Handling Hazardous Waste
Preparing & transporting hazardous waste
When you are ready to transport your hazardous waste to the HazWaste Center, please be sure to do the following:
- Make sure all containers have lids, and that all lids are securely closed.
- Make sure that no containers have leaks.
- If a container has no label or has been repackaged into something that wasn't its original container, use a permanent marker to clearly print the name of the product or chemical on the container. This helps us to safely segregate your waste at a glance.
- Don't try to mix or consolidate partially-full chemicals by pouring them into the same container. Wastes in their original packaging are easier and safer for us to identify and sort.
- If you place your containers in a box or bag, position them so that they are upright and will remain that way during transport. Be sure the box or bag is strong enough to hold the waste.
- If your containers are stored outside, place them in an area that protects them from rain or snow accumulation. Digging containers out of a block of ice or fishing them out of a tub of water is no fun for us! Try to keep chemical wastes from freezing. Liquids that freeze take longer for us to process, and can also rupture the container as the frozen liquid expands.
- If you are uncertain about whether a container is safe to move, DON'T MOVE IT. Call us first for advice.
- Try not to transport hazardous waste in a vehicle with children or pets.
Storing Hazardous Waste Safely
Not yet ready to bring your hazardous to us? Here are a few tips to safely store your waste until you're ready to move it:
- NEVER dump any hazardous waste down the drain into a septic system or public sewer.
- Make sure all containers are kept tightly closed.
- Keep all waste in its original container if possible. Never mix any hazardous wastes together - even for small amounts.
- If a container label is missing, mark the container with langauage that identify the contents.
- If a hazardous waste is capable of freezing, store it somewhere that does not go below 32 degrees.
- If you need to recontainerize something, use a sturdy container with a good cap or lid. Remember that some plastic containers can become brittle with age or exposure to sunlight. Also, watch out for "look-alikes" (don't store used oil in a Coca-Cola bottle, or anitfreeze in a Mountain Dew bottle).
- Never leave hazardous waste containers open and exposed to the elements, where they can mix with rain or snow and overflow.
- Keep hazardous wastes away from kids and pets.
For more information, see:
- A more inclusive list of examples of household hazardous waste
- How to dispose of needles & syringes
- What to do with leftover latex paint
- How to use less-toxic products