Welcome to the Department of Toxic Substances Control

General Public/Students

For Information On:


Is short for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and is the primary law governing the disposal of solid and hazardous waste in the United States of America. For the history of this law and more details click here!



Mercury is a naturally occurring substance that is harmful to people and the environment when released through human activities. Enough exposure to this substance can lead to many harmful health effects, especially for pregnant women and young children.

For more detailed information on Mercury visit the EPA website here!

Electronic Waste

undefined   Electronic wastes are hazardous wastes that may be managed as universal wastes with a simpler set of rules for handling, storage and transportation recycling. Many types of electronic products contain hazardous substances like lead and heavy metals such as Mercury.

Electronic Waste Recycling Act

A California Law passed by our legislature in 2003. This law established a fee system to support electronic waste recycling. For more information click here.

Fluorescent Lamps and Tubes

undefined   Broken lamps can release mercury to the air and water. Recycle or bring them to a household hazardous waste collection facility and keep them out of trash. This includes fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, metals halide lamps and sodium vapor lamps. Earth 911 can help you locate the nearest collection facility.

Fact Sheet: It is Illegal for Most Firms to Discard Fluorescent Light Tubes in the Trash! - May 2007


undefined  Batteries contain toxic metals like cadmium and corrosive chemicals that may cause burns.  There are many programs that have been created to collect these batteries.  Call your local waste facility or visit Earth911 to locate the nearest collection facility to you or visit the Hazardous Household Wastes page for more information.

Aerosol Cans

undefined  Most aerosol cans use a hydrocarbon propellant, which is very flammable.  Non-empty aerosol cans may be classified as hazardous wastes for several reasons: the pressurized contents may explode when heated; the propellant may be ignitable or toxic; or the product itself may be ignitable, corrosive, or toxic.  Earth911 can help you locate the nearest collection facility.

Fact Sheet: SB 1158 Designates Aerosol Cans as Universal Waste

Take it Back Partnership

undefined  The California Take-It-Back Partnership is a collaboration of state government, city and county government, businesses; non-governmental organizations to assist California residents in recycling Household Hazardous Wastes.  For more information click here.

FAQ's to further assist you

Title 22- The regulations for Universal Wastes

DTSC Fact Sheets

Other agencies with related information
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