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Household Hazardous Waste Collections. A safe, environmentally friendly method to dispose of unused waste products. What is Household Hazardous Waste?. Products that are: Toxic Flammable Corrosive Poison. Read the Label!.

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household hazardous waste collections

Household Hazardous Waste Collections

A safe, environmentally friendly method to dispose of unused waste products.

what is household hazardous waste
What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Products that are:

  • Toxic
  • Flammable
  • Corrosive
  • Poison

Read the Label!

carburetor and fuel injection cleaners oil paint and paint thinners paint strippers and removers
Carburetor and fuel injection cleanersOilPaint and paint thinnersPaint strippers and removers

Examples of materials collected


Drain openersOven cleaners

Starter fluids

Metal cleaners and polishersAutomotive oil and fuel additivesGrease and rust solvents


Note: The word “toxic” does not mean it is necessarily harmful to humans or environment, but rather it is a product that performs a specific job for what it was intended to be used.

For example, pesticides are designed to kill certain pests, certain automotive products are used in our vehicles to make them operate more efficiently, and paint thinners are used for oil based clean up of oil based paints. Other considerations on product toxicity and human or environmental effects must be realized, such as exposure and dose.

why have a collection
Why Have a Collection?
  • Households average 20-60pounds/year.
  • Waste Collection Services & Movers won’t take.
  • Too old to use.
  • Banned for sale.
  • Meets Community Expectation
  • The right thing to do - environmentally, & economically.
more reasons for a collection
More Reasons for a Collection
  • Pesticide runoff can be a threat to water quality in lakes and streams.
  • >1.3 million Americans exposed to household chemicals were referred to poison control in 1999
    • 825,000 of these Americans were under age 6
community ownership
Community Ownership
  • Instuitionalize the program!
  • Create Ownership
  • Feel-good program

Elected officials, Community leaders, Health Depts., Educators, Safety Officials,

“Get the word out!”

let s get started
Let’s get started!

Planning committees find stakeholders:

  • Firefighters,
  • Watershed Groups,
  • Local businesses, especially major businesses might underwrite the cost of the program.
  • Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

Piggyback onto existing programs:

  • Chemical Awareness Week,
  • Poison Control Week,
  • Pollution Prevention Week
  • Promote the right thing to do!
  • Offer suggestions to avoid creating the waste.
  • Offer safer alternatives
what not to collect
What NOT to Collect
  • Explosives
  • Radioactive materials
  • Medical or infectious materials
  • Friable asbestos
  • Motor oil
  • Latex paint
be ready for everything
Be ready for everything

Provide disposal information

on anything brought to your collection.

  • Motor oil
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Latex paint
  • Car Batteries
  • Asbestos
  • Safety Plan!
why a safety plan
Why a Safety Plan?
  • To provide documentation.
  • Identify procedures.
  • It is a proactive step for safety.
  • Saves time and money.
  • MIOSHA requires hazard communication.
how to collect
How to collect
  • One–Day
  • Permanent facility
  • Clean Sweep


Open Collections


scheduled appointments

Proper preparation

# of Volunteers

Amount of materials

Screens for businesses and residents

Control costs

Orderly collection



Scheduled Appointments
open collections

Little to no staff time to coordinate residents

Typically shorter time periods for collection events


Potential for long waits at peak times

Unknown quantities and types of materials coming in

Open Collections
user fees or free
User Fees or FREE?

User Fees

  • Helps to cover costs
  • Could reduce participation


  • Could lead to TOO many people
  • Ask for optional donations
site management
Site Management
  • Space to be large enough to handle traffic flow, impervious surface.
  • Check for adjacent properties, they may have special events. (School events)
  • Traffic pattern
  • Site Layout, size, signage, screening areas, clearly identify workers, break area, trash containers, recycling boxes.
  • Drive thru covered areas are ideal; possibly at a landfill site. Use dumpster to handle landfill materials such as latex paint, boxes, etc.
why contract
Why contract?
  • HHW is not regulated until it is packed
  • When HHW is shipped, it is regulated (CFR Titles 40 (Protection of Environment) & 49 (Transportation)
  • Contractors are required to have trained personnel; they are regulated by OSHA.
safety considerations
Safety Considerations
  • Materials on site during collection.
  • Procedures you or your contractor need to identify.
personal protection
Personal Protection
  • Tyvek suits, too hot? bibs
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Over boots

No Sandals or Contacts

  • Spill Kits
  • BBP
  • Fire suppression
  • Talk to emergency response
  • Provide map (facility layout) for local responders
  • Seek source of funding from area businesses, state agency, grants, other.
  • Check with other HHM collections in your state to see who they use as a collection contractor. Interview more than one.
  • Look for site to host collection as outlined in this presentation. Take appointments, scheduling 6-7 people every 15 minutes to start.
  • Hold 2-3 during the first year to “get your feet wet” with process; ask help from other collections in your area of the state.
  • Seek assistance from local environmental health agency (e.g. county health dept.)
  • Advertise the event via local media (newspaper, radio, etc.) Provide contact phone number for appointment.

This Children's Environmental Health presentation was made possible through a grant from

The Dow Chemical Company Foundation


Other presentations include:

  • Body Art
  • Careers in Environmental Health
  • Food Safe Issues
  • Household Hazardous Waste
  • Meth and Teens
  • Recreational Water
  • Sun Wise

Contact for more information



  • Charles Lichon, R.S., M.P.H., Creator of Children’s EH Program, Midland County Health Department (CHD) Michigan
  • Nancy Atwood, M.S., Midland CHD (MI) Sanitarian
  • Christine Rogers, Meth Response Coordinator, Kalamazoo CHD, MI
  • Robert Wolfe, R.S., Midland CHD (MI) Sanitarian
  • Gayle Blues, Midland CHD, layout and design
  • John Demerjian and Linda Van Orden, Wayne CHD, MI, Body Art
  • National Environmental Health Association ( for website storage and oversight.

NOTE: Permission to use this and all Children’s EH Power Point presentations is granted thru NEHA, however, all grant and credit notices and informational slides must be used during each presentation.