Disposal Tips

Here are some tips to help you reduce the amount of household hazardous waste (HHW) you generate and properly use, store, and dispose of those products.

First, Be a Good Consumer

Before you buy a product...

  • Think about the job at hand.
  • Research the type of product(s) you need to effectively perform the job.
  • Read product labels carefully.
  • Choose the product that is best for the job.
  • Consider purchasing environmentally safe products or make your own less toxic alternative product. (For recipes download the "Recipes - Less Toxic Alternatives" brochure)
  • Purchase only what you can use. (for tips on buying the right amount of paint download "The Household Paint Planner" brochure)

Before you use a product...

  • Read the label and follow the directions for proper use.
  • Follow all safety precautions. (Wear recommended gloves and safety glasses)
  • Use the recommended amount - more is not always better!

After you use a product...

  • Read the label and follow directions for proper storage.
  • Keep lid tightly closed.
  • Keep product in original container with readable labels.
  • Share any product you can't use with a friend or neighbor.

If you must dispose of a product...

  • Follow the label directions if provided.
  • Contact the manufacturer if no directions are provided.
  • Take your HHW to a local HHW collection event or facility for proper disposal.

Practice Safe Disposal

If you have unwanted hazardous products that you are not able to give away, dispose of them responsibly. Most HHW items need to be disposed of at an HHW collection event or facility. Some items may be disposed of at other locations

  • Latex, or water-based paint, is non-hazardous and may be disposed of in your trash if it is dried or solidified. Download - "The Household Paint Planner" brochure to learn how.
  • Used oil and oil filters can often be recycled at local auto parts stores. Log on to Earth 911, http://www.earth911.org/ or call 1-800-CLEAN UP to find a used oil collection center near you.
  • Alkaline batteries (e.g. in remote controls, toys, flashlights, etc) are not considered hazardous and can be disposed of in your trash!
  • Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries are accepted at local electronics stores (Best Buy, Radio Shack and Batteries Plus). Log on to http://www.rbrc.org/index.html to find a rechargeable battery collection center near you.
  • Car batteries and other lead-acid batteries are accepted at many metal scrapyards. These scrapyards may even pay you a nominal amount for these batteries!
  • Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs may be taken to Home Depot or IKEA for proper disposal.
  • There are several locations that will accept electronics waste. Contact the manufacturer and ask if they have a "take-back" program. Download - "Recycle Quick Guide" for other lcoations in your area.

HHW disposal poses a special problem for residents. Area landfills cannot accept these wastes so disposal options are limited. To handle these wastes, the City of Houston and Harris County have developed programs to accept HHW from residents.

For more information regarding the Harris County HHW program call (281) 560-6200 or for the City of Houston HHW program call (713) 551-7355


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