Properly disposing of hazardous waste can be costly and inconvenient. Businesses may not use the residential hazardous waste program. Fortunately, small business owners in Santa Clara County have a different cost-effective and environmentally sound option to meet their hazardous waste recycling and disposal needs.

If your business qualifies as a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG), you have the opportunity to participate in the Santa Clara County CESQG Program. Continue reading below to see if your business qualifies for the CESQG Program and to learn how you can participate. If you have any further questions on whether or not your business qualifies, please call (800) 207-8222.

If your business does not qualify for the CESQG Program, please refer to Santa Clara County’s Department of Environmental Health – Hazardous Materials Compliance Division for detailed information on how to properly handle your business’ hazardous waste.


Step 1: Determine if you Qualify

  • The business must qualify as a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) as defined in the California Health and Safety Code, section 25218.1, and Code of Federal Regulations 40, Section 261.5.
    • According to code, you must generate less than 220 lbs., or 27 gallons of hazardous waste per month, or less than 2.2 lbs. of Extremely Hazardous Waste per month.
    • Non-Profits, landlords, apartment managers, and businesses who generate hazardous waste are considered small businesses, and are not exempt from disposal fees.

Step 2: Obtain a California E.P.A.  I.D. Number

  • All participants of the Small Business Program must have an EPA Identification Number.  Call the California Environmental Protection Agency (CAL EPA)  at 1-800-618-6942 to apply for either a Temporary or Permanent Number.  In the majority of cases, EPA ID numbers can be assigned over the phone.  Please be patient and prepared for high call volumes.

Step 3: Submit an Inventory Sheet  

  • After printing and filling out this Inventory Sheet, please email the completed invetory sheet to and call Stericycle at (800) 207-8222.
Step 4: Schedule and Appointment
  • Once we receive your inventory sheet, we will produce a price quote and contact you.  If you agree to the price and wish to proceed, we will create an account for you.  Once your account is created, we can proceed with setting up an appointment.  We have hazardous waste collection events for businesses in San Martin and San Jose.  Once you agree to an appointment, we will fax or email you  your copy of the waste manifest along with a map and directions to our facility and a transportation variance allowing you or your employees to transport up to 27 gallons or 220 lbs. of hazardous waste, and your copy of the waste manifest.

More information: CESQG Program BrochureAdobe Icon


The ability to identify what items belong in which containers is essential to the success of the recycling process. Even more vital to our efforts is keeping hazardous waste out of both the trash and recycling streams to protect works and the environment.

Materials that do not belong in either container can be thought of as The Killers, Hurters, Hiders and Sliders (refer to table below). If you have any questions about hazardous materials and how to safely dispose of them, visit

Keep your work area clean and prevent water pollution! You can do this by: maintaining clean enclosures; keeping bin lids closed at all times; increasing service if bins always overfill; watching for leaks from bins and call Milpitas Sanitation at (408) 988-4500 when this happens.

Hazardous Waste TypeExamples
The Killers - Actual poisonsPesticides; herbicides; insect sprays
The Hurters - Chemicals that are harsh, damaging or toxicAcids (swimming pool chemicals); chlorine bleaches; lye; liquid drain openers; paint and paint-related products such as thinners; varnishes; strippers; rust removers; photo and x-ray processing prodcuts and residues; automotive cleaners and solvents
The Hiders - Products that have toxic or dangerous elements hidden insideAutomotive tires; batteries; electronic products - computers, monitors, printers, etc.; aerosol cans; tanks with any amount of helium, propane or oxygen
The Sliders: Lubricants and oil-based productsUsed or new motor oil; transmission fluid; gasoline; anti-freeze and brake fluid