Use these tips to ensure proper disposal of household hazardous waste:
- The safest way to dispose of household hazardous waste is to use the product until it is completely gone.
- If you can’t finish the product, share with neighbors, friends or professionals who may have use for it.
- Read product labels for specific disposal instructions. If stated, follow manufacture’s directions for proper disposal.
- If not stated or if you are unsure about proper disposal of a product, contact the manufacturer or call the HHW Facility at 970-328-3463.
- Recycle the material whenever possible. If not recyclable, bring it to the HHW/CESQG facility.
County residents may dispose of their household hazardous waste by bringing it to the HHW Facility. Anyone living in their own home, apartment or condominium may dispose of residential household waste at no charge up to 20 items.
A property manager, caretaker or landlord does not qualify for residential waste disposal. As an example, if a landlord brings paint or other waste products left behind by his former tenants, or the owners of the property he is managing, the landlord is required to fill out the CESQG Registration Form. For additional information please see the CESQG page. Homeowners are required to show proof of residency and must fill out a certification statement prior to, or at the time of, disposal.
Prescription drugs (non-controlled substances) and over-the-counter medicines will be accepted at the HHW facility. As an alternative, prescription and over-the-counter medications, including controlled substances, may be dropped off at the Rx Drop Box located at the Eagle County Sheriff's office (885 Chambers Avenue, Eagle CO) Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m at no cost. All personally identifiable information should be removed. There is no fee for this service. For more information call 970-328-8500.
Electronic waste (e-waste) can be recycled at the facility for a fee of 20 cents per pound for both residents and businesses.
Improper Disposal Risks
When household hazardous waste products are used, stored and disposed of according to manufacturer directions, they pose little or no hazard to people or the environment. However, improper use and disposal of these products endangers the health and safety of people and animals, pollutes neighborhoods and contaminates the environment.
If a household hazardous waste product is flushed down a toilet, sink or drain, it is transported though the sewage system to treatment plants that are not equipped to handle hazardous waste. At treatment plants, hazardous waste interferes with the biological treatment process and can contaminate the effluent that runs into the river and the bio-solids that can’t be reused as fertilizer. When hazardous waste is thrown out into the street, it goes into storm drains leading into waterways.
Where is Hazardous Waste Found?
Household hazardous waste is found in any typical household. These products are used in the home, garden, garage and hobby shop. Any product marked in the manner enumerated below should be considered a household hazardous product.
- Keep out of reach of children
- Harmful or fatal if swallowed
- Causes severe burns on contact
- Do not use near heat or flame
- Vapor harmful
- Eye and Skin irritant
- Use in a well ventilated area
Once you decide to discard these products, they become household hazardous wastes and need to be disposed in a safe manner.
Waste Accepted At The Hazardous Waste Facility
Lawn and garden products include insect sprays, fertilizers, weed killers, fungicide, herbicide and rodenticides. Paint and paint-related products include latex paint, oil-based paint, paint thinner, turpentine, paint strippers, rust removers, varnishes and stains. Household cleaners include ammonia and bleach-based cleaners, oven, drain, floor, tub, tile and toilet bowl cleaners. Automotive fluids and batteries include used motor oil and filters, gas fuel, diesel fuel, lead acid batteries, antifreeze, and brake and transmission fluid. Miscellaneous waste includes mercury thermostats, batteries, swimming pool chemicals, sharps and syringes. When in doubt, please contact the HHW facility at 970-328-3463.
When hazardous waste is left around the house, it has the potential to injure children and pets. Since household hazardous waste is not regulated by any federal, state or local agency, it can be disposed of with regular trash without any penalty or liability. However, when thrown in with the regular trash, household hazardous waste can injure sanitation workers. It may end up in landfills not intended or permitted for those types of wastes. This can create hazardous leachate which can contaminate groundwater and surface water.
Sinkholes, cisterns and abandoned wells are linked directly to groundwater. Dumping hazardous waste in these depressions risks direct contamination of groundwater aquifers.
If dumped in a backyard or ditch hazardous waste can poison plants and wildlife, contaminate the soil, compromise the health of humans and animals contacting the soil, and filter through soil and groundwater. If the ground becomes over-saturated, the waste may run overland to the nearest waterway.