Household Hazardous Waste Disposal


The District partners with the 59 communities in the county to offer local, frequent collection events for disposal of household hazardous wastes (HHW). The Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program is free to all Cuyahoga County households and provides the environmentally-safe disposal of hazardous, poisonous or toxic household products that cannot be disposed in the regular trash.

Household hazardous waste is collected from residents by the city service department and is delivered to the District’s year-round Special Waste Convenience Center. Collection events are held only at city service departments. The District's facility is not open to the general public.

This program is for Cuyahoga County residents only.
Most communities will only accept and manage waste from their own residents. Find details for your community.

Acceptable & Unacceptable Items

Household hazardous wastes are materials that are marked dangerous, caustic or flammable. The District can only accept materials that originated from a household and not a commercial source. In accordance with Federal Law, our contractor is not allowed to accept or transport business waste with household waste due to EPA classifications. Currently, household hazardous wastes are not regulated and are exempt from RCRA classification.

"Household” sources are defined as single and multiple residences. The law defines “non-household sources” to include schools, farms, universities, churches, doctor and dentist offices, government facilities, non-profit organizations, hospitals, commercial businesses (both small and large), and manufacturing facilities.

Businesses and organizations 
with hazardous waste can find disposal options in our Business Recycling Directory or by calling our Business Recycling Specialist at 216.443.3749.
 

The following household items are accepted in this program:

Household materials accepted
  • Oil or solvent-based paint, sealers, primers, or coatings (aerosols or liquids)
  • Varnishes, polyurethanes, shellacs
  • Paint thinner, mineral spirits, turpentine
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides 
  • Caustic household cleaners
  • Pool chemicals
  • Oils and grease
  • Automotive fluids, motor oil, car batteries
  • Adhesives, roof tar, driveway sealer
  • Kerosene, gasoline, lighter fluid
  • Mercury, fluorescent bulbs (6 ft. length max.)
Materials NOT accepted
  • Latex paint
  • Explosives, gun powder, ammunition, flares
  • Medical waste, pharmaceuticals, medicine, sharps
  • Radioactive waste (smoke detectors)
  • Tires
  • Electronics, appliances
  • Business or commercial waste

Disposal of Batteries

Residents with batteries should take them to a local retail store dropbox for recycling or to a local battery recycler. See details.

Businesses can find disposal options for batteries and other hazardous wastes in our Business Recycling Directory or by calling the District's Business Recycling Specialist at 216.443.3749.

Disposal of Latex Paint

The District does not accept latex paint. Latex paint is comprised mostly of water and is not a hazardous material. To dispose of latex paint, solidify and place in your curbside trash. For detailed instructions, see our page on disposal of latex paint.

Dried out paint and/or empty paint cans are not hazardous and should be placed in the regular trash.

Disposal of Fluorescent Bulbs

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. See our Fluorescent Bulbs page for details. 

For more information about mercury and fluorescent lighting facts, log onto www.lamprecycle.org  

Businesses can find disposal options for hazardous wastes in our Business Recycling Directory or by calling the District's Business Recycling Specialist at 216.443.3749.


Cleaning up a Mercury Spill

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

To minimize exposure, the EPA offers these guidelines on dealing with a broken bulb:

1.  Homeowners should clear the room of people and pets, and then open a window or door to the outdoors for 10 minutes. Central heating and cooling systems should be turned off as well.
2.  All broken glass and visible powder from the bulb should be placed in a sealable container, along with anything used to clean up the broken bulb. The container should then be placed in an outdoor trash container or covered area until the materials can be disposed of properly.
3.  For several hours after the breakage, continue to air out the room and leave HVAC systems off.


For detailed information on proper CFL disposal and printable brochures,
 visit the EPA's page.


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