What to Expect at a Household Chemical Collection

Posted by: Kim Bischof on July 18, 2018

Since 2003, PRC has helped Western PA residents to safely dispose of over 4,950,000 lbs of household chemicals through our Household Chemical Collection Events. We hold these events in order to provide residents with a responsible means of disposing of hazardous materials such as automotive fluids, household cleaners, paint, and other chemicals. By knowing what to expect at our events, you play a part in ensuring the event proceeds as efficiently and safely as possible.

What to Expect

  1. Our events are often well attended, so you will likely see a line of cars waiting to be unloaded.
  2. Stay in your vehicle at all times. This is both for your own safety and the safety of our volunteers and contractors.
  3. When it is your turn, our volunteers will  estimate your total volume of material and you will receive a receipt listing how much you are dropping off and the cost.
  4. Our volunteers will direct you to the pay station.
  5. Pay with cash. There is a fee of $3.00 per gallon (a few exceptions apply).
  6.  A volunteer will direct you to our unloading area or “hot zone”. The chemicals in your vehicle will be unloaded by a team of experts to ensure that materials are handled as safely as possible.
  7. If you have materials in containers that you would like back, let our contractors know.
  8. Proceed to feel good for responsible disposing of your hazardous household waste and be sure to check-in for future events.

Best Practices

Do not bring unaccepted items – Be familiar with our accepted materials list and only bring materials that you know we will accept. You can find a list of accepted items under the “Frequently Asked Questions” tab here.

Don’t repackage chemicals – Keep all chemicals in their original container with labels intact. If the original container is leaking and it is safe to do so, transfer the materials to a new container and place the label in a zippered plastic bag.

Take Extra Care With Glass – If your materials are in a glass container, surround the container with newspaper to pad the container and prevent it from breaking.

Double Check All Caps and Lids – Ensure that all lids are secure and don’t leak to reduce the risk of spills.

Use secondary containment – Place all containers in a secondary container, such as cardboard box or plastic bin, for transportation. This will ensure that if a spill or leakage occurs the hazardous material is contained.

Avoid Smoking – For the safety of you and everyone around you, you should never smoke while transporting hazardous materials.

Reduce waste moving forward – Next time, consider purchasing a smaller quantity or using an all natural or less toxic substitute.

Be Patient – Our volunteers and contractors are working as fast and safely as possible.


If you have questions about what materials are accepted at our Household Chemical Collection Events, send us a message below!

HHW Inquiries

Get answers on where to responsibly recycle and dispose of your household chemicals locally.