Hazardous Wastes should not be disposed of through weekly trash & recycling collection.
Hazardous household materials are common products used around the home almost every day. A substance is considered hazardous if it ignites easily, reacts or explodes when mixed with other substances, is corrosive or toxic. Check for labels that bear the words "poison", "toxic", "warning", "danger", "combustible", "flammable", "corrosive", or "caution."
Hazardous household materials could pose an unnecessary health and safety risk. Unwanted materials should be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.
The following items are examples of hazardous wastes that should not be disposed off through weekly trash & recycling collection. Select items to see how best to dispose them.
- Batteries - Rechargeable
- CFL bulbs
- Freon (refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers)
- Fire Extinguisher-Smoke Detector
- Flourescent bulbs
- Mercury devices
- Motor Oil
- Propane tanks
HHW Collection Events
Households with hazardous wastes are encouraged to dispose of such items through the FREE Erie County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events or our HHW Drop-Off Voucher Program.
- Small businesses, municipalities, schools, school districts, or other (eligible) agency are encouraged to participate in the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) Program.
Note: Small businesses, municipalities, schools, school districts, or other (eligible) agencies are NOT authorized to attend an HHW collection event.
Through a local government efficiency grant from the NYSDOS, Erie County engaged Solara Inc. to conduct a feasibility study related to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection programs. The objective of this study was to thoroughly review the HHW program and find ways to increase efficiency and decrease costs. The study was completed in June of 2018. Click here to review the study.
The current Household Hazardous Waste program involves collections of household products from local residents that are too toxic to be thrown out with other household waste. Household chemicals may include cleaning solvents, paints, and pesticides. Chemicals may also be corrosive, reactive with other chemicals, explosive, and toxic.
Currently, only 2% of Erie County households participate in the collection events annually.
The study reviewed cost and participation times for different types of programs and services in which HHW was collected. They concluded that successful programs with high participation rates provide a convenient location, as well as an HHW contractor that provides a comprehensive event planning bundle to streamline service and minimize time. These services include regionally held events, a permanent facility, and satellite events in conjunction with a permanent facility, and a voucher system to give residents the opportunity to attend a privately owned facility. It was also determined that economically-driven homeowners and businesses (individuals who need to get rid of hazardous waste by a certain deadline) prefer a permanent site because it provides a convenient way to dispose of waste quickly without needing to wait for an event.
A permanent facility, centrally-located within the County, would not only increase efficiency but also allow the opportunity to serve more people. Along with the permanent facility, monthly satellite events located outside the facility would create a system in which almost everyone in the county would have increased access to this service.
Given the findings of the feasibility study, Erie County Department of Environment and Planning will be holding several HHW collection events in 2020 where Erie County residents can bring those items to have them properly disposed.