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May 31, 2023

Recycle household hazardous waste for free on May 20

Free Recycle Day will take place at Brigantino Park in Hollister

Recycle your non-rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, electronic waste, and residential fluorescent lights for free from 9am-1pm May 20. The free San Benito Recycle Day will take place at Brigantino Park, 2100 San Juan Hollister Road in Hollister. 

In early 2022, the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management (IWM) Regional Agency was awarded a grant project funded by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to expand access to recycling opportunities for household hazardous waste (HHW), says a press release from San Benito County. The grant is also designed to promote and offer incentives to switch to environmentally friendly alternatives, such as LEDs. 

As part of the grant, IWM will host the May 20 Recycle Day in Hollister. At the event, residents can bring non-rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries, as well as fluorescent lamps for safe recycling. Participating households will receive up to two free 5.5W LED bulbs at the event, while supplies last.

The press release reminds residents that it is illegal to place batteries or fluorescent lamps in the trash or recycling. Batteries improperly deposited in household receptacles can cause fires in trucks and facilities that can endanger workers and damage expensive equipment. Fluorescent lamps contain mercury, a potent neurotoxin that causes harmful and long-term health effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems. “Recycling batteries, e-waste and fluorescent lamps is crucial to preventing environmental pollution, conserving natural resources and protecting public health,” says the press release.

LEDs reduce energy consumption and thereby save money on electricity costs. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, LED lamps use up to 80% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer, making them both an efficient and environmentally friendly choice, the press release continues. And they don’t contain harmful mercury.

“Many residents have common hazardous waste products, like dead batteries and light bulbs or electronics in their household that need to be properly disposed of, and not simply tossed in their garbage or recycling bin,” said Mindy Sotelo, Chair of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors. “Safe disposal of household hazardous waste is essential to human health and our environment. We encourage our residents to take advantage of the free HHW Recycle Day event on May 20 at Brigantino Park, which provides residents of San Benito County a safe and responsible way to dispose of those unwanted hazardous items. It is important that we all do our part to keep our community clean and safe.” 

At the May 20 event, residents will also be able to recycle their electronic waste such as computers, smartphones and televisions that are illegal to dispose of in the trash or recycling. These e-waste recycling services are sponsored by Recology San Benito. More information about the event can be found at

San Benito County residents who are unable to make it on May 20 can also bring HHW—including rechargeable and non-rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, e-waste and fluorescent lamps—to the monthly HHW Collection Event at John Smith Road Landfill every third Saturday of the month from 9am-12pm. The landfill is located at 2650 John Smith Road in Hollister.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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