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Household Hazardous Waste

Do I have hazardous waste in my home?

People are surprised to hear that the answer is yes. You do have household hazardous waste in your home if you have any of the following products: aerosols, ammonia, anti-freeze, batteries, chlorine bleach, disinfectants, drain opener, herbicides, motor oil, paint, rodent poison, silver polish, turpentine, water seal, wood finish. The average household generates approximately 7200 pounds of hazardous waste per year.

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Household hazardous waste is the discarded, unused or leftover portions of household products containing toxic chemicals. Any product, which is labeled warning, caution, poisonous, toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive, or explosive is considered hazardous.

Household hazardous waste collection sites for Harrison County  go to Internet Explorer and entry search for "Harrison County Beautification Commission" or email the commission at:

How can you control Household Hazardous materials?

Safe Use, Storage and Disposal Practices Do’s and Don’ts:


  • Think carefully before buying a product. Do you really need it? Do you already have something similar?
  • Buy just enough to do the job.
  • Look for a non-hazardous or less hazardous substitute.
  • Read the label and follow use, storage and disposal directions carefully. Watch for signal words such as caution, warning, poison or danger. If directions are unclear, contact the manufacturer or dealer before using.
  • Keep all chemical products and waste out of reach of children and animals.
  • Keep leftover products in original labeled containers so that you can refer to directions for use and proper disposal.
  • Share unused products with others if each product is in its original container with a label.
  • Dispose of household waste properly by taking it to a collection event scheduled in your community or to a permanent collection facility.
  • Locate auto repair shops, quick lube stations, gas stations that recycle used motor oil, antifreeze and batteries.
  • Completely finish products in containers before disposal. Clean, empty containers can be put in the trash. (Note: Some Communities will even recycle steel paint cans and aerosol containers)
  • Triple rinse all containers of water soluble materials. Use rinse water according to label directions.


  • Do not dump leftover products into the street, storm drains or ground. It is illegal.
  • Do not burn used or leftover products or product containers. Burning may produce toxic fumes and contribute to air pollution.
  • Do not bury leftover products or containers in your yard or garden.
  • Do not reuse pesticide or other chemical containers for other purposes.
  • Do not mix chemical products or wastes.
  • Do not put any household hazardous waste in the trash or in the sink.
  • Do not repackage chemical products in containers that are normally used for food products or soft drinks. Children have died from drinking chemicals stored in soft drink and juice bottles.
  • Do not store corrosives, flammables and poisons together. Separate these containers.
  • Never mix household hazardous materials. Dangerous reactions can occur.
  • Do not smoke, eat or drink when handling household hazardous products

How do I properly recycle/dispose of paint?

There are several options available to the public on disposal of paint. These options are as follows:

  • Use all paint on the project at hand. This may mean putting on a third coat but it is better to do that than have the paint put in the garbage. Next, try to find someone who can use the paint. Places that may need paint could include a local theater group, school, Habitat for Humanity or other similar organization.
  • Take paint to the Harrison County household hazardous waste collection site open the second Saturday of every month from 8 a.m. until noon at 10076 Lorraine Road next to the Sheriff Department.
  • If the above options are unavailable, allow latex or water based paints to sit out and evaporate leaving the pigments in the bottom of the can. After this has been done, then leave the top off the can and place the can(s) out with the garbage. Latex or oil-based paints can also be mixed with oil dry, saw dust, or kitty litter which will soak up the paint. The material can then be placed in a plastic bag and put in the garbage.
  • The last alternative is to store the paint for touch-ups or other projects. Although these are good intentions for keeping and storing paint, the paint is rarely used. If this option is used, follow these easy tips to make the paint last longer when it is finally needed. First clean the area of the paint top and cover so that there will be a good seal. Next cover the opening with one or two layers of plastic wrap. Then place the lid on securely so the paint doesn't leak. Finally, turn the paint can upside down!! This will create a tight seal, and will keep the paint fresh for the next time it is needed. As a final measure, mark on the paint can the room in the house where that color was used in the event it is actually used do touch-ups.

How do I properly recycle/dispose of pesticides and other similar hazardous wastes?

These are very difficult materials to manage no matter where one lives. Here are several options:

  • Try to find someone in the neighborhood or community who can use the pesticides or any other hazardous materials for the purpose they were intended.
  • Take pesticides or other hazardous materials to the Harrison County household hazardous waste collection site open the second Saturday of every month from 8 a.m. until noon at 10076 Lorraine Road next to the Sheriff Department.

How do I properly recycle/dispose of old gasoline?

  • Allow the old gasoline to evaporate in a well ventilated area such as the backyard until all the fuel is gone.
  • Mix very small quantities of old gasoline with the regular gasoline and slowly burn it off in a lawn mower or similar engine. A ratio of 1 part old gasoline to 20 parts of good gasoline is suggested.
  • Take the old gasoline to the Harrison County household hazardous waste collection site open the second Saturday of every month from 8 a.m. until noon at 10076 Lorraine Road next to the Sheriff Department.

How do I properly recycle/dispose of antifreeze?

Antifreeze is generally one of the most difficult items to dispose of properly.

In addition, antifreeze is extremely toxic to pets and other animals. The best option is to first purchase the new environmentally safe antifreezes that are now on the market. Otherwise contact the nearest car dealership, or automotive repair shop to see if they’ll take and recycle antifreeze. Antifreeze can also be taken to the Harrison County household hazardous waste collection site open the second Saturday of every month from 8 a.m. until noon at 10076 Lorraine Road next to the Sheriff Department. (Information obtained from MDEQ web site).


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