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Hazardous Waste in the Home

Solid Waste

Home & Garden Pesticides  Paints & Other Home Improvement Products 
pesticides  paint 
Solvents & Home Cleaning Products  Waste Oil & Other Automotive Products 
home cleaning products  oil & automotive products 

What is a Hazard and When is it Hazardous?

When you care for yourself, your home, your gardens, and your machines, you use many chemical products.  Research sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that some of these products contain materials that are hazardous to human health or the environment.  Hazardous substances fall into the following categories:  POISONOUS, FLAMMABLE, CORROSIVE (likely to eat through its container or your pipes), or REACTIVE (may explode during routine handling).

Most household products are not hazardous.  It is when products are improperly used, stored or disposed of that they may become hazardous to human health and the environment.  To prevent problems, follow all label directions carefully.  


Personal Care

Dry Cleaning Fluids



Nail Polish



Moth Ball



Spot Remover (with chlorine solvent)



Nail Polish Remover



Permanent Lotions


  Detergent                                            D


Cosmetics (large quantities)



Alcohol Based Lotions



Medicine (expired)



Shoe Polish 



Hobbies  Flea Sprays                                                              CS               
  Artist Paints/Solvents CS
  Gun Cleaning Solvent CS
  Photographic Chemicals (unmixed) CS
  Swimming Pool Chemicals (undiluted) CS
  Acids CS
  Lighter fluid E
  Photographic Chemicals (mixed & diluted) D
  Pet Flea Collars L
  Mercury Battery (D-cell or smaller)                             L         

Ammunition                              Local Policy or Fire Department    


Pesticides Herbicides/Weed Killers  CS              
  Insecticides CS
  Fertilizer CS
  Fungicide CS


Home Repair  Old Paint CS
  Solvents, Thinners, Turpentine R, CS
  Paint or Finish Remover CS
  Glue (solvent based) CS
  Old Stain (solvent based) E
  Glue (water based) D
  Old Paint (oil based) L
  Old Paint/Stain (latex) L                


  • Read the product label.
  • Watch for signal works; CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER. U.S. Product Safety Commission requires the use of these words on products which are toxic in small amounts.  Keep all of these products away from children.
  • Buy just enough product to do the job.
  • Look for a less or non-hazardous product to perform each job.
  • Recycle or use all products if possible.
  • Properly dispose of leftover products. SEE CHART ABOVE FOR DISPOSAL POTIONS
  • Keep leftover products in original containers.
  • Share unused products.


  • Do not DUMP leftover products in the backyard or down the sink or storm sewer.
  • Do not BURN or BURY leftover products.
  • Do not REUSE pesticide of other chemical containers for other purposes.
  • Do not MIX chemical wastes.

For more information contact:

Adams County Other Sources
UW Extension Office Department of Natural Resources - Madison
(608) 339-4233 (608) 275-3266
Solid Waste Department Poison Conformation Center - Madison
(608)339-9178 (608) 262-3702
Emergency Government                             Chemical Referral Center
(608)-339-4248 (800) CMA-8200