Many products used in our homes contain hazardous chemicals. It is important to handle these products with care to prevent harm to yourself, other living things, and our environment.
Household hazardous waste includes household items that usually carry words like caution, warning, danger, corrosive, poison, flammable, combustible, and explosive.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is accepted at no charge at the City and County transfer stations only from residential customers and only when the materials have come from a private home or vehicle. The City's transfer station at the Waste to Energy Facility accepts HHW during all open hours – 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. The County's North County and Valley transfer stations accept these wastes on Saturdays and Sundays only between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Materials should be in leak-proof containers with the contents labeled on the outside. No containers greater than 5 gallons. If you would like your gasoline, waste oil or antifreeze container returned, just ask the attendant. Other waste containers cannot be emptied and returned. Here's a quick guide (PDF 4.2 MB) to items accepted at the City and County facilities.
Fluorescent lights are more energy efficient than incandescent lights, but they do contain mercury. They should be disposed of properly. One broken fluorescent bulb can contaminate 7,000 gallons of water with mercury.
Fluorescent bulbs should not be placed in residential garbage or recycling carts. We ask you to accumulate burned out fluorescent bulbs and other household items containing mercury and deliver them to the Household Hazardous Waste section at the transfer stations. Disposal is free. Other drop-off locations for mercury-containing lights can be found by going to www.lightrecyclewa.org.
For businesses needing information on safe disposal options for fluorescent lights and other items containing mercury, contact the Recycling Hotline at 509.477.6800.
You can prevent injury and illness by following simple steps when disposing of residential or home health care sharps and pharmaceuticals.
All needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp objects should be placed in a puncture resistant container (coffee can, liquid detergent or bleach bottle) with a label noting that the container holds sharps. Once secured in a container, sharps can be disposed of at the Household Hazardous Waste area at transfer stations.
Please do not flush sharps down toilets and never place sharps containers in recycling carts. Visit the Center for Disease Control website for additional information on safe community needle disposal.
Never flush medications or pharmaceuticals down toilets or pour down drains.
Medicine return locations are available at the Take Back Your Meds website.
Some prescription containers may be recyclable. Check with the Recycling Hotline, 509.477.6800, for current information before disposing of the empty container in the trash. Soiled bandages, disposable sheets, and medical gloves should be placed in securely fastened plastic bags before placing them in the garbage can with household trash.
Business waste cannot be accepted at the household hazardous waste facilities. Disposal options for hazardous wastes generated from businesses depend on the amount the business generates.
“Small Quantity Generators” are businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of dangerous waste or 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste per month. Get more information on Small Quantity Generators.
“Large Quantity Generators” are businesses that generate more than the above amounts of hazardous wastes per month. Disposal for these businesses is regulated by the Washington State Department of Ecology. Get more information on Large Quantity Generators.
A comprehensive directory options for businesses and residents is available on the EnviroStars website.
Chemical or Hazardous Spills
Get Help with Hazardous Waste Emergency Planning for your Business:
Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals (AHMP)
Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
North America Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA)
Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
Spokane Fire Department
311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489)
Spokane Valley Fire Dept.
Washington State Department of Ecology – Eastern Regional Office
Washington Refuse and Recycling Association (WRRA)
Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA)
A comprehensive waste disposal directory is maintained by the EnviroStars program.