Household Hazardous Waste - What do I do with it?
Which Household Products are Hazardous?
Some household products can harm you and/or the environment. Read the label. If you see the words DANGER, POISON, CAUTION or WARNING on the label, consider the product hazardous. That's true even if the label also includes words such as NATURAL or GREEN, which currently have no legal definition.
Most household hazardous wastes commonly fall into one of the following categories:
- Automotive products - oil, antifreeze, gasoline, brake and transmission fluid
- Household cleaners - oven cleaners, drain cleaners, disinfectants and some laundry products
- Paints/Solvents - latex and oil-based paints, paint thinners, varnishes and wood preservatives
- Poisons - insecticides/pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
Solvents, paints, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other chemicals should never be poured down a sink or stormwater drain. They do not belong inside of your garbage or recycling cart.* To help you with proper and safe disposal, up to 25 gallons of household hazardous wastes are accepted from residents free of charge on designated days at the transfer stations shown in the table below.
For a quick check, use the free RecyclingRight App or the online waste wizard tool here. Simply enter the name of the item you no longer need and hit the "Find item' button to get answers to your disposal and recycling questions.
Central Transfer and
West Van Materials Recovery Center
Washougal Transfer Station
A few Household Hazardous Wastes - batteries and antifreeze, for example - can be collected curbside, separately and placed appropriately, along with your recycling cart. Visit Recycling A-Z for details.
Avoid hazards. Choose to be safer.
- Read the label before you buy and select the item with the least toxic ingredients.
- Follow product directions carefully.
- Keep products sealed and in their original containers.
- Never mix products.
- Reduce herbicides and fertilizers by using native or Pacific Northwest friendly plants.
Improper disposal of unwanted medication and medical waste also can cause harm to humans, pets and the environment. Click here to use the helpful Recycling A-Z waste wizard and learn about ways to properly dispose of medication. Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver and Yacolt are all committed the safe disposal of unwanted medication. See Clark County's website for more details or contact PREVENT! Coalition at (360) 952-3397 or www.preventclarkcounty.org.
Disposal of Used Sharps
Sharps are medical needles, scalpels and other small sharp instruments. Sharps come from diabetics, livestock and pet owners and others who must give injections at home. Used sharps should never be placed in your garbage and recycling containers or flushed down the toilet. Instead, utilize one of the options below:
- Drop-off Collection Sites: Sharps users can take their filled sharps containers to any one of the three transfer stations in Clark County during regular operating hours.
- Special Waste Pickup Services: See www.safeneedledisposal.org. There is a cost for this service.
- Mail-back programs: See www.safeneedledisposal.org. There is a cost for this service.
Heavy duty plastic containers designed for collecting used sharps are available for purchase at many pharmacies. If an approved sharps container is not available, use a container with a well-secured lid, preferably made of rigid plastic. Be sure to label it: “Warning Sharps – Do Not Recycle”
For more information about sharps and proper disposal, click here to use the helpful Recycling A-Z waste wizard or click this website.