Household Hazardous Waste

What is household hazardous waste?

Some jobs around the home may require the use of products containing hazardous components. Such products may include certain paints, cleaners, stains and varnishes, car batteries, motor oil, and pesticides. The used or leftover contents of such consumer products are known as "Household Hazardous Waste."

Household Hazardous Waste can be deadly!

What are the dangers of improper disposal?

Household hazardous waste is sometimes disposed of improperly by individuals pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or putting them out with the trash. The dangers of such disposal methods have a potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers; contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets, and present hazards to children and pets if left around the house.

New Information About Disposing of Medical Sharps

Improper management of discarded needles and other sharps can pose a health risk to the public and waste workers. For example, discarded needles may expose waste workers to potential needle stick injuries and potential infection when containers break open inside garbage trucks or needles are mistakenly sent to recycling facilities. Janitors and housekeepers also risk injury if loose sharps poke through plastic garbage bags. Used needles can transmit serious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis. For more information about sharps disposal, please click here.

Recycle used automotive materials!

Recycling is an excellent way to rid your home of these hazardous wastes. For example, more than 80% of automobile batteries are currently being recycled. Taking used automobile batteries, oil, or antifreeze to auto parts stores is one way to recycle these items. Many service stations also accept these materials.

  • Who can use this service?
    • This service is FREE and available to all residents of Delaware County as long as the household hazardous waste was generated at the residence. It is not available to commercial, industrial, or agricultural businesses.
  • Who is sponsoring this program?
    • The Muncie Sanitary District is initiating this program to educate the public about household hazardous waste and, with the cooperation of East Central Recycling, is making it safe and convenient to dispose of them.

Is It Hazardous?

Read the label

Look for words of warning. Danger, Warning, or Caution. Danger is the most hazardous product. Warning or Caution is less hazardous. A hazardous product has at least one of the following properties: toxic, flammable, corrosive or reactive.

Toxic

Toxic materials are either poisonous or cause long-term illness (such as cancer). Pesticides, paint thinners, many auto products, and some cleaners are toxic. Look for words on the label like "Harmful" or Fatal if swallowed", "Use in a well-ventilated area" (This means product fumes are toxic).

Flammable

These materials burn easily. Paint thinners and other solvents, and auto products are the most flammable. Look for words on the label like "Do not use near heat or flame," "Combustible," etc.

Corrosive

Corrosive products eat through materials (acid, for example). Oven cleaners, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, and auto batteries are common corrosive products. Look for words on the product label: "Causes severe burns on contact," "Can burn eyes, skin, throat, etc."

Reactive

These products can explode (when exposed to heat, air, water or shock). There are a few consumer products still on the market that are explosive, but some older explosive products may still be stored in some homes.

Contact:

East Central Recycling
701 East Centennial Avenue
Muncie, IN 47303
765-282-1900

Check out more Resources & Downloads from the Water Environment Federation


Safety Reminders

  • Use and store products containing hazardous substances carefully to prevent any accidents.
  • Keep them in their original containers and never remove the labels.
  • Follow the instructions for use and disposal provided on the label.
  • Take household hazardous waste to East Central Recycling.
  • Please note that ECR closes to the public a half hour before listed closing times.