what to do with household hazardous waste factsheet

Many familiar products used to clean your home, maintain your car or deal with pests can be hazardous. If disposed of incorrectly, these items can cause serious harm to the natural and residential environment.

Hazardous waste includes products such as ammonia, brake fluid, kerosene, mineral turpentine (turps), pesticides, batteries and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), oven cleaners and pool chemicals. These products cannot be disposed of in your regular rubbish collection, and for many hazardous wastes, it can be illegal to do so. This is because they can leak into the environment and waterways and cause serious health risks.

It’s important to manage hazardous waste and dispose of leftover chemicals correctly at a hazardous waste centre. Check with your local council, download the free Recycle Right app at the App Store or Google Play, or visit m.recycleright.wa.gov.au on your desktop computer or to find your nearest disposal facility.

Before disposal, consider whether items can be re-used or recycled. In addition, you may be able to reduce the number of toxic products you need to throw away by changing your shopping habits. See our fact sheet on Smart Shopping for more information in this area.

Batteries and bulbs are two of the most common items of hazardous household waste. Below is a simple guide as to how you dispose of these:

Batteries

Batteries – both cell batteries and car batteries are household hazardous waste. Old household batteries (dry-cell) can be dropped off at any one of over 150 battery recycling bins around Perth. This community initiative is the first of its kind in Australia and gives everyone the ability to recycle common household batteries at a range of convenient locations including most council’s administration office.
The types of batteries accepted include:
• AA and AAA cells (single use & rechargeable batteries)
• C and D sized batteries
• Button batteries (e.g. from watches)
• 9V batteries
• 6V batteries (e.g. lantern/torch batteries)

Visit m.recycleright.wa.gov.au on your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, to find your nearest battery recycling bins.

Battery World Stores also have a great recycling programme for household batteries, such as AAA and D Cell type batteries. Visit recycling.batteryworld.com.au for more details and to find your nearest store.

Household hazardous waste needs to be disposed of with care – you can take it to local council disposal sites. Our mobile app, m.recycleright.wa.gov.au contains a list of council and other recycling sites for all hazardous waste, including paint, pesticides and car batteries.

Fluorescent Tubes and Bulbs

Light bulbs, particularly CLF’s or Compact Fluorescent Lighting can release mercury into the environment when they break, or if they are improperly disposed of at the end of their useful life. If you have light bulbs/fluorescent tubes you need to dispose of, they must be taken to your nearest Household Hazardous Waste disposal site.

Other common items include acids, pesticides and garden chemicals. Below is a useful table of such products which can be taken to your local council waste disposal site:

Categories Waste Materials
Acids Brick cleaners, stain removers, pool chemicals.
Alkalis Oven & drain cleaners, other cleaning chemicals.
Ammonia Bath & tile cleaners, window cleaners, floor cleaners.
Pesticides & organic chemicals Insecticides, herbicides, miticides, fungicides, fumigants and
chemicals used for destroying weeds, insects & fungus,etc.
Photographic chemicals Fixers, bleaches, neutralisers, and developers.
Miscellaneous chemicals Garden products, fertiliser, cleaner.
Solvents Brake fluid, thinners, mineral turpentine, white spirit, creosote, degreaser, decarboniser, solvent based paint, dry cleaning fluid, antifreeze, engine coolant, radiator inhibitor, catalyst.
Oxidisers Pool chlorine & sanitiser, bleach, bleach based cleaners


If you are still unsure how to dispose of your household waste and need more information, use our handy A-Z waste disposal guide on our mobile app –  m.recycleright.wa.gov.au or download the free Recycle Right app at the App Store or Google Play.

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