Common Examples Of HHW

Household Cleaning Products

Glass and tile cleaners
Chlorine bleach
Floor polish
Oven cleaners

Auto Maintenance Products

Antifreeze and brake fluid
Gasoline and motor oil
Polishes and waxes

Building and Hobby Products

Glues and contact cement
Paints*, stains, and finishes
Paint thinners and strippers
Photographic chemicals

Personal Care Products and Pharmaceuticals

Hair coloring products
Nail polish and remover
Mercury thermometers
Prescription drugs

Outdoor and Garden Products

Chemical lawn fertilizers
Fungicides and insecticides
Weed killers and herbicides
Pool chemicals

*While oil-based paints are HHW, unusable latex paints can be dried out for safe disposal in household trash. Use kitty litter or paint hardener (found at home improvement stores) to absorb paint, then add to trash when completely dry.


upcoming HHW collections

  • Avoid toxic chemical products when a nontoxic alternative will do. Purchase environmentally-friendly products or make your own at home.
  • Avoid surplus HHW by only purchasing as much as you need for the task. Recycling is great, but not as impactful as reducing waste in the first place!

  • Follow all safety instructions on the product label.
  • Keep products in their original containers and do not remove safety labels. Do not combine HHW products or reuse empty containers.
  • Seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place away from children, pets, and food products.
  • Separate flammables, corrosives, and poisons from other materials and place on separate shelves.

  • HHW is not safe to be burned, buried, thrown in the trash or backyard, or poured in the drain or storm sewer.
  • If products are still usable, consider donating.
  • To find safe disposal for household chemicals in your area, contact your municipality, the DEP Recycling Hotline or your County Recycling Coordinator.

How can I tell if a household product is hazardous?

Check the label! It might not say “household hazardous waste,” but the Federal Hazardous Substances Act requires warning labels on all hazardous household products to help consumers safely use and store them. The information on this warning label includes:

1.   The name of each hazardous ingredient.

2 .  Signal words that communicate the type of hazard the product presents. Danger describes anything highly toxic, highly corrosive, or highly flammable. The word poison must also be added for anything highly toxic. Any other hazardous product will include the signal words warning or caution. Other descriptive words might also be included, like corrosive, flammable, reactive, irritant, or combustible.

3.   A statement explaining why the product is hazardous, including how it might interact with other materials or the human body.

4.   Any precautionary statements explaining how the user can protect themselves from the hazard. These might include actions the user should take, such as “Use in a well-ventilated area.” Precautionary statements might also include actions the user should avoid, such as “Do not get in eyes.”

5.   Any appropriate first aid instructions in case of accidental exposure. Depending on the product and type of exposure, these instructions might range from monitoring the affected person to calling 911. Often, the user will be instructed to call a Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

6.   Any extra directions for safe handling and storage of the product, like “Store in a cool, dry place.”

7.   The warning “Keep out of reach of children.”

Remember to always follow the usage, storage, and safety instructions on the label.–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Business-Guidance/FHSA-Requirements

Nontoxic Alternatives

Many common cleaning products can be made at home using nontoxic household ingredients. These easy-to-make, inexpensive alternatives get the job done without relying on harsh chemicals found in many commercial products. View our Nontoxic Cleaners zine below or download a PDF copy here.

Safe and Healthy Series

In the Safe and Healthy series, PRC and Partners present recommendations for well-informed chemical use in everyday life. View and download our brochure series and 17-page Hazardous Waste in the Home guide below!

Hazardous Waste in the Home: Safe and Healthy Guide



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