Protecting Oregon's Environment
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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Land Quality

Solid Waste

Prevention and Reuse
Recovery and Compost
Oregon's Recycling Laws
Conferences, Training & Workshops

Household Hazardous Waste

Why is Household Hazardous Waste a Problem?

Small quantities of hazardous materials are common in the homes of most Oregonians. Examples include pesticides, herbicides, poisons, corrosives, solvents, fuels, paints, motor oil, antifreeze, and mercury and mercury-containing wastes. Risks from household hazardous wastes stem from improper use, handling, storage and disposal. Some of these can be toxic in small quantities and represent significant hazards to human health and the environment.

According to national estimates, each home contains from three to eight gallons of hazardous materials in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and basements. Throwing them in the garbage can threaten sanitation workers, who can be injured or poisoned by acids, fires, and explosions. The outcome of improper use and handling of household hazardous wastes is the potential contamination of surface water, groundwater, and air resulting in exposure to humans. You should not dispose of your household toxic trash down the sink, on the ground, down a storm drain or in your garbage can.

How to Minimize Hazardous Waste in Your Home

  1. Use safer alternatives.
  2. Read labels before purchasing. Watch for the words "caution," "warning," and "danger." Follow label directions.
  3. Buy only what you need and will use up.
  4. If you do have products left over, give them to friends, neighbors, or charitable institutions to use up.
  5. Take unwanted products to a hazardous waste collection site.

For more information on the dangers of hazardous household products and how you can reduce them, go to:

Hazardous products in the home

Many household products contain hazardous ingredients that can be harmful when you use them or dispose of them improperly. By understanding what products are hazardous, how to handle them and what alternatives are available, you can make your home and environment a healthier place.

Collection Information

Public Information
  • HHW collection event schedule
    A month-by-month calendar of locally-sponsored HHW events. For additional information about HHW collection in your area, call 1-800-732-9253, your local garbage hauler, or local government solid waste department.
  • HHW services, by county
    A list of Oregon’s locally sponsored HHW programs, including permanent collection facilities and local contact information.
  • Map of HHW collection events and facilities
    A map with information of permanent collection facilities, local contact information and dates of locally-sponsored events.
  • PaintCare Collection Sites
    A map-based collection site finder on the PaintCare Association Web site.
Local Government Information

HHW Event Publicity Packet (formerly known as “Media Packet”)
Sample news releases, PSAs, and other documents and graphics to help you generate publicity for your event. To obtain electronic copies of this information, please contact DEQ's HHW Coordinator at 503-229-5106 or .

Other Information:

Non-DEQ Links

  • Household Products Database
    National Library of Medicine: This database lets you search for a household product, such as dish detergent or air freshener, to find information about the health effects and safety of its chemical ingredients. Now you can find published biomedical research and clinical studies on an ingredient by clicking a link to run a PubMed search.
  • Metro: Garbage and Recycling
    Metro, Oregon's regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, web page to assist in easily and safely taking care of your garbage and hazardous waste (which includes your household hazardous waste).
  • Metro Grow Smart
    Searchable interactive directory; discover the least hazardous products and practices for a healthy, productive garden and a safer yard.
  • MetroPaint
    Web page dedicated to the recycled latex paint produced by Metro at local facilities.
  • Oregon Poison Center
    For all Poison Information: 1-800-222-1222. The OPC is a 24-hour poison emergency information resource for health care professionals and the public throughout the state of Oregon.
  • Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
    Non-profit organization that is the NW leading source of high quality, unbiased pollution prevention information.
  • Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation
    Recycle your rechargeable batteries and cell phones.
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For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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