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Household Hazardous Waste is generally considered leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic. Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them.
Latex paint can be recycled all year long at any one of our 13 convenience sites. No need to hold onto it until the next household hazardous waste collection event, bring it to any one of our convenience sites for disposal.
Spray paints and oil based paints should be held until the household hazardous waste collection event. If the containers are empty, they may be disposed of in the regular trash.
Everyday common non-rechargeable batteries (i.e. AA, AAA, C, D) can be disposed of in the regular trash. This is because most manufacturers have reformulated the batteries to not include heavy metals like mercury. The removal of these metals from the batteries means that they no longer contain any items classified as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is important to remember to not dispose of large quantities of batteries together, as even dead batteries may still hold partial charges. If the batteries make contact they may produce a safety risk.
But what about rechargeable batteries? Due to their chemical makeup, rechargeable batteries cannot be disposed of in the regular trash. For the nearest recyclers of rechargeable and cell phone batteries, visit the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation and use their quick and easy search tool.
Some items that can be poured down the drain inside your home, if you are on the County Water and Sewer systems (Do not pour down storm drains or in septic systems):
Some items that can be disposed of, along with the regular trash:
See Solid Waste Centers for the options nearest you.
The EPA offers the following:
To avoid the potential risks associated with household hazardous wastes, it is important that people always monitor the use, storage, and disposal of products with potentially hazardous substances in their homes. Improper disposal of HHW can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the regular trash.
The dangers of such disposal methods might not be immediately obvious, but improper disposal of these wastes can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health. Certain types of HHW have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers, contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets. They can also present hazards to children and pets if left around the house.
Some quick tips for the safe handling of household hazardous wastes include: