Many common household chemicals and electronics can become a hazard when they are improperly stored or thrown away, and are unsafe to place out for collection with your regular household refuse. Due to the unique contents found in items such as chemicals, televisions and computer monitors it is unsafe to dispose of chemicals and electronics at the McKay Bay refuse to Energy Facility.
Guidance on proper disposal methods for chemicals and electronics is provided through the Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management, Office of Environmental Coordination. For more information, please call (813) 348-1157.
Materials accepted at the Household Chemical Collection event include:
- Paints and solvents
- Used motor oil
- Automotive products
- Pool chemicals
- Mercury containing devices, such as fluorescent light bulbs & thermometers
- Lawn, garden and household chemicals
- Electronics, including computer monitors, printers, CPU's, keyboards, and televisions
- No Explosives, radioactive or bio-medical wastes are accepted.
Many common household materials can create real danger in homes when forgotten or improperly managed and disposed. Household hazardous materials can also pose a risk to children and pets, threaten public safety and solid waste workers, and contribute to environmental degradation. Household chemical and electronics collections provide residential customers a safe means of disposing of unwanted home generated chemicals and electronics in an environmentally responsible manner.
Household Hazardous Waste Identification
A substance is hazardous if it is:
- Toxic...either directly or indirectly poisonous to living things.
- Ignitable...capable of catching fire.
- Corrosive...capable of chemically eroding another substance such as cloth, metal, or skin.
- Reactive...capable of involvement in a chemical interaction or transformation.
- Carcinogenic...capable of causing cancer.
Household hazardous wastes commonly include:
- Brake fluid
- Car wax
- Diesel fuel
- Drain cleaner
- Dry cleaning solvents
- Fiberglass epoxy
- Floor wax
- Fluorescent light bulbs
- Fuel oil
- Furniture polish
- Mercury thermometers
- Mercury switches
- Motor oil
- Paint thinners
- Photographic chemicals
- Pool chemicals
- Propane tanks
- Rat poison
- Wood preservatives
Why use a household chemical collection?
Improperly managed and disposed household hazardous waste can pose a fire or safety hazard in the home, especially dangerous to children and pets. Improper disposal can be a threat to public safety, harm wildlife and the environment. Disposal with household trash can endanger solid waste employees and equipment, and also contribute to air, groundwater and surface water pollution.
What does a chemical collection do with household hazardous waste?
Depending on the characteristics of the material, it is recycled, treated, or disposed in facilities approved of and permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency.
How to safely transport materials to a household chemical collection.
Do not load your vehicle with materials until you are ready to go to the collection.
Place materials in the trunk or rear of vehicle, on the floor, if possible.
Put materials in sturdy disposable boxes, lined with kitty litter or crumpled newspapers to absorb any leaks or spills.
Drive with an open window, to improve ventilation.
Leave chemicals in their original containers, or label those that are known.
Avoid mixing materials.
If containers are leaking, call in advance for packing advice.
Tampa's and Hillsborough County's household chemical collections exclude commercial, radioactive, bio-medical, and explosive wastes. How should these wastes be disposed?
Commercial Waste -- Contact a hazardous waste contractor, listed in the yellow pages under "Waste Reduction, Disposal & Recycling Service."
Radioactive Waste -- Return old smoke detectors to the manufacturer. For other radioactive wastes, contact the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control.
Bio-medical Waste -- For home generated needles and syringes, call the Hillsborough County Health Department at (813) 307- 8059.
Explosives -- Contact a local law enforcement agency.