted for recycling at the following facilities during regular business hours. Automotive batteries are NOT accepted at these locations:

  • Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Dr.
  • Public Works Facility Lobby, 160 Calle Magdalena 
  • Encinitas Public Library Lobby, 540 Cornish Dr. 
  • Cardiff Library, 2081 Newcastle Ave. 

Rechargeable batteries can be recycled at Best Buy located at 1046 North El Camino Real. Please contact the business prior to arrival to verify that they are currently accepting rechargeable batteries.

Motor Oil

Used oil from leaking vehicles and from illicit dumping into the storm drain system significantly impacts our waterways, causing almost half of oil pollution in the ocean. Properly disposing of used oil is an important way to keep our waterways clean, and it can even be recycled into new products.

Use the links below to learn more: 

Information for new drivers and DIYers:

Where do you take used oil and used oil filters? Find the nearest Certified Collection Center:

How often should you change your vehicle’s oil?

How to reduce your use of oil:

Used motor oil can also be recycled through the City's Household Hazardous Waste program. Residents can also take motor oil to any of the following certified collection centers.

  • Auto Zone 120 Leucadia Blvd. 760-942-2662
  • Brad’s Foreign & Domestic 65 Westlake St., Suite 200-C 760-753-6217
  • Charlie’s Foreign Car 751 Second St. 760-753-4969
  • Encinitas Foreign and Domestic 901 Second St. 760-632-0830
  • Herman Cook Volkswagen* 1435 Encinitas Blvd. 760-753-6256
  • Jiffy Lube* 221 N. El Camino Real 760-632-1155
  • Kragen Auto Parts* 180 N. El Camino Real 760-753-4911
  • Valvoline Instant Oil Change 127 S. El Camino Real 760-943-1517
  • Pep Boys* 256 N. El Camino Real 760-944-7007

* These locations also accept used oil filters.


California paint stewardship program (Paint Care)

Recycle leftover paint with PaintCare, an industry sponsored paint stewardship non-profit program established to manage the reuse, recycling and proper disposal of unused architectural paint. For more information and to find Encinitas locations visit

Here are some tips for saving money, the environment and storage space:

Buy Right. Be a wise consumer and buy only what is needed. Local paint retailer can help customers buy the correct volume of paint for their projects. Purchasing the right volume of paint eliminates the need to store or dispose/recycle leftover paint and will save money. When a painting project is complete, take a look in the can. If there is only a small quantity of paint left, apply an final layer to use the remainder of the paint.

Store Properly. If a project is complete and there is still a fair amount of paint left over, store it properly for future use. For best results, cover the opening of the paint can with plastic wrap and securely seal the lid. Store in a place with a moderate room temperature. Be sure to choose a safe location out of reach of children and pets.

Reuse/Donate. Leftover paint can be used for touch-ups or for smaller projects. Record the room name on the lid for future touch ups. Residents can donate useable leftover paint to a neighbor, community association, theatre company, church group or other local organizations. To find locations to donate used paint, visit and select "Donate."

Recycle. Conveniently recycle unused paint at a PaintCare location or through the City’s Household Hazardous Waste program.

Pharmaceutical Waste

Encinitas residents can utilize the City’s Household Hazardous Waste program for disposal of all pharmaceuticals except controlled substances. Another convenient option is to take left-over medications to the Encinitas Sheriff Station located at 175 North El Camino Real (does not accept Sharps, see below).

Pharmaceutical waste is defined as items intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans or other animals. Medication waste is synonymous with drug waste, pharmaceutical waste, unused or expired medication, unused or expired drugs, prescription and over-the-counter human drugs, veterinary drugs, diagnostic agents, and nutritional supplements. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals and studies show that exposure to even low levels of drugs has negative effects on fish and other aquatic species, and also may negatively affect human health. Thus, we recommend households do not dispose of waste medication down the drain or down the toilet. This includes any prescription or nonprescription substances intended to be swallowed, inhaled, injected, applied to the skin or eyes, or otherwise absorbed. 

Sharps Waste

California law prohibits the disposal of sharps waste, syringes and lancets in the trash. Sharps may accidentally stick and expose children, housekeepers, janitors, trash collectors and pets to disease when improperly stored or discarded. Several options are available for proper disposal of sharps waste.  For example, ask a health care provider, pharmacist or the manufacturer if they take back used needles, lancets or syringes.  Residents may also dispose used needles, lancets, and syringes through the City’s Household Hazardous Waste program. Please place sharps in a puncture-proof, shatter-proof container with a tight lid (i.e. bleach or detergent bottle). For information on these locations or to schedule a home pickup, please call 800-714-1195.