Household hazardous waste (HHW) requires special care when you dispose of it. HHW is PROHIBITED from the landfill. Below we have provided valuable information on what is household hazardous waste, what to look for to find it, reasons why it should be properly handled, tips on how to manage it, and what you should do to dispose of it the right way.
Household hazardous waste is the discarded, unused, or leftover portion of household products containing toxic chemicals. Always read the product labels. Any product which is labeled DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION, POISONOUS, TOXIC, FLAMMABLE, CORROSIVE, REACTIVE, or EXPLOSIVE should be considered hazardous.
- Toxic: cause health problems for humans or wildlife (Example: Pesticides)
- Flammable/Ignitable: catch fire easily (Example: gasoline, paint thinner)
- Corrosive: eat away at other materials (Example: strong acids or gases, drain cleaner)
- Reactive: react violently with other chemicals or even air, water, shock or friction (Example: pool chemicals, chlorine bleach)
For a full list of common household hazardous products, click here.
Why is this a problem?
Many common household cleaning products, paints, pesticides, even motor oil, can pose a threat to your family – and the environment. Even small amounts of these wastes, when disposed of improperly, can pollute ground or surface water. Products that are poured down the drain, onto the ground, or washed into gutters or storm drains can damage septic and sewer systems and pollute our lakes and streams.
The good news is there IS something you can do to protect yourself and your family – and help preserve the beauty of our environment.
Tips on How to Manage Household Hazardous Waste
- Look for hazardous symbols and warnings to alert you to potentially dangerous products. Also, read directions for proper use & storage.
- DO NOT ever mix products. Many common household products are extremely dangerous when they come in contact with each other.
- Always store products in their original container and protect the label. You don’t want to run the risk of mistaking one product for another.
- Keep hazardous materials out of reach of children and pets.
- Reduce the amount of these products in your home. The easiest way is to use up what you already have. If you can’t use it yourself, share it with a friend or donate it.
- When shopping, look for less toxic alternative, like citrus-based cleaners. They work well and most are comparable in cost.
How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste
Please contact the Waste Authority at 570-643-6100 for the following items:
- Pharmacy drugs
- Motor oil
- Household batteries
- Car batteries
- Refrigerant-containing units (ie. air conditioners)
- Florescent lights
- Energy efficient bulbs
- Mercury containing devices
- Liquid waste
- White goods
- Scrap metal
- Packaging material (ie. bubble wrap, sheet cardboard, & Gaylord boxes)
Click on each tab for the following items:
Do you have a large amount?
Call Habitat for Humanity at 570-476-9846
Do you have latex paint?
Dry paint by emptying it into kitty litter or by purchasing a product called Waste Paint Hardener. When dry and hard, the paint can go to landfill
Call the Monroe County Office of Emergency Services at 570-992-4113
This material is deemed special waste. To find out how to properly dispose of it, contact an environmental engineering firm