What is household hazardous waste?
Household hazardous wastes are any product labeled: toxic, poison, corrosive, flammable, combustible or irritant that is thrown into the household garbage can.
The City of Atlanta does not have a collection program for household hazardous waste (HHW). Our recycling partner, Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHarRM) has options, click here to learn about for their collection event information.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency,
“Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be "household hazardous waste" or "HHW." Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when you dispose of them.”
Whenever possible, find more environmentally benign products in place of commonly hazardous products. Using common products like baking soda, vinegar, lemons, salt, and olive oil work effectively to clean and protect. See the suggested links listed below for more information on alternatives.
If you do have household hazardous wastes that you must dispose of, follow these suggestions for proper disposal:
- DO NOT PLACE LIQUID PAINT IN THE GARBAGE CAN - Add kitty litter or saw dust to liquid oil paints to solidify them before placing the cans – lid off- in the garbage. Latex paints are not considered hazardous, but they must be solidified before disposal so simply leave the lid off the can so the paint will dry. Dispose in the garbage – lid off. ONLY empty paint cans or cans with solidified paint can be put into the garbage container.
- Mix out-dated or no longer needed pills with coffee grounds before disposing of them in the garbage (DO NOT DISPOSE OF IN THE TOILET OR DOWN THE DRAIN). The coffee grounds make them unappealing to garbage snoopers, such as animals. Placing outdated or longer needed pills in the garbage can also keeps the medications out of the water system.
- Triple wrap old pesticides and herbicides in plastic before putting them in the garbage.
- Open solvents or fuels in a well ventilated area away from children and pets so the chemical will evaporate. Once evaporated, triple wrap the empty container in plastic and place it in the garbage.
Other informative links:
Collection events for electronics, metals, latex paint, paper shredding, styrofoam and single stream (plastics 1-7, tin/aluminum cans, paper,cardboard) are held the 3rd Saturday monthly at the Mall West End 850 Oak Street, SW Atlanta, GA 30310.
City of Atlanta
Department of Public Works
55 Trinity Avenue, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
NOTE: For garbage collection, rubbish collection or to receive a trash bin call 311.
For issues related to water and sewer, please call the Department of Watershed Management call 311.