Household hazardous waste & moderate risk waste
We collect annual reports from local household hazardous waste programs in Washington, and provide technical assistance to local governments in managing household and moderate-risk waste.
Household hazardous waste or moderate-risk waste?
Household hazardous waste and moderate-risk waste (MRW) are related concepts, but they are not identical:
- Household hazardous waste — pesticides, paints, pharmaceuticals, and other common household chemicals
- Small-quantity generator waste — small quantities of hazardous waste generated by businesses
"Moderate risk" does not mean that the material is moderately hazardous. Rather, it is a designation that means the waste is generated in small volumes and is therefore not regulated in the same way as larger volume hazardous waste.
What's hazardous in my home?
Many consumer products contain toxic chemicals that make them hazardous. These products need to be handled properly to prevent them from entering the environment or harming the health of your family.
Some of these products include:
- Home repair — Adhesives, oil-based paint, thinner, epoxy, paint stripper
- Cleaners — Oven cleaners, deck cleaners, degreasers, toilet cleaners
- Pesticides and fertilizers — Wood preservatives, mole killer, herbicides, pesticides
- Auto and boat equipment — Batteries, paint, gasoline, oil, antifreeze, solvents
- Hobbies and recreation — Pool chemicals, glaze, paint, white gas
- Miscellaneous — Ammunition, fireworks, asbestos
Other hazardous materials include common products such as cathode ray tubes in computer monitors and televisions, fluorescent bulbs, thermostats, and some pharmaceuticals.
Handling household hazardous waste
- Find tips on safely managing hazardous household chemicals and finding safer alternatives at the Hazardous Substances Information and Education Office.
- Learn more about hazardous materials from the federal Environmental Protection Agency
Find household hazardous waste disposal sites and services
To properly dispose of your household waste, it should be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility or a take-back location.
- Find a household hazardous waste disposal site in your county.
- Visit the 1-800-RECYCLE online database or call 1-800-RECYCLE for other household hazardous waste and moderate-risk waste disposal and recycling options.
Businesses and moderate risk-waste
Small-quantity generators (SQG) are businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month. They are conditionally exempt from Washington’s Dangerous Waste Regulations if they manage their wastes properly.
Pollution prevention resources
- Ecology’s pollution prevention resources
- Technical Resources for Engineering Efficiency (TREE)
- Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Regulatory guidance for moderate-risk waste facilities
- Regulatory guidance for facilities collecting and managing household hazardous waste and moderate risk waste.