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Learn how to dispose of hazardous waste throughout JBSA

By Eldred George | 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental Protection Specialist | May 30, 2019


Whether you live on or off a Joint Base San Antonio installation, it is important to have the right information to safeguard your family and the environment when dealing with hazardous waste.

Improper use, storage or disposal of household hazardous waste items can pose a danger or severe health risks to everyone in your home and your community. Such waste includes household chemicals, unused medicines and other substances which the owner no longer has a use for.

These can be consumer products sold for home care, personal care, automotive care, pest control and other purposes. These products exhibit many of the same dangerous characteristics as fully regulated hazardous waste due to their potential for reactivity, flammability, corrosiveness or toxicity.

Examples include drain cleaners, oil-based paint, motor oil, antifreeze, fuel, poisons, pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fluorescent lamps, lamp ballasts, smoke detectors, medical waste, cleaning chemicals, as well as consumer electronics like televisions, computers and cell phones.

The 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron’s Hazardous Waste Management Team is always available to provide information, training, informational flyers and can also help schedule pick-ups and turn-ins of waste generated on JBSA installations. 

JBSA organizations and tenant units may find hazardous materials in wall lockers, under desks, utility closets and in hazardous material lockers that have been in place for an extended period of time. These items may no longer be identifiable because it’s old and the labels are worn. Handle these items with care and contact your facility manager or unit environmental coordinator. 

JBSA personnel who have unwanted, excess or expired chemicals in their workplace should contact the Hazardous Waste Management Team at the numbers listed above to determine if material can be used by another JBSA activity. Disposal of these items should always be the last option. 

The JBSA location-specific hazardous waste teams can be contacted at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at 210-517-3354; at JBSA-Lackland at 210-671-3658 or 210-846-0058; and at JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-5666.

For JBSA personnel and on-installation residents who have unwanted chemicals and live in the San Antonio civilian community, a permanent drop-off center is located at 7030 Culebra Road, while a seasonal facility is located at 1800 E. Bitters Road. When dropping off hazardous waste, a recent copy of a CPS Energy electric bill is required. Visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/swmd/emd/HHW.asp for more information.

There are also three mobile collection sites per year in San Antonio. Call 210-207-6400 or 311 for their locations and open dates.

For those living outside San Antonio, but still in Bexar County, call 1-800-449-7587 to request a free home pickup or visit https://www.bexar.org/533/Household-Hazardous-Waste-Pickup-Program for more information.

For people living outside Bexar County, contact your city or county environmental management division.

The environment is important to all of us and taking care of it is a responsibility that falls on every individual.  By ensuring these potentially dangerous chemicals are properly disposed of, people and our environment are protected.

Should you decide to dispose of your household hazardous waste, follow the guidelines from the City of San Antonio’s Solid Waste Department:

  • Keep contents in the original container.
  • If the container leaks, transfer contents to a safe container and label the new container to correctly identify it.
  • If the contents cannot be safely transferred, double bag the old container in heavy-duty garbage bags.
  • Do not mix different materials in the same container.
  • Place all items to be disposed of in a box and place them in the trunk or truck bed when taking to a household hazardous waste facility.
  • Do not dispose of household hazardous waste in a garbage cart or pour it on the ground, down the drain or storm sewers.