Household Hazardous Waste
HHW Safe Disposal
For safety and environmental reasons, please dispose of unwanted Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) at an authorized HHW collection site. HHW is not allowed in any County Waste and Recycling container.
Leftover household products that contain toxic, corrosive, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered HHW, and require special care when you dispose of them.
Handle Household Hazardous Waste carefully to avoid injury to people and animals or damage to the environment:
- Store wastes in their original containers with the labels intact
- Keep them out of the reach of children and pets
- Keep them away from heat
- Save unneeded items to take to HHW collection site
HHW products commonly found in many homes, basements, and garages include:
- Air conditioning refrigerants
- Consumer electronics (televisions, computers, and cell phones)
- Drain cleaner
- Fluorescent lamps
- Hobby chemicals
- Laundry bleach
- Medical waste
- Motor oil
- Oven cleaners
- Paint, strippers, removers, and thinners
- Pesticides, herbicides, and rodenticides
- Pest control products
- Pool chemicals
- Smoke detectors
HHW Collection Sites
Please contact your local city, town, county or New York Regional DEC Offices to learn where you can dispose of HHW.
New York residents are permitted to take their HHW to authorized permanent collection and storage facilities or special HHW collection events.
Because special funding is needed to support HHW locations and events, the collection site may limit use to city or county citizens and limit the type of materials accepted.
- Permanent HHW Site.
- A permanent HHW collection and storage facility can receive HHW on a regular basis, but must have a permit to do so from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
- Sal HHW Events.
- Some cities, towns and counties in New York also offer special one or two day annual HHW events during which residents bring HHW to a central location to be packaged and transported.
- Columbia County Solid Waste - Household Hazardous Waste
- Greene County Solid Waste - Household Hazardous Waste Events
- Ulster County
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Materials Management
Bureau of Solid Waste Management
Albany, NY 12233-7260
Region 3 – Phone 845-256-3123
Sullivan, Ulster, Orange, Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties
Region 4 – Phone 518-357-2045
Montgomery, Otsego, Delaware, Schoharie, Schenectady, Albany, Greene, Rensselaer and Columbia Counties
Safely Managing HHW
Reduction, reuse, recycling, and disposal are all important tools to safely manage HHW. There are numerous advantages to proper HHW management, including:
- Reduction and recycling of HHW actually conserves resources and energy that would otherwise be used in the production of more products.
- The reuse of HHW products can potentially save money and reduce the need for generating more hazardous products.
- Proper HHW disposal prevents environmental pollution that could threaten human health and that of the environment.
Consumers can reduce their HHW needs by simply exploring the use of alternative methods or products that don’t contain hazardous ingredients, and by continually monitoring the use, storage, and disposal of products with potentially hazardous substances in the following ways:
- If you must buy a hazardous product, buy only the amount you can use up.
- Don’t use an excessive amount of a hazardous product – it will only result in greater danger to you and the environment, not in a better job.
- Use and store products containing hazardous substances carefully to avoid accidents.
- Instead of storing them, consider giving leftover hazardous products to someone who can use them.
- Always store hazardous products in their original containers with their labels intact, and never in food containers.
- Never mix leftover HHW with other products. Incompatible products could react, ignite, or explode, and contaminated HHW might no longer be recyclable.
- Follow product label instructions for use and disposal.
- Avoid aerosols, as much of the product ends up in the air, not where you intend it to go.
Instead of buying strong household cleaners, consider making your own by mixing one quart warm water, one teaspoon liquid soap, and lemon juice or vinegar according to the strength needed for the job. Baking soda mixed with water is also an effective household cleaning agent.
To learn more, read Reduce Your Household Hazardous Waste Use on the state website.
Please do not dispose of HHW in any of these ways:
- Pouring down the drain
- Placing in the trash or recycling bins
- Pouring into storm sewers
- Dumping on the ground
Although the dangers of these disposal methods may not be immediately apparent, these products can be harmful to the environment and threaten public health.
Certain types of HHW may cause physical injury to sanitation workers, contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems, and present hazards to vulnerable individuals (children and pets) if left around the house.