What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?


What is household hazardous waste?
Household hazardous waste, or HHW, is any leftover or unwanted household chemical that cannot safely be disposed of in the trash or down the drain because it contains ingredients that are toxic, flammable, reactive, or corrosive.  Proper disposal prevents HHW from entering the environment, damaging soil, groundwater and streams, or causing harm to people and animals.

Recognizing HHW
There are many ways that chemicals may be considered hazardous. A product is considered hazardous if it is toxic, flammable, reactive, or corrosive.  Check the label to see if it contains key words such as "warning", "caution", "danger", "flammable", "toxic", or "poison" or symbols, such as a skull and cross bones.

Common examples of HHW

  • Lawn & garden chemicals (pesticides & fertilizers)
  • Automotive products (antifreeze, motor oil, batteries, waxes/polishes)
  • Home improvement products (paint, paint stripper, paint thinner)
  • Household cleaners (oven cleaner, furniture polish, ammonia, drain cleaner)
  • Pool chemicals, photographic chemicals

Examples of HHW Items

Proper disposal of HHW
HHW cannot be put down the drain because it would harm the wastewater treatment plant.  It cannot be put in with regular household trash because it would end up in a landfill where it might move into the groundwater.  The only safe and proper way for residents to dispose of their leftover or unused household chemicals is through the City's HHW Collection Program.

Used Motor Oil
Used motor oil can be recycled at many local auto parts stores (e.g., Jiffy Lube, O'Reilly, Valvoline, NAPA Auto Parts, etc.).  Please call the store to confirm that they will take used oil from residents.  Visit www.recyclespot.org for an up-to-date listing of local used oil collection sites.

Wait!  It might not be waste!
Check with friends and neighbors first to see if leftover products may be useful to them.  You can save them from having to buy the product, and the City from having to dispose of it. That's a great deal.