Solid Waste and Household Hazardous Waste

Solid Waste Disposal Continues to Rise

Reducing solid waste production and diverting recyclables and green waste extends the life of landfills, decreases the need for costly alternatives, and reduces environmental impact. California has set a goal of diverting 75% of waste away from landfills by 2020 through source reduction, recycling, and green waste composting. Collection of household hazardous waste (HHW), such as oil, paint, electronics, thermostats, batteries, and fluorescent tubes, helps protect the environment and public health by reducing illegal and improper HHW disposal. This indicator measures the tons of commercial and residential solid waste generated in San Bernardino County destined for disposal in-county and out-of-county. It also measures the pounds of HHW collected and the number of annual participants in the HHW program.

Solid Waste and Household Hazardous Waste

Solid Waste Generated for Disposal Compared to Population Growth

San Bernardino County, 2008-2017
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Note: Solid waste generated for disposal includes cities and unincorporated areas. Sources: San Bernardino County Department of Public Works; California Department of Finance, Table E-2 (

Solid waste disposal grew over the past three years, but tonnage remains below the 10-year high:

  • In 2017, San Bernardino County residents generated and disposed approximately 1.76 million tons of waste.
  • Waste disposal decreased 10% since 2008 but has increased over the past three years.
  • Over the same period, San Bernardino County’s population grew an estimated 7%, suggesting that economic factors and diversion programs – not population growth – are the primary drivers of solid waste disposal trends.
  • In 2017, San Bernardino County residents and businesses produced slightly less waste than California overall (0.9 tons per person in San Bernardino County compared to 1.0 tons per person in California).1

Oil Filter Events (OFE) See Increased Participation

County Fire, which oversees HHW collection for the county, has expanded their outreach methods to encourage more residents to properly dispose of used oil, oil filters, and other hazardous wastes. In addition to mailers and newspaper ads, County Fire has started running radio ads and increasing their social media footprint. It appears to be working; participants have indicated they heard about the OFE’s through these media.

Household hazardous waste collection continues to increase:

  • The number of households bringing HHW to regional collection centers grew in 2017/18, while the number of pounds collected remained the same as the previous year. Each participating household contributed an average of 59 pounds of HHW in 2017/18.
  • On average, San Bernardino County’s per capita HHW disposal rate (1.7 pounds per person) was lower than California’s (2.9 pounds per person).2

Household Hazardous Waste Program Participation and Pounds of Waste Collected

San Bernardino County, 2009-2018
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Note: Chart includes San Bernardino County unincorporated areas and all cities except Fontana. Source: San Bernardino County Fire Department

1California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), Disposal Reporting System (DRS), Multi-Year Countywide Origin Summary, and Statewide Disposal, Transformation, Import, Export and ADC Disposal Summary; California Department of Finance, Report E-1, January Cities, Counties, and the State Population Estimates with Annual Percent Change 2Based on 2016/17 data from CalRecycle, Household Hazardous Waste Form 303 Collection Information, as provided by San Bernardino County Fire Department and retrieved from; California Department of Finance, Report E-5, January Population and Housing Estimates for Cities, Counties, and the State