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Collection of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), Electronic Devices, Sharps, Pharmaceuticals and Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) Hazardous Waste

MANAGING HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DURING COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, some Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection dates in Connecticut have been canceled or delayed. Contact your Town or HHW facility for the most up-to-date information on collection dates in your area. If you do not have access to a HHW collection due to COVID-19 or for any other reason, see below for tips on other ways you can properly manage your HHW:

Hold on to the HHW until collections resume. HHW should be stored in original containers or other containers that are closed and in good condition, stored in a secure location away from children/pets, and protected from the elements.  Flammable or combustible HHW should be stored away from flames, sparks, and other sources of ignition.

Some types of HHW may be taken to certain retail stores that are still open. For example, automotive batteries may be taken to a garage or auto repair center that sells batteries. Some auto parts stores will take used oil or antifreeze. Some big box stores (e.g., Home Depot, Lowes’s) and some grocery stores (e.g., Whole Foods) accept items such as fluorescent lamps, cell phones and rechargeable batteries. Many office supply and electronics stores accept used electronics, ink cartridges, or rechargeable batteries. Call the store before going to check on hours and availability of collection services.

Architectural coatings (i.e., paints, stains, shellac, and polyurethane) are eligible for collection at designated retailers under Connecticut’s Paint Stewardship Program. Although some of these retailers have temporarily suspended collections due to COIVD-19, they will resume when it is determined to be appropriate. For more information, see DEEP’s Paint Recycling web page and the drop-off site location finder. Call the retailer before going to make sure they are open and accepting paint.

Used oil, antifreeze, and batteries may be taken to your local transfer station. Check with your Town for hours of operation and types of materials accepted.

Take it to a commercial HHW collection center. DEEP is aware of at least one company that is licensed to accept HHW on a fee-for-service basis. The company’s name is New England Disposal Technologies (NEDT), and they have two facilities in southern Massachusetts – one in Westfield, MA (near Springfield), and the other in Sutton, MA (near the northeastern corner of Connecticut). For more information, visit their company website at https://www.nedt.org.

Moving soon? If so, see if a friend, relative, or neighbor would be willing to hold onto it for you until the next collection event.

For more ideas, see DEEP’s “What Do I Do With… ?” web page.

Questions?  Call DEEP’s Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistance Line at (860) 424-4193.

Virtually all households have HHW, electronic devices, sharps or pharmaceuticals. Permanent and one-day collection programs provide an opportunity to manage these wastes in an environmentally safe manner.

HHW is generally defined as a household waste that is toxic, flammable, reactive or corrosive. Common HHW includes oil-based paints, thinners, pool chemicals, pesticides, mercury fever thermometers, and gasoline.  Since the first collection in 1984 in Ridgefield, HHW programs have grown dramatically. Collections are available for nearly every resident, and on average, over 30,000 state residents participate in HHW collections each year.

Note:  Pharmaceuticals and sharps cannot be brought to HHW collections. Some towns or pharmacies occasionally offer special collections where residents can bring sharps, prescription medicines, veterinary medicines and over-the-counter (OTC) products. But they are not regularly scheduled and are sometimes limited to residents of the sponsoring town. If you cannot bring your medicines to a special collection, the best way to dispose of medicines and OTC products, is to follow the disposal instructions and put them in the trash.  If you cannot bring your sharps to a special collection, see the brochure entitled "Don't Stick Me With Your Sharps"  for information on how to safely dispose of this waste.

Information for Businesses, Vendors and Municipalities

Prepared by the Connecticut DEEP Pollution Prevention Program.  For more information, contact Tom Metzner at DEEP 860-424-3242.

Content Last Updated on May 22, 2020