Special Items

Treated Wood

Resources for Treated Wood Recycling

Treated wood is banned from disposal in the garbage
Do not dispose of treated wood in your garbage bin. All wood treated with preservatives is subject to California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law and may only be accepted at approved facilities.

Treated wood refers to dimensional lumber treated with chemicals that protect wood from rotting due to insects and microbial agents. Chemicals include arsenic, chromium, copper, creosote and pentachlorophenol which are hazardous to humans and the environment. Identification is not difficult as long as you know the characteristics.

How to identify treated wood
Look on the surface of the wood for small slits. These are numerous, staggered along the board and look like staple slits. They help with deeper chemical penetration and retention. Most pressure-treated wood has these slits. Examine the wood especially the edges, for a green tint. When the lumber is young, this will be the most identifiable sign of pressure-treated wood. As it ages it will fade to a dull gray color.

Examples of pressure treated wood preservative include:

  • CCA (Chromated copper arsenate)
    Common uses: sill plates, trusses, joists
  • Creosote
    Common uses: railroad ties
  • Pentachlorophenol
    Common uses: phone poles, some fence posts
  • Copper based such as alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) and copper boron azole (CBA)
    Common uses: decking, landscape timbers
  • Borates
    Common uses: sill plates, trusses, joists
  • Other wood preservatives
Depending on the type of preservative, you may be able to dispose of your treated wood waste at one of the following facilities:
  • Albion Transfer Station: Albion Ridge Rd. (800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Boonville Transfer Station: Mountain View Rd. (800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Caspar Transfer Station: Prairie Way. (800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Covelo Transfer Station: 90500 Refuse Rd. (800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Laytonville Transfer Station: 1825 Branscomb Rd. (800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Potter Valley Transfer Station: Main St. (800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Westport Transfer Station: 37551 N. Hwy 1(800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Willits Transfer Station:350 Franklin St. (800) MY-GARBAGE
  • Ukiah Transfer Station: 3151 Taylor Dr. (707) 234-6400


Mercury Thermostats

Resources for Thermostat Recycling

Some wall mounted thermostats use mercury switches to sense and control room temperature in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Mercury thermostats were widely used in California prior to 1992 and were legal to buy until 2006. The mercury switch is a glass vial with mercury in it which conducts electricity to the temperature control equipment. Replace mercury thermostats with non-toxic programmable (digital) thermostats.

Why should mercury thermostats be recycled?
Approximately 3 grams of mercury is used in a thermostat. Disposing of old thermostats, using traditional methods (throwing out in the trash) result in breakage, allowing mercury to be released into the environment. Elemental mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and does not break down, but builds up in fish, birds and people. Inhaling or ingesting mercury over time can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys, or to developing fetuses. The safe recovery of mercury-containing thermostats prevents pollution and protects public health.

About the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008
AB 2347 requires that beginning July 1, 2009 all heating and air conditioning wholesalers with physical locations in California will be required by law to collect end-of use thermostats from the public at no charge.

Are you a General Contractor who accepts mercury thermostats?
The Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) is now offering incentives for general contractors to collect mercury thermostats in California. Incentives include free collection bins, free shipping, and $100 per full bin (minimum 40 thermostats) returned to TRC. Visit recyclethermostats.org to sign up for a bin.

Drop-off wall-mounted mercury switch thermostats at all heating and air conditioning wholesalers: for residents & businesses


Household Batteries

Resources for Battery Recycling

Why should household batteries be recycled?
Household batteries including alkaline and rechargeable batteries cannot be landfilled in California because they contain acids and toxic metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel. These metals may harm people and the environment.

  • Definition: Alkaline batteries are AAA, AA, C, D button cell and 9-volt batteries.
  • Definition: Rechargeable batteries are typically found in cordless phones, power tools and laptops. Types include: Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn) and Small Sealed Lead (SSLA/Pb).
  • Definition: Button batteries are typically found in cameras and hearing aids. Types include: Lithium ion and silver oxide batteries.
Drop-off rechargeable batteries only at the following retailers: for residents and businesses
In 2005, to help promote proper disposal of rechargeable batteries by the public, the Governor signed the California Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act, which requires retailers to take back all used rechargeable batteries from their customers for recycling.
The following sites are Call2Recycle sites accepting rechargeable batteries weighing less than 11 pounds each and cell phones. When visiting these locations, drop off batteries at Customer Service areas. Call (877) 723-1297 first if dropping off more than 50 pounds:

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Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority
3200 Taylor Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482