Household Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste is any chemical substance or material that is flammable, toxic, chemically reactive, or caustic. These substances require special disposal because they pose serious risks to the environment and sanitation workers if they enter the waste stream or water supply. Never pour these substances down the drain, never throw these substances into the garbage.

Always make sure that you are properly storing these substances out of reach of children and pets and away from any heat sources or electrical outlets and wiring. Always keep these substances in their original container. There are many non-toxic alternatives to using common household cleaning products. We offer educational resources if you'd like to learn how. 

Safe Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste

Schenectady County hosts free, monthly collection events for residents of the county to safely dispose of their household chemicals. 

Here's how the program works:

1) Purchase a permit to the County Recycling Facility before you come to a free HHW collection event. A permit is required to attend the free collection event. Permits cost $20 for the year and entitles you to many other services at the facility. To purchase a permit with the County Recycling Facility, bring cash and your vehicle registration to either the County Recycling Facility, 24 Hetcheltown Road in Glenville OR the County Office Building Finance Department, 3rd floor 620 State Street in Schenectady.  

2) Sign up for an event by calling the CCE Recycling Educator during open registration period, which opens four days after the previous event and closes four days before the scheduled event. Or register online through the  Schenectady County website. Registration is required. 

3) Make sure you understand what materials are accepted at the event. 

4) Keep all substances in their original container if possible or clearly label the contents of bottles.

Examples of Hazardous Substances Accepted at County Collection Events:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia containing cleaning products
  • Paints
  • Solvents
  • Wood stains, varnishes, sealants
  • metal polishes
  • Drain de-clogging agents
  • lawn and garden chemicals
  • fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides, pesticides
  • bug sprays
  • transmission or brake fluids
  • swimming pool chemicals
  • propane cylinders
  • fireworks
  • turpentine
  • mercury thermostats
  • rodenticides or other poisons

DO NOT bring these items to the County Collection Event

  • fluorescent light bulbs or any other type of lighting (CFLS should be brought to a local home improvement store such as Lowes, Home Depot, or Aubuchon Hardware)
  • smoke detectors (Smoke detectors contain a small amount of radioactive material. They need to be sent back to the manufacturer of the device.)
  • ammunition
  • fire extinguishers (Contact your local fire department to request more information)
  • medical waste (Needles and sharps can be taken to a hospital for disposal. Make sure you are safely transporting sharps in an appropriate sealed container)
  • antifreeze (Bring to select automotive service stations) 
  • motor oil (Bring to automotive service stations)
  • batteries  (visit call2recycle.org to find a drop-off location near you)
  • large propane tanks (redeemable at most stores that sell large propane tanks) 

These materials are still considered hazardous waste and special disposal programs do exist for these items. Call the Recycling Educator to request more information about these items

This program is for residents of Schenectady County only, limited to one carload per family. No waste from commercial, industrial, or institutional or non-profit generators is allowed. Call 386-2225 to request information about the County sponsored program for these generators.

All collection days are scheduled from 8am -noon. The May and October collection events take place at the Public Works 100 Kellar Ave in Rotterdam. All other collection events take place at the County Recycling Facility 24 Hetcheltown Rd in Glenville. 

Contact

Angelina Peone
Recycling and Composting Educator
ap2267@cornell.edu
(518) 372-1622

Last updated June 15, 2017