Residents with old motor oil, prescription drugs, computers, batteries and other hazardous waste can now call City Hall and have those items picked up for free.

City Hall has launched Santa Monica’s first door-to-door household hazardous waste collection program, a pilot effort that is intended to cut costs while cutting down on carbon emissions, said James Conway, senior environmental analyst for City Hall.

The first pick-ups will take place Feb. 21. Residents can sign up for the service by calling (800) HHW-PKUP (449-7587) or e-mailing hotline@curbside.com. Residents who register will receive a collection kit in the mail, which includes detailed instructions with a collection day reminder. Residents then prepare the collection kit and leave it on their doorstep or another predetermined location on collection day.

So far 90 people have signed up, Conway said.

The idea is to save residents the time and hassle of transporting potentially dangerous materials to the City Yards. Conway said approximately 5,000 trips were made to the City Yards last year.

The pilot program is expected to cost roughly $76,000 for five months. The City Yards will still collect hazardous waste if residents bring it in, but only on Saturdays, a move that is expected to save City Hall roughly $100,000, Conway said.

Cutting costs was a major factor in creating the pilot, Conway said.

“We’re really encouraging people to take advantage of this program and share their experience with us and let us know what they think,” he added. “We want to keep this program going.”

City Hall has contracted with WM Curbside, LLC for the service.

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