What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, or reactive ingredients are considered to be "household hazardous waste" -- or HHW -- when the products are safe to use when you follow the manufacture's instructions, but they require special handling when you are ready to dispose of them. If disposed of improperly, these wastes can pollute the environment and they can pose a threat to human health. Some of the household hazardous wastes found in many homes include:

  • Floor care products, furniture polish, metal polish
  • Nail polish and polish remover
  • Antifreeze, break fluid, gasoline, kerosene, transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid
  • Glue, mineral spirits, oil based paint, paint thinner, paint stripper, rust remover, varnish, wood preservative 
  • Fungicide, insecticide, weed killer, rat/mouse poison
  • Gun cleaning solvent, moth balls, lighter fluid, swimming pool chemicals 
What to do with Household Hazardous Waste?
Save the waste and take it to the annual disposal day. The Allen County Solid Waste Management District holds an annual Tox-Away Day for Allen County, Indiana residents. The event takes place in September of each year and minimal fees apply for disposal of household hazardous wastes. There are also a number of private companies in Fort Wayne and Allen County that will accept and properly dispose of household hazardous wastes. Fees apply. You can find out more about Tox Away Day and about other options for disposing of household hazardous wastes at the Allen County Solid Waste Management District website: www.acwastewatcher.org
or click here for more information from Fort Wayne's Solid Waste Department.
What about about Light Bulbs and batteries?
Fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury and should not be put in the trash. Four-foot bulbs can be taken to the merchandise pick-up area at the Glenbrook Mall Sears store during normal business hours. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) can be taken to any Connolly's Do-It Best Stores during regular business hours. Batteries may be dropped off at Batteries Plus for recycling.

Electronic equipment such as televisions, computers and cell phones may contain hazardous chemicals and materials that can be recycled. Contact the Allen County Solid Waste Management District for more information on household electronics recycling. The Allen County Partnership for Water Quality publishes a brochure about household hazardous waste pdfhere.