Managing Hazardous Waste in Our County

 

Residents and businesses within Calaveras and Alpine County can dispose of hazardous wastes at our Permanent Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Rock Creek Solid Waste Facility, which is open daily 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.  

The County does hold temporary HHW Collection Events annually for residents in Arnold, West Point and San Andreas.  They are now held the first weekend after Labor Day. Again, these temporary events are limited to residents, not businesses.  

Small quantity generator businesses can obtain the Hazardous Waste Disposal for Businesses form and instructions here.  This form needs to be submitted, approved and the delivery scheduled before a business can dispose of hazardous wastes at the County's permanent Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Rock Creek Facility.  Please ensure your appointment has been scheduled prior to delivery.    

 

 

Transportation Limits: California State Transportation Laws limit the transportation of hazardous waste for each vehicle to a maximum of 15 gallons of liquid (in no larger than 5-gallon containers) or 125 pounds of solid material.  Never mix chemicals.  Place in sealed containers and pack to prevent spills.  The Rock Creek facility will only accept materials up to these limits. If more than the allotted amount of hazardous waste is brought to Rock Creek, the remaining amount will not be accepted, but will be sent home with the resident. 


County personnel will be responsible for determining estimated quantities of material in closed containers. The County will document each load turned away from the facility to discourage illegal dumping.  If waste is found on the side of the road, California Highway Patrol will dispatch its Environmental Investigation Unit.  All costs will be charged to the party that dumped the waste.

 


Where hazardous wastes can be found:        

  • In the home - Cleaners, Over the Counter Medications, Aerosol Sprays, Batteries, Fluorescent Bulbs, Nail Polish, Makeup, Syringes, Mercury Thermometers, Mercury Thermostats and Adhesives.   
  • In the garage - Antifreeze, Used Oil (up to 20 gallons), filters, auto batteries, car cleaners, fuels, brake fluid, hydraulic oils, paints, stains, paint thinners, solvents & glues. 
  • In the yard - Pesticides, Herbicides, Propane tanks (no larger than 25 gallons), Fertilizer, Pool & spa chemicals. 

 

Definitions - Hazardous wastes pose substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment.  In the United States the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste is regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).       Hazardous wastes are defined under RCRA in 40 CFR 261 where they are divided into two major categories: characteristic wastes and listed wastes. Listed hazardous wastes are material specifically listed by regulatory authorities as a hazardous waste, which are from non-specific sources, specific sources, or discarded chemical products.

Characteristic hazardous waste are materials that are known or tested to exhibit one or more of the following four hazardous traits:

  • Reactive: Unstable, capable of exploding spontaneously
  • Toxic: Poisonous, toxic metals, like cadmium, chromium, lead, copper, barium, nickel and zinc.
  • Corrosive: Eats or wears away metals and other materials.
  • Ignitable: Catches fire under certain conditions.  

 

Improper Disposal is Illegal  
In California, disposal of hazardous waste into the trash, a municipal landfill, down the drain, or at any other unauthorized point is illegal. The illegal disposal of hazardous waste is a crime and any party who illegally disposes of a hazardous waste may be subject to fines up to $25,000 (per day, per incident) and/or be subject to imprisonment (Health & Safety Code, §§ 25189-25196)                  

 


If you need assistance in determining if your waste is hazardous, please contact the Calaveras County Environmental Management Agency at (209) 754-6399 or visit their website