Household Hazardous Waste

group of people collecting and sorting paint waste

What Is Household Hazardous Waste? 

Household Hazardous Waste(HHW) are common household products that exhibit the characteristics of hazardous waste. As a result, these products may be harmful to human health and/or the environment. Many of these products are very common and are usually purchased from local hardware, automotive, and grocery stores. These products can be used and found in our houses, in our garages, on our lawns, and in our gardens.  Because these products are so common and easy to purchase, many people forget that these products can be extremely harmful to their health or the environment.

How Do I Handle Household Hazardous Waste In My Home?

  • Read labels carefully before you make purchases so you can reduce the amount of hazardous material that you bring into your home.  
  • Choose non-toxic alternatives when possible. Select the least toxic products available and buy only the amount you need to use.
  • Store all toxic products away from children and animals in safe, tight containers. Make sure they won't leak.
  • Store away from extreme temperatures.
  • Follow label directions and use only what is needed.
  • NEVER mix products. Mixing products can cause explosive or poisonous chemical reactions.
  • Always store products in their original container with the original label.
  • Never eat, drink, or smoke when handling hazardous materials. Clean up properly after use. 

Where Can I bring Unwanted Household Hazardous Waste For Proper Disposal?

Please Contact your local solid waste management entity for a list of year round drop off locations and dates of seasonal collection events.  Solid waste management entities are required to provide either collection events or facilities to residents and small businesses that generate small amounts of hazardous waste and have Conditionally Exempt Generator Status

Also, paint, batteries, electronics, mercury thermostats and bulbs all have product stewardship programs provided by the manufacturers of these products which offer convenient options for recycling at hardware stores, paint retailers, and HHW events/facilities.  See additional details on our Product Stewardship page.

How Do I Transport Household Hazardous Waste To HHW Collection Events & Locations?

  • NEVER mix products. Mixing products can cause explosive or poisonous chemical reactions.
  • Keep products in their original container with the original label.
  • Secure products so they won't tip or leak.
  • Keep products away from children and animals.
  • Store products in the back end of the car, away from the passenger compartment.
  • Stay in your vehicle during unloading.

What If I’m A Business?

Some small businesses may be eligible to use HHW collection events or facilities.  Please contact the following programs for assistance.

Hazardous Waste Management Program - Department of Environmental Conservation
Environmental Assistance Office - Department of Environmental Conservation 
 

Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Waste Management and Prevention Division

Davis Building - 1st Floor
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-3704
802-828-1138