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What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients are considered to be household hazardous waste (HHW). HHW is the group of chemicals and other substances that are commonly found in many homes but require special attention when being discarded.

What are some common HHW products?

The top three most commonly found hazardous products located in the homes of our community are paint, used motor oil and antifreeze. It is vital that we make the proper disposal of these three items, and other HHW, our top priority.

Other commonly found household hazardous wastes are batteries, fire extinguishers, gasoline, household cleaners, pesticides, prescription drugs, propane tanks, solvents and used tires.

Why is HHW harmful?

Unfortunately, HHW is sometimes dumped down storm sewers, poured down the drain, released on the ground, disposed in creeks and ponds, buried in backyards and fields or slipped into garbage bags for local garbage pick-up. If HHW is not disposed of properly, the resulting contamination of our groundwater and surface water puts our communities and those who live, work and play around them at risk of injury or illness.

Learn the HHW disposal rule of thumb

The best disposal method for HHW products is to buy what you need, use them as intended on the label and until they are gone. Reduction and recycling of HHW conserves resources and energy that would be expended in the production of more products. Reuse of hazardous household products can save money and reduce the need for generating hazardous substances.

However, should you find yourself needing to dispose of HHW products the information found on this website will guide your efforts. Households can legally dispose of some products in their residential garbage – be sure to properly identify these items through the guidance of this site. Liquids, though, should not be included in the regular garbage because of leakage from collection vehicles.