Medications

Medications


The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office provides an ongoing disposal option for meds. The Sheriff's RX Drug Drop Box Program allows residents to deposit unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs at drop boxes in participating law enforcement agencies across Cuyahoga County. To find a drop off location visit www.RXdrugdropbox.com or call 2-1-1.

Liquid medications cannot be disposed of via the Drop Box program at local law enforcement agencies. Do not flush them into our sewer system or waterways. Properly dispose of liquid medication by mixing with something like coffee grounds, cat litter or sawdust to make it undesirable or unusable. Once the liquid is in unusable state, place it in the regular trash.

Walgreens offers the Safe Medication Disposal Program. Drop-box receptacles at three local Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours. Locations in Cuyahoga County include:

6410 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland
22401 Lake Shore Boulevard, Euclid
5400 Pearl Road, Parma

Needles are not accepted in the Drop Box. For proper disposal information, see Needles and Sharps.

Motor Oil

Motor Oil


Locally, Lube Stop retail locations accept used motor oil. All 37 locations will accept up to 6 quarts of used motor oil (oil only, uncontaminated with other fluids) during regular business hours. When dropping off, you'll be required to sign a manifest with your name and phone number. See the Lube Stop website for details.

Some city service departments collect clean motor oil from residents for recycling. Check with your community. Motor oil is accepted in the Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Businesses must contract with a licensed environmental services company for proper disposal or recycling. See a list in our Business Recycling Directory.

Flares

Flares


Some local fire departments have controlled burns or disposal programs for old or expired flares. Contact your community for more information.

The Cleveland Fire Department Fire Training Academy accepts flares for disposal, call (216) 664-6880. Cuyahoga Community College's Fire Training Academy may also provide proper disposal, call (216) 987-5076. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you dispose of flares at your local fire department or contact your closest Coast Guard station and ask if they hold flare training/demonstration days for the public.

Marine and road flares are not accepted in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.

Latex Paint

Latex Paint


The District and city service departments do not accept latex paint as household hazardous waste because it is not a hazardous material. Latex paint is 99% water and 1% rubber, and is safe to dispose with your household trash when it is dried out. Here are step-by-step instructions for disposing of latex paint.

To solidify latex paint
*
Air dry. Remove the lid and allow the liquid to evaporate. This works well for small quantities of paint (an inch or two in the bottom of the can), and can take several days.
* Use a drying agent. Mix an equal amount of an absorbent material into the can and allow the paint to dry. Use cat litter, sawdust, plaster of Paris, Oil-dry, or “waste paint hardeners” found at home improvement centers. The paint could dry quickly, depending on how much drying agent you include in the can.
* Pour thin layers (about 1" of paint) into a cardboard box lined with plastic. Allow the paint to dry one layer at a time until all paint has hardened.
* Once the paint is thoroughly dry, place it in a regular trash bag and put it out with your weekly rubbish collection.

DO NOT
* DO NOT dump the paint on the ground or down storm drains where it will travel directly to surface and/or ground water.
* DO NOT pour paint down the drain. While small amounts of latex paint can safely be washed down the drain to a septic system or wastewater treatment plant, this practice should be kept to a minimum. Limit this to brush cleaning and other clean-up.
* DO NOT throw liquid paint in the regular trash. Leaking paint spills out of waste collection vehicles onto city streets making an unsightly mess that is very difficult to clean up.

Tips
* Buy the correct amount of paint for your project. Determine how much paint you’ll need via a paint calculator offered by your local home improvement or decorating store website, or use a mobile app.
* Not sure if you’ll like a color? Use paint swatches first or purchase a sample size.
* Be creative and use up any paint that you have left over. Paint a birdhouse, a garage wall, or outdoor furniture.

Donate
Donate large quantities of good, usable latex paint to a local theater group, development corporation, or neighborhood improvement project. Make sure the paint is not contaminated with particulates, and it should not have gone through a freeze-thaw cycle. See the list below. Call ahead first to make sure that your donation will be accepted.

Car Batteries

Car Batteries


Car batteries, called lead acid batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid and are used as a source of power. Perhaps the most common lead-acid battery is the one that is used to start your car.

In 2008, Ohio law prohibited the disposal of lead acid batteries in landfills. This ensured that all spent lead acid batteries are recycled in Ohio. The law also requires wholesalers and retailers of lead acid batteries to take your old battery for recycling when you buy a new one. Batteries that are covered by the law include batteries used in vehicles, motorcycles, wheelchairs, boats, or other forms of motive power.

Local businesses that recycle lead acid batteries include A-1 Battery Shop (216.861.6001), Bulldog Battery (440.942.2555), Ohio Energy Source (216.393.9909) and other vehicle repair shops. For more options, see our Business Recycling Directory.

We also accept lead acid and wet cell batteries in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.

Needles and Sharps

Needles and Sharps


Check with your health care provider or health care facility to see if they have a take-back program for needles. If not, used needles and syringes from self-injections may be placed in the regular trash if certain precautions are followed. The precautions are designed to protect sanitation workers and other workers in the waste industry from being stuck by a needle.

  • Place used needles and syringes in a rigid plastic container with a sealable lid such as a Sharps container or a plastic laundry detergent bottle with a screw top.
  • Seal the lid with tape.
  • Write "Caution: Sharps" on the container.
  • Place the container in your regular trash.
  • Do not place the container in with your recyclables.

The Ohio EPA has a guidance document for Disposal of Household Generated Sharps (Feb. 2013) (view pdf).

Learn how to dispose of Medications. 

 

Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable Batteries


Batteries that are rechargeable and/or contain heavy metals should be recycled. This includes lithium, lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, zinc air and lead acid batteries.

Call2Recycle, Inc. provides free recycling drop-offs for rechargeable batteries at retail stores such as Apple Store, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, RadioShack, Sears, Staples, tool repair shops and local hardware stores. For a list of locations, call 1.877.2.RECYCLE or visit www.call2recycle.org

We also accept these types of batteries in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.

Batteries

Batteries


How do I dispose of single-use alkaline batteries?
Alkaline and carbon zinc batteries can be safely disposed of with normal household waste. These single-use, non-rechargeable batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste. Alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals (steel, zinc and manganese) and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal.

Cost-effective and environmentally safe recycling processes are not yet universally available for alkaline batteries. Recommended disposal of single-use batteries in Cuyahoga County is in your regular trash collection.

Do not dispose of large amounts of alkaline batteries in a group. Used batteries are often not completely dead. Grouping used batteries together can bring "live" batteries into contact with one another, creating safety risks. Throwing away one or two batteries as they are exhausted is perfectly acceptable.

How do I dispose of lead acid batteries and rechargeable batteries?
Lead acid batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid and are used as a source of power. Perhaps the most common lead-acid battery is the one that is used to start your car.

Ohio law prohibits the disposal of lead acid batteries in landfills to ensure that all spent lead acid batteries are recycled in Ohio. The law also requires wholesalers and retailers of lead acid batteries to take your old battery for recycling when you buy a new one. Batteries that are covered by the law include batteries used in vehicles, motorcycles, wheelchairs, boats, or other forms of motive power.

Local businesses that recycle lead acid batteries include A-1 Battery Shop (216/861-6001), Bulldog Battery (440/942-2555) and Ohio Energy Source (216/393-9909) and other vehicle repair shops.

Lead acid and rechargeable batteries from residents are accepted in the Household Hazardous Waste Program. See more details about rechargeable batteries.

Are you a business? Businesses can recycle their rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries through local specialized companies. See our Business Recycling Directory.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguishers


Metal fire extinguishers can be refilled rather than thrown away when empty, unless it was manufactured before 1984. Extinguishers made of plastic are not recyclable and can be placed in the regular trash when empty.

The District accepts home fire extinguishers in the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.

For a list companies in Cuyahoga County that properly dispose of fire extinguishers, including commercial products, see our Business Recycling Directory.

Fluorescent Bulbs

Fluorescent Bulbs


Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other energy-efficient lighting such as linear fluorescent tube lamps and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps contain a very small amount of mercury. All fluorescent bulbs should be recycled properly to protect public health and the environment.

Compact fluorescent bulbs (the small, squiggly CFLs) can be recycled for free at Home Depot and Lowe's retail locations. Look for a drop box near the main entrance or customer service desk.

Fluorescent tube bulbs from a home can be recycled through the District's Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program.

Businesses must contract with a licensed environmental services company for proper disposal or recycling of fluorescent bulbs. See our Business Recycling Directory

How do I clean-up a broken fluorescent bulb?
In 2010, the U.S. EPA released new guidelines on how to deal with mercury-containing compact fluorescent light bulbs that break in the home. Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed in the glass tubing. When broken, some of the mercury is released as mercury vapor. The EPA states the bulb will continue to leak mercury vapor until it is cleaned up and removed from the home.

What about LED or halogen bulbs?
Similar to incandescent lights, LED and halogen bulbs don't contain any dangerous chemicals, so they can be disposed of in the same way as incandescent bulbs. Dispose of in the regular trash.

Fryer Oil

Fryer Oil


Do not place fryer oil in the trash or down a drain. Fryer oil from a home can be properly recycled through the District's Household Hazardous Waste Program. Contact your city service department to learn when the next collection will be held in your community.

Local restaurants and bars may be willing to take fryer oil from a home and add it to their regular fryer oil collection. Inquire at local restaurant establishments.

Businesses with large quantities of restaurant grease or fryer oil to dispose should refer to the District's Business Recycling Directory for a list of companies that collect the oil for recycling.

Helium & Oxygen Tanks

Helium & Oxygen Tanks


Helium and oxygen tanks cannot be recycled in your curbside recycling and they are hazardous when placed in the trash. 

Check with your medical equipment supplier to see if they have a take-back or exchange program for the oxygen tank. Medical supply companies will accept an oxygen tank if you purchased the tank from them.

Recycle at a local scrap metal yard (you may earn a rebate) or contact AAA Gas Supply (216.228.4800), Air Gas Great Lakes (216.241.1696) or Recycle Zone (440.471.4652) for recycling options. Otherwise, save for your community's next household hazardous waste collection event.