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
- Use safer alternatives.
- Read labels before purchasing. Watch for the words "caution,"
"warning," and "danger." Follow label directions.
- Buy only what you need and will use up.
- If you do have products left over, give them to friends,
neighbors, or charitable institutions to use up.
- 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.
Local Government 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
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
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 .
- Green Cleaning
Pollution Prevention Calculator
This calculator quantifies the environmental benefits of purchasing
and using "green" janitorial services and products.
- 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.
- Household Hazardous Waste Project
University of Missouri Extension, Office of Waste Management
Metro: Garbage and Recycling
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
- Metro Grow Smart
Searchable interactive directory; discover the least hazardous
products and practices for a healthy, productive garden and a
Web page dedicated to the recycled latex paint produced by Metro
at local facilities.
- Oregon Poison Center
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.