Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) are those wastes produced in our households that are hazardous in nature (ignitable, corrosive, reactive, toxic), but that are not regulated as hazardous wastes under federal and state laws. This means that it is legal for most homeowners to put HHW in their trash.* Included are such items as old paints and paint related products, pesticides, pool chemicals, drain cleaners, and degreasers and other car care products. Today's landfills are designed to handle normal amounts of HHW and minimize the environmental impacts; however, there are other options homeowners can consider when dealing with these wastes.
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Solid Waste Haulers and HHW - A "catch-22" that homeowners often encounter is that while it is legal to put HHW in their regular trash, the waste hauler that collects the trash may choose not to haul the HHW. It is not uncommon, for example, for a waste hauler to refuse to haul liquid HHW products (i.e. paint, driveway sealer). In these cases, the homeowner will have to take steps to solidify the liquids, or may have to dispose of the HHW by taking it directly to a landfill or transfer station, or by participating in a HHW collection program.

Since 1998, Cumberland County has offered a HHW collection program in an attempt to give the residents of Cumberland County an alternative disposal method for these types of wastes. This consisted of a drop-off program from 1998 to 2009, and a door-to-door program from 2011 to 2013. The historical results for all years are presented below. Due to lower than expected participation and higher per unit costs, the door-to-door program was terminated and a return was made to drop-off events in 2014.  For 2016, a drop-off event is scheduled for August 20th. 
   

Other HHW Disposal Options


If you are unable to wait for a County program offering, you can consider contacting a hazardous waste company to inquire about disposal of HHW materials from your home (fees will apply), or you may legally dispose of them in your household trash provided that:
  • You have looked at the label for any disposal instructions and complied with them.
  • Liquids have been allowed to evaporate or have been absorbed by a material such as vermiculite, cat litter, sawdust, etc.
  • The material has been carefully packaged (i.e. double bagged) to prevent leakage.
  • Large quantities are intermingled with your other household trash in small batches over several collection days.
Visit our Forms and Fact Sheets web page for additional information on HHW, including instructions on how to prepare certain types of HHW for disposal in the trash and information on safer alternatives to certain types of HHW.

Household Hazardous Waste Program Historical Data


Drop-Off Program


Year
Number of Vehicles
Tons Collected
1998 600 26.37
1999 1180 55.54
2000 1018 63.38
2001 1255 59.48
2002 1248 76.77
2003 1515 56.14
2004 1408 59.91
2005 1263 59.47
2006 1436 59.25
2007 1131 48.96
2008 512 24.82
2009 790 47.22
2014 660 29.49
2015 969 60.61

Door-to-Door Program


Year
Number of Collections
Tons Collected
2011 333 16.58
2012 314 14.17
2013 229 11.80

Totals


  • Number of Participants: 15,861
  • Tons Collected: 769.97