Where Can I Take It?

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Not all items can go into the trash because they may contain hazardous substances that pollute our environment. Here is where you can safely dispose of those items at no cost:

Leftover paint can be dropped off for free at any local paint store participating in the PaintCare program. PaintCare is an industry sponsored program established to manage the reuse, recycling and proper disposal of unused paint. These sites accept program products (primarily latex and oil based paint) from all residents and certain businesses. For more information and to find nearby San Marcos, Vista, and Escondido locations, go to
Electronic Waste (E-Waste)
Televisions, computers, cell phones, printers, and other electronic waste can be dropped off for free at EDCO’s Buyback Center, 224 S. Las Posas Road.  These items can also often be brought to large electronics retailers, although some of those retailers may charge a fee depending on the item.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
HHW includes a variety of materials that are typically ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic and have labels reading "caution," "warning," "danger," "poison," "toxic," "flammable," or "corrosive." HHW includes items such as paint, household cleaners, pool chemicals, automotive products and pesticides. These wastes must be properly disposed of and cannot be thrown away in household trash or poured down the sink. The City has contracted with two facilities for the proper disposal of these product. Click here for more information about household hazardous waste.
Sharps (home generated, skin penetrating needles) Sharps can be dropped off for free at EDCO’s Buyback Center, 224 S. Las Posas Road. Loose sharps are not accepted. Store sharps in approved sharps containers or in a rigid, puncture resistant, tightly sealed container, including: bleach bottles, liquid detergent bottles or coffee cans with lids. Do NOT store them in: paper or plastic bags, glass containers, cardboard or coated paper containers, plastic bottles that have a CRV (CA Redemption Value) or milk jugs.
Fluorescent light bulbs
Most large home improvement stores offer free CFL recycling.  
Household batteries Household batteries can be dropped off for free at EDCO’s Buyback Center, 224 S. Las Posas Road.
Prescriptions and other expired medications
Prescriptions and other expired medications can be dropped off anonymously during weekday business hours in a bin in the lobby of the San Marcos Sheriff’s Station, 182 Santar Place. More information can be found at this link.
Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG)
Collect your used discarded FOG in a leak proof container and when the container is full drop it off at EDCO's Buyback Center, 224 S. Las Posas Road. 
Used Motor Oil
San Marcos residents that change their own motor oil can recycle their used oil free of charge at a certified used oil collection center listed below:
AutoZone, 195 Rancho Santa Fe Road
O'Reilly Auto Parts, 225 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road
Jiffy Lube, 765 W. San Marcos Boulevard
Jiffy Lube, 218 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd
Express Tire, 1223 W. San Marcos Blvd
EDCO Recycling Center, 224 S. Las Posas Rd
Premier Auto Service, 888 W. San Marcos Blvd
Star Auto Haus, 738 W. San Marcos Blvd  
Residents may take used tires for recycling to Express Tire, 1223 W. San Marcos Boulevard. There is a $3 charge per tire and they accept up to four tires. Tires are accepted during normal business hours. For more information, please call (760) 471-1733.
Plastic bags
Grocery stores and other retailers offer in-store recycling for plastic bags. The City of San Marcos encourages the use of reusable tote grocery bags to reduce the number of plastic bags that are thrown in the trash.  
Bulky items
Large or bulky household items like appliances or furniture can be picked up for by special arrangement. There is a fee charged for this service. To schedule a bulky item pickup, please contact EDCO Waste & Recycling at (760) 744-2700. EDCO residential customers in San Marcos also receive two coupons each year for free disposal of one load of bulky items and other residential waste at the Escondido Transfer Station.