Environmental update: Got hazardous waste?

By From page A5 | February 06, 2014

February marks the seven-year anniversary of the statewide landfill ban on batteries, fluorescent light bulbs/tubes, TVs, computer monitors and other products containing mercury. These items are illegal to throw in the trash.

Davis residents can safely dispose of their household batteries for free at the Davis Senior Center, CVS/pharmacy stores, Rite-Aid stores, Nugget Markets, Stephens Branch Library, Hibbert Lumber, Davis Ace Hardware, Aggie Ace Hardware and the Davis Food Co-op. All batteries must be sorted by type (alkaline, lithium and rechargeable) before you bring them to a site to be recycled. Place each type into a separate plastic bag for easy handling.

Yolo County residents can drop off electronics and fluorescent tubes and bulbs at the Yolo County Central Landfill on County Road 28H daily for free during normal business hours. On Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the landfill accepts household hazardous waste for free, including propane canisters, pharmaceuticals (non-controlled), cleaning products, mercury thermometers, pool chemicals, paint, automotive products, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and used syringes. These items may not be placed in the trash cart.

In Davis, electronics are accepted for recycling at the Goodwill Donation Xpress, 2939 Spafford Drive, Suite 110, and 417 Mace Blvd., Suite E; and the SPCA Thrift Store, 920 Third St. When you are dropping off your electronics at either of these sites, be sure to let them know if they work and can be sold for reuse, or if they do not work and need to be recycled.

In order to protect sanitation workers from needle sticks, state law has made it illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container. Home-generated sharps waste includes hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets and other devices from a household or multifamily residence that are used to penetrate the skin to deliver medications.

If you have sharps waste, here are some of the disposal options available to you for disposal:

* Hazardous waste drop-off: Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Yolo County Central Landfill accepts home-generated sharps in approved sharps collection containers. You can either purchase a sharps container (available at most pharmacies) or you can use a rigid container such as a bleach bottle, detergent container or a coffee can, with the lid taped shut and the words SHARPS WASTE written on the outside of the container.

* Hospital take-back: Some hospitals might take back sharps from those patients who go to the hospital for regular outpatient services.

* Drop-off collection and mail-back service: The California Department of Public Health offers an online list of sharps waste collection and mail-back services authorized for use in California. Visit CalRecycle.CA.Gov/HomeHazWaste/Sharps for details.

For more information on hazardous waste and recycling, visit DavisRecycling.org or email me at [email protected].


California Duck Days, a wetlands and wildlife festival, will begin with a gala reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at the Davis Art Center, 1919 F St. The reception includes refreshments and a wildlife art exhibit by Yolo County high school students.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, the festival will continue with field trips and workshops at the Yolo Wildlife Area Headquarters facility in South Davis. For more information and to register, visit YoloBasin.org.

— Jennifer Gilbert is the city of Davis’ conservation coordinator; her column is published monthly. Reach her at [email protected]

Jennifer Gilbert

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