Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
Hazardous means that it is potentially harmful to people and the environment. These are products that you have in your home that you don’t want anymore but should not be discarded with the regular trash.
Look for words like: Danger, Warning, Poison, Caution, Flammable, Combustible, Explosive, Reactive, Toxic or Corrosive.
Why can’t I just throw it away?
State laws prohibit motor oil, lead-acid batteries (car, truck or boat) and liquid wastes like antifreeze and paint from being landfilled. They do not ban non-liquid hazardous wastes that are generated in a common household. Are you a business generating hazardous waste?
Be careful, however, because HHW is dangerous to keep in your home (especially around children), and can be dangerous for solid waste workers to handle if you dispose of it in your trash. Once in the landfill they pose additional risks because there is always a chance that even modern landfills will leak and release these wastes into the environment.
When you take your hazardous waste to an HHW facility, it is treated and disposed of as hazardous waste, making the entire process much safer.
What should I do with Household Hazardous Waste?
Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Howard and Moniteau counties have HHW Collection Facilities that will accept these items.
Additionally, many of these materials are collected by other organizations. Check our Recycling Directory for organizations in your area.
- Safer Alternatives to Hazardous products, MARC
- Office of Waste Management, University of Missouri Extension
- Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Solid Waste Management Program
- North America Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA)
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Volume to Weight Conversion Tableopens PDF file
- “Mad About Mercury” (.pdf)