Proper disposal is provided by a collection of facilities across the state called Regional Collection Centers (RCCs). Their packaging and disposal services are free to residents and eligible businesses pay a small fee. HHMs contain many of the chemical types found in industrial and commercial hazardous waste. Though individually less concentrated, when gathered together in the trash, in collection vehicles or in the landfill, HHMs can be as harmful as industrial and commercial grade chemical waste, which is banned from the landfill. Proper disposal is critical in protecting our health, sanitation worker safety and protection of the environment including fish and wildlife as well as protection of our drinking water resources.
- Locate your nearest RCC and schedule an appointment to take your hazardous materials for proper disposal and recycling.
- Contact your local solid waste agency about proper disposal methods.
- Look for local options for recycling electronic waste, automotive products and fluorescent bulbs.
- Dump into ditches, pour down drains or sewers, or place in the trash. Each of these actions has negative consequences.
- Dumping in ditches releases hazardous chemicals directly into the environment.
- Pouring down drains and storm sewers has caused explosions in the sewer system. Storm sewers typically empty directly into lakes and streams, creating a path for hazardous chemicals to impact drinking water, recreation and aquatic life.
- Placing in the trash easily creates the opportunity for incompatible chemicals to mix. Chemical reactions can result in explosions, fires, and toxic fumes causing personal injury and damage to garbage trucks and equipment.
What happens to my HHMs after I bring it in to the RCC?
The employees at the RCC will keep your materials in their original container, sort them by type (corrosive, acid, aerosol), then place them in 55 gallon barrels. These barrels are sealed and stored in an explosive-proof storage unit until they are picked up by a licensed hazardous waste contractor.