Skip to main content

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Any household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be household hazardous waste (HHW). Products, such as paints, cleaners, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients which require special care when you dispose of them.

Why are these products a problem?

These products can be harmful to you and can potentially contaminate the water supply.

Best ways to protect yourself and others...

  • Use non-toxic alternatives when possible.
  • Always read directions for use and storage.
  • Keep all chemicals in original containers with lids sealed tightly.
  • Use all of a container or if you can't see if someone else can use it.
  • Never put liquid chemicals in trash.

Safety and Managing Household Hazardous Waste

  • Never mix chemicals.
  • Store chemicals in original containers tightly sealed, away from heat or flames, children and pets.
  • Never dump chemicals down drains, on land or in sewers.
  • Only buy amount you plan to use.
  • Read labels and consider alternatives

There are many non-toxic alternatives...

  • Glass Cleaner - 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a quart of water, use newspaper to wipe dry
  • Drain Cleaner - pour boiling water down the drain once a week, plunge or use drain snake where needed
  • Oven Cleaner - clean spills as soon as oven cools with steel wool and baking soda - DO NOT USE THIS METHOD ON self-cleaning or continuous cleaning ovens
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner - use vinegar or baking soda and toilet brush
  • Rug Deodorizer - sprinkle baking soda on carpet wait 15 minutes then vacuum
  • Roach and ant repellent- sprinkle boric acid (Borax) along cupboard edges baseboards and in cracks

These and many more alternatives can be found at NYS DEC website or Household Hazards: A Guide to Detoxifying Your Home, published by the League of Woman Voters of Albany County, New York.

For more information on managing and minimizing your Household Hazardous Waste


DEC Division of Materials Management Bureau of waste reduction & recycling 
625 Broadway Albany, NY 12233-7253

Return to Registration Form