Household Hazardous Waste
Proper management of household hazardous materials is important to the safety of your home and the environment. What is Household Hazardous Waste? Many products used in homes contain hazardous materials. Improper disposal may result in injury to people, pets, cause a fire, or contaminate ground water. Products that are considered hazardous are:
Household Cleaners: Floor and furniture polishes, oven cleaner, kitchen and bath cleaners, drain opener, disinfectants, and rug and upholstery cleaners.
Home Improvement: Oil based paint, lead based paint, stain, paint thinner, paint stripper, varnish, caulk, and adhesives.
Pesticides: Insecticides, insect repellent, weed killer, mouse poison, pet spray, mothballs, and many gardening products.
Automotive: Gasoline, windshield wiper fluid, car wax and cleaners, solvents, brake fluid, and body putty.
Others: Pool chemicals, color photo processing chemicals, artists paints (cadmium yellow and cobalt blue).
Characteristics are determined by container label. Signal words printed on the label such as Caution, Danger, Warning or Keep Out of Reach of Children indicate that the material is probably a hazardous household product. Each year Iowans generate an estimated 30 pounds of hazardous waste per household.
We can accept HHW from households and qualifying businesses and farms (guidelines determined by EPA) by appointment only. We typically are open April 1-October 31st . If you have HHW’s outside of those months we can help you set up an appointment directly with our Regional Collection Center located in Cherokee.
Latex paint (water-based) is not hazardous and can be safely disposed of in a landfill once it is dry. If you have unused latex paint you can dry it out using one of the following methods: line a cardboard box with newspaper and layer the paint allowing the layers to dry, mix in oil dry(kitty litter) or wood chips to absorb the liquid, or simply remove lids and let it dry. Retail stores also sell a latex paint hardener that can be used. Once the paint is dry you can set it out with your trash with the lids off so the hauler can see it is dry.