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Hazardous Materials Disposal

Household hazardous waste (HHW) refers to harmful materials or products which can cause sickness or death to people, animals, and plants. Proper disposal of this waste is important in order to avoid spreading chemicals in water, soil, and air. Because these are harmful materials, they should never be placed in the regular trash of your community. When HHW is thrown into the landfills, it can pollute our groundwater and soil. Likewise, HHW substances should not be poured or flushed down the drain as it would enter the sewage system. Chemicals can corrode the plumbing and even cause the septic systems to malfunction before they eventually flow to our rivers and oceans. Proper disposal of HHW is important as it will also save waste workers from the danger of inhaling toxic substances and lowers the possibility of explosions or fires.

List of Household Hazardous Waste

Below is a list of household hazardous waste, also commonly known as home generated special materials.

  • - Automotive products (antifreeze, motor oil, fluids, gasoline, oil filters, polish and wax)
  • - Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and fluorescent light bulbs
  • - Electronics (TV, DVD/CD/tape players, computers, laptops, printers, fax machines, cell phones, MP3 players, and more)
  • - Batteries (home and vehicle)
  • - Universal materials (including items with mercury such as thermometers and thermostats)
  • - Household cleaners (drain cleaner, rust remover, ammonia, tile/shower cleaner and more)
  • - Garden chemicals (fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides)
  • - Paint products (latex paint, oil-based paint, caulk, spray paint, wood stain, wood preservative)
  • - Swimming Pool Chemicals
  • - Sharps (lancets and needles)

How to Get Rid of HHW


The best way to dispose leftover HHW products is to consume them or give them to your friend or neighbor who can use them. But since you won’t always find someone who may need these products, just ask around for a household hazardous waste collection site in your community. You may either be required to bring your HHW materials to this site or you will be told that some people will come to collect them at your home.

How to Pack and Transport Household Hazardous Waste

  • - Store the materials in their original containers. Seal lids tightly.
  • - Label products which are not in their original containers.
  • - Leaking containers should be placed in a bigger, plastic container which is tightly sealed.
  • - Keep flammables away from direct sunlight, spark, heat, flame or ignition.
  • - Keep the wastes upright by placing them in a cardboard box. Make sure they don’t tip over during transport. Never transport HHW materials in plastic bags.
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