Santa Monica News
Hazardous Waste Center In SM Closing
By Nashfa Hawwa
Sep 18, 2013 - 4:16:14 PM

Trash and waste being dumped.
SANTA MONICA—The Hazardous Waste Center, one of the first five of those centers in the United States has shut off operations as of September, according to the Household Hazardous Waste Center website.


The center was opened in 1987 to provide the public a safe way to manage its hazardous household products such as specialty batteries, paints and solvents, caustics, cleaning products, electronics (computers, televisions, cell phones), aerosols, refrigerant containing appliances, mercury containing wastes such as thermometers, switches and fluorescent lightning.


The center, which was located in the city yard, was closed due to budget restraints. After the economic recession, the center reduced its official hours from four days a week to only one day per month. Despite the drastic change in hours of operation, it still cost $430,000 per year to run the facility and to bring contracted technicians from the PSC Environmental Company. It is estimated that the $100,000 will be saved annually following the closure of the facility.


The center was collecting between 250,000 to 280,000 pounds of waste per year, when the facility was still running. Now that it is closed, the Hazardous Waste Center website provides three free alternatives that residents can use in order to safely dispose of their toxic household waste.


Option one is to have a “hazmat technician come to you,” according to the website. Free home collection can be arranged by calling 800-449-7587 from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or by emailing


The program sends a collection kit with detailed instructions to prepare for collection with “pre-printed labels for unmarked product containers, a heavy gauge plastic bag, a plastic zip tie for closing the bag and a survey card with a self-addressed, stamped envelope,” as stated on the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and Environment website. Residents do not have to be home on collection days, which make it convenient for residents.


A second option is the service of the Los Angeles County S.A.F.E Center (Solvents/Automotive/Flammables/Electronics) Recycling and Disposal Center that offers its services for free.


A third option includes neighborhood drop off sites, such as the collection center at UCLA. Modern hazardous waste regulations in the U.S. began with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (R.C.R.A), which was enacted in 1976.

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