Special Programs, Special Handling

Ag Pesticide Containersag pest container

American Avenue Disposal Site accepts triple-rinsed containers. Call American Avenue Disposal Site at (559) 600-4259 for rules, dates accepted, and disposal charges.

Appliances - Major

State law prohibits landfills and scrap dealers from accepting discarded major appliances without a "Certificate of Recycling," proving that all hazardous materials have been removed by a Certified Appliance Recycler (CAR). Please contact the County at (559) 600-4259 for the most current information on where major appliances may be taken for disposal by a CAR or access this information in our Turning It Around(PDF, 5MB) directory.

Appliances - Small

Small appliances that contain toxic materials (e.g., mercury switches, heavy metals and/or lead solder) have been banned by the state from landfills in California. Please contact the County at (559) 600-4259 for the most current information on where small appliances may be taken for disposal or access this information in our Turning It Around(PDF, 5MB) directory.

Ammunition, Gun Powder, Fireworks, Other Explosives

Call the business office of your local fire station, police department, or sheriff's station for information on how to handle these materials. Fresno County Sheriff's Department: 559-600-3111. For incorporated cities in Fresno County, please visit our Other Weblinks page.


Batteries are considered hazardous waste. Rechargeable batteries include nickel cadmium(NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Litium Ion (LiION), and small-sealed lead batteries weighing up to 2 pounds each. Please visit www.call2recycle.org for more information.You may also call 1-800-8-BATTERY (1-800-822-8837) to find a location near you. The Fresno County Regional Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility accepts all types of batteries for recycling. Click here(PDF, 342KB) for a list of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Network Sites that accept batteries.

Cell Phones*

It is illegal to place any cell phone into a landfill or your trash. Return the phone to the purchase location or donate it to charity. Cell phones are accepted at the Fresno County Regional Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility. For more information on the HHW Facility, click here.

Fluorescent Light/Ballasts (Fixtures)*specwast1

Ballasts may contain a hazardous chemical polychlorinated biphenol (PCB), and must be taken to the Fresno County Regional Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW Facility). For more information on the HHW Facility, click here. Fluorescent lights include tubes, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), and high intensity light bulbs. Fluorescent lights contain mercury, which is a hazardous chemical. It is illegal to place these in a landfill. Household quantities of fluorescent lights can be taken to the Fresno County Regional Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW Facility) or most major hardware retailers. For a list of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Network Sites that accept lamps/lights click here(PDF, 342KB). For information regarding conditionally exempt small quantity generator (CESQG) programs, contact the County at 559-600-4259 or click here.

Junk Mail

There are web sites that can help you reduce junk mail. For information, please visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov/reducewaste/home/junkmail.htm.


An $11 fee is added on all purchased mattresses, to collect and recycle used mattresses. Mattresses to be recycled must be clean and free of health hazards. See our Turning It Around(PDF, 4MB) guide for locations or visit www.byebyemattress.com.

Mattress Recyclers and Collection Centers:

A&J Industrial 1735 Dockery Ave., Selma
Cedar Avenue Recycling and Transfer Station (CARTS) 3457 S Cedar Ave., Fresno
Coalinga Thrift Shop 198 W Forest Ave., Coalinga
Goodwill Distribution Center 5741 E Central Ave., Fresno
Republic Services - Rice Road Recycling & Transfer Station 10463 N Rice Rd., Fresno
Reedley Corporation Yard 1733 9th Street, Reedley
Sanger Corporation Yard 333 North Ave., Sanger
San Joaquin Public Works Yard 21956 Railroad Ave., San Joaquin
Pena's Disposal 12094 Ave 408, Cutler
Mid Valley Disposal Transfer Stations 15300 W. Jensen Ave., Kerman
2721 S. Elm Ave., Fresno
1255 W. Elm St., Coalinga
1535 Avenue 392, Kingsburg
Rest In Peace Recycling 3441 S Willow Ave., Fresno

Medication/Pharmaceuticals (NO SHARPS)

It is illegal for medications to be poured down sinks or placed in toilets, sewers, gutters, into any body of water, or placed in any location where the medication may end up in contact with water or ground water. There are three options currently available for disposal. Information Provided by the Lock It Up Project:

A) Best/Recommended Option: Drug Drop Boxes- Bring medications to one of the drug drop box locations listed here(PDF, 264KB). The pills should be removed from the original containers and placed in a plastic bag. If the medication is liquid, leave the medication in the original container and place in a plastic bag to avoid spills. Cross out or remove all personal information.

B) Good Option: Mail-In Program - Many types of medication can be mailed to disposal companies for a fee. Contact your local pharmacy or visit the California Department of Public Health website at www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/medicalwaste/Pages/MailBack.aspx.

C) Acceptable Option: Place in Garbage - Follow the guidelines listed below BEFORE placing in garbage.

  1. DO NOT FLUSH OR POUR unused medications down the toilet or drain.
  2. Put medications into a sealable bag or disposable container with a lid.
  3. Add water to dissolve the medication then mix with something like dirt, cat litter, or coffee grounds. Bag it or wrap the mixture and place in the trash.
  4. Conceal or remove any personal information on drug containers before placing in the trash.

Plastic Bags

Large supermarkets and stores with pharmacies are required to provide a bin in which clean plastic carryout bags may be collected for recycling, and to make reusable bags available to customers for purchase. The County of Fresno encourages all residents to shop with reusable bags whenever possible.

Propane Tanks/Canisters

Tanks and Canisters are completely recyclable however extreme caution is required. Make sure all remaining fuel has been vented from the container using the value. Do not puncture as this could cause explosion. Once the fuel has been vented or removed from the tank, these can be placed in the blue recycling bin or returned to the nearest propane tank collection location such as hardware, grocery, or convenience stores.

Railroad Ties/Telephone Poles/Treated Wood

Wood treated with creosote, arsenic, lead paint, preservatives, and other chemicals is considered a hazardous waste, and is not accepted at landfills. For disposal options, contact the County at (559) 600-4259.

specwast5Roofing Material

Some composite shingles may contain asbestos. Special testing, packaging and noticing may be required before you can dispose of this item. Call the County at (559) 600-42559 for details before you start this kind of project. For asbestos disposal options, click here.

Pharmaceutical Drug Drop-off Program

Please see the medication/pharmaceuticals section of this page for locations on where to dispose of old medications or review more option through the Lock It Up Project.

Sharps (Needles/Lancets - Home Users Only)*

State law prohibits the placement of sharps in your trash or landfills; however, they can be taken to the Fresno County Regional Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW Facility). Contact the County for information on proper disposal of these items. State law requires sharps to be transported in certified sharps or locally approved containers. For a list of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Network Sites that accept Sharps, click here(PDF, 264KB).

Smoke Detectors

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) considers smoke detectors universal waste, which is prohibited for disposal in the regular trash or area landfills. There are currently three types of smoke alarms on the market: ionization, photoelectric/optical and combination ionization/photoelectric. The ionization and combination types contain a very minute amount of radioactive material. Currently, Fresno County does not have the ability to accept or handle these smoke detectors for "end of life" management. Residents need to contact the smoke detector's specific manufacturer for take-back of the used product. If the manufacturer will not take back the used smoke detector, contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) at (800)728-6942 for recycling/disposal options. Another option is to contact Curie Services at the following URL https://www.curieservices.com/smoke-alarm-recycling/curiepack/ for residential recycling/disposal options.

Solar Panels

The State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) currently considers used or spent solar panels as Hazardous Waste unless they are specifically tested and proven otherwise. Currently, Fresno County does not have the ability to accept, test, or handle solar panels in this condition for "end of life" management. The State of California passed legislation authorizing the DTSC to adopt regulations to designate used or spent solar panels as universal waste. The DTSC is in the process of adopting new regulations for proper "end of life" management of these solar panels as a universal waste. Until these regulations are adopted, and County plans are put in place, the County suggests that residents with spent or used solar panels that need to be disposed, contact the installers or manufacturer of their specific solar panels to determine if they are hazardous and for proper disposal options.

Thermostats/Thermometers (Containing Mercury)*

Many manufacturers will take back their own products for recycling. The Fresno County Regional Permanent HHW Facility accepts thermostats and thermometers for recycling. Please contact the County of Fresno at 600-4259 for additional information. For a complete list of locations or to receive a mail in container visit https://thermostat-recycle.org/ Please see our thermostats and thermometers section here(PDF, 342KB) for a list of locations in Fresno County.

Tires specwast7

Please reference our Used Tire page for details on tire amnesty collection, disposal, and other recycling options.

Vehicles - Abandoned

City of Fresno - Code Enforcement 559-621-8400 or California Highway Patrol 559-441-5400.

*Items marked with an asterisk are accepted at Fresno County Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW Facility) located at the American Avenue Disposal Site at 18950 W. American Avenue, Kerman, CA 93630. For more information, please see our Household Hazardous Waste page

Please call the Resources Division at (559) 600-4259 if you have any questions or need information about the topics listed above. You can also email staff at recycling@fresnocountyca.gov, or reach us by FAX at (559) 600-4552.

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