Household Hazardous Waste
What is Household Hazardous Waste?
Household hazardous waste (HHW) includes products that contain toxic, corrosive, highly reactive or flammable materials. If disposed of improperly, hazardous waste can pollute ground or surface water and pose a threat to wildlife and human health.
Never pour hazardous substances down the drain, on the ground or in the storm drain.
Many household products such as paint, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them.
Typical household hazardous wastes include:
Reducing HHW in Your Home
- Check the ingredients of products before bringing them into your home - consider reducing your purchase of products that contain hazardous ingredients
- When shopping for household cleaning supplies and pest control, consider buying environmentally friendly, natural products - use the EPA Safer Choice guidelines to help identify safer products
- Try out simple recipes you can use to create your own natural and effective cleaning products at home
- If you do need to purchase a product containing hazardous substances, buy only as much as you need and either use it up yourself or offer to friends and family who can make use of what you don't.
Safe Management of HHW
- DO NOT pour hazardous substances down the drain or in the toilet, on the ground or in the storm drain
- Always store hazardous substances safely in their original containers. Never store hazardous products in food containers
- Never mix hazardous substances with other products. Incompatible products might react, ignite, or explode and contaminated HHW may be unrecyclable
- Follow package instructions for use, storage and disposal.
Find out how to responsibly dispose of almost anything using the DurangoRecycles.com "What Goes Where?" tool.
The City of Durango and La Plata County periodically offer Household Hazardous Waste Events. Check the City's website and sign up for waste collection reminders and News Flash notifications to learn about upcoming events and accepted products.
In 2016, the City of Durango - La Plata County Household Hazardous Waste Event resulted in the diversion of over 28,000 lbs of hazardous waste from landfill.
Colorado's Paint Stewardship Law benefits household hazardous waste programs. A new law passed in June 2014 requires paint manufacturers to establish a paint stewardship program in Colorado. Household hazardous waste (HHW) programs that participate can save money on paint management costs. Program funding comes from a "PaintCare Recovery Fee" applied to each container of architectural paint sold in Colorado when the program began on July 1, 2015. For more information visit: Colorado Paint Stewardship Program Fact Sheet (PDF)