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 throw hazardous substances in your trash container or pour them down the drain, on the ground, or in the storm drain.*
Proper Disposal and HHW Collection Event
Some HHW items are collected year-round at various locations around town, but others can only be collected during the HHW collection event. The 2022 Household Hazardous Waste Event will take place on September 23 & 24.
The City of Durango and La Plata County have partnered for many years on annual Household Hazardous Waste collection events. Our most recent event saw over 700 attendees and collected over 85,000 lbs of waste! These events offer the primary opportunity in our region for collecting many HHW materials.
See the lists below for what materials are and are not accepted at these events, and what materials have alternative year-round disposal options.
Use the “What Goes Where?” Wizard tool to search for disposal options for HHW materials, or visit the Durango Recycle Center and Drop-Off page for information on what HHW materials are accepted throughout the year.
HHW with Regular Year-Round Safe Disposal Options:
- Automotive batteries (also accepted at HHW collections events)
- Household and rechargeable batteries (also accepted at HHW collections events)
- Fluorescent light bulbs
- Paint (also accepted at HHW collections events)
Household Hazardous Waste ACCEPTED at HHW Collections Events:
- Ammonia and other harsh cleaning products
- Automotive fluids, oil and care products
- Bleach (chlorine bleach)
- Corrosive chemicals and acids
- Drain cleaners
- Gasoline and diesel fuel
- Glue and adhesives
- Insect, pest, and weed killers
- Lighter fluid
- Mercury thermometers and thermostats
- Paint and paint thinner
- Polishes, strippers, and rust remover
- Pool chemicals
- Propane tanks & fire extinguishers
- Spray paint
- Stains and varnishes
Materials NOT ACCEPTED at HHW Collections Events:
- Biological and medical waste
- Explosives and ammo
- Radioactive waste (including smoke detectors)
- Large electronics (see Durango Recycle Center and Drop-Off page for electronics recycling options)
- Items containing refrigerants (air conditioners or refrigerators)
- Metal cylinder tanks for gas, liquid, or chemicals (other than propane or fire extinguishers)
- Containers of liquid or materials larger than 30 gallons (150 lbs)
Reducing HHW and Safe Management in Your Home
- 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.
- 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. Always store hazardous substances safely in their original containers. Never store hazardous products in food containers.
- NEVER throw hazardous substances in your trash container or pour them down the drain, on the ground, or in the storm drain.