Hazardous Waste

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What Is The Definition Of Hazardous Material?

Hazardous Material means any material that, because of its quantity, concentration or physical and chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment if released into the workplace or environment. There are two types of generators of hazardous materials:

  • Large- and small-quantity generators of hazardous materials, such as automotive service stations, painters, dry cleaners, photographers, printers, etc., should contract for periodic disposal with a company specializing in such disposal. The two largest hazardous material collection and disposal companies in San Diego County are Asbury Environmental Services, (800) 748-5744, and Safety Kleen Corp., (619) 401-3120. For a fee, these companies can also make special pickups of any quantity of hazardous material.
  • Household:
  • Smaller quantities of hazardous materials used exclusively onsite by a household can be properly disposed of for free at Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection facilities.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists these as the most commonly used household hazardous waste products requiring special disposal:

    Household Cleaners
  • Drain Openers
  • Oven Cleaners
  • Wood and Metal Cleaners and Polishers
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaners
  • General Purpose Cleaners
  • Disinfectants
  • Automotive Products
  • Oil and Fuel Additives
  • Grease and Rust Solvents
  • Carburetor and Fuel Injection Cleaners
  • Air Conditioning Refrigerants
  • Starter Fluids
  • Lubricating Fluids
  • Radiator Fluids and Additives
  • Waxes, Polishes and Cleaners
  • Grease and Rust Solvents
  • Body Putty
  • Transmission Additives
  • Home Maintenance & Improvement Products
  • Paints (liquid content)
  • Paint Thinners
  • Paint Strippers and Removers
  • Stains, Varnishes and Sealants
  • Adhesives
  • Wood Preservatives
  • Lawn & Garden Products
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Fungicides
  • Miscellaneous Products
  • Batteries (all types)
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Fingernail Polish and Removers
  • Photo Processing Chemicals
  • Where can I take the above household hazardous materials for proper disposal?

    The City of Santee contracts with one permanent household hazardous waste collection facility to accept residents' hazardous waste for free.  Proof of residency (i.e., current driver's license or utility bill) is required.  The facility is Waste Management in El Cajon (avg. 10-minute drive from Santee).  Open the second and fourth Saturdays by appointment only.  Residents must call Waste Management at (619) 596-5100 for an appointment and directions.  Loads should not weigh more than 125 pounds or be more than 15 gallons.  No explosives, medical waste or business waste is accepted at either site.

    Recycling Used Engine & Oil Filters

  • Santee homeowners with three-cart trash service can have their used engine oil and filters picked up for free at the curb on the same day as their trash, recycling and yard waste. The oil and filters cannot be mixed with other contaminants or hazardous waste.  Customers must call Waste Management at least 24 hours before their regular trash pick up if they intend to set out oil or filters. Full plastic bottles of oil and plastic film bags containing oil filters are picked up and empty bottles and bags are left in their place. To receive your initial oil bottles and bags or to schedule a pick up, call Waste Management at 619-596-5100.
  • Drop-off:
  • Santee has private, state-certified locations that accept up to five gallons of used engine oil a day for free from any person. The oil cannot be mixed with other contaminants or hazardous waste.  Most auto parts stores accept used oil. Call them before you arrive.
  • How do I dispose of hazardous materials not listed above?

  • Asbestos is often encountered during remodel projects of older homes – primarily in floor and ceiling tile removal. The suspect material should be tested to find out if it contains "friable" or "non-friable" asbestos. Friable means it is subject to fragmentation into tiny parts that can be inhaled or ingested. Friable asbestos is extremely hazardous. Non-friable asbestos remains intact and is not considered hazardous.    
  • Four labs in San Diego County that test asbestos are:        

    Design For Health (619) 291-1777
    HM Pitt Labs (619) 474-8548
    JMR Environmental (619) 858-7260
    Szaras Companies (619) 299-1203

    If the asbestos is tested to be friable, an asbestos removal specialist should be called.  Two companies that remove friable asbestos are:  

    Alliance Environmental (619) 640-0866
    Watkins Contracting (858) 279-7516

    Small quantities of friable asbestos are accepted at Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection facilities if labeled and double-bagged.
    If the asbestos has been tested as non-friable, it can be landfilled. San Diego Landfill Systems only accepts non-friable asbestos. Their phone number is (858) 541-2570.

    Cooking Oil:
  • Liquid cooking oil is not accepted by landfills and should be taken to a Permanent Household
    Hazardous Waste Collection facility. Used or unused cooking oil that has coagulated solid is acceptable by landfills. Large generators of cooking oil need to call Darling Delaware for disposal, (858) 566-8600.
  • Drums:
  • Residents with large drums containing hazardous materials must contact one of the hazardous waste contractors above for disposal.
  • Fluorescent Lights:
  • Fluorescent lights cannot be thrown in the trash and must be disposed of properly. The El Cajon Permanent Household Hazardous Waste facility will accept the tubes if they are protectively wrapped.
  • Freon-Containing Appliances:
  • Refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners are not accepted at Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection facilities but can be picked up by Waste Management by calling (619) 596-5100.
  • Medical Waste:
  • Used hypodermic syringes should be taken to a hospital that accepts them. They must be placed in a sealed, unbreakable container prior to delivery. Residents should not handle other types of medical waste.
  • Tires:
  • Tires can be recycled at most tire retail stores for a nominal fee. Tires are not accepted at any Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection facilities.