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Household Hazardous Waste Program

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Household hazardous waste refers to used or leftover contents of consumer products that contain materials with one of four characteristics of hazardous waste: toxic, ignitable, corrosive or reactive as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Fairfax County Household Hazardous Waste Program accepts hazardous chemicals from residents free of charge and disposes or recycles them according to all local, state and federal regulations. Hazardous wastes from businesses are handled separately.

Household hazardous waste is best managed outside of the regular municipal solid waste stream. If handled properly, it will decrease the likelihood that these elements will enter the environment.

The safest way to dispose of household hazardous waste is to carefully pack them up and bring them to one of Fairfax County's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sites.
NOTE: Only Fairfax County residents may use this service.

Procedures for Packing & Transporting Household Hazardous Waste

• Keep products in their original containers. Do not mix products. Be sure lids are tightly sealed. It is vital tha you label materials that are not in their original containers.
• Place leaking containers in a larger, plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
• Secure products upright in cardboard box so that they do not tip over in transport. Do not transport products in plastic bags.
• Transport products in the back of a pickup truck or in a car trunk. Be sure that there is adequate ventilation if the products are transported in the car passenger compartment.
• Keep flammable materials out of direct sunlight and away from sources of heat, spark, flame or ignition. Do not smoke.

Important Links

Disposal Companies for Specialized or Hazardous Waste | Public Works and Environmental Services
Household Hazardous Waste | Public Works and Environmental Services
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Program Brochure

Please read the following chart carefully. Only items marked "YES" in the second column may be taken to one of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sites.
Material Accepted at Household Hazardous Waste Sites? Other Instructions
Acids YES  
Aerosol sprays YES  
Ammunition or explosives NO Call the Police Department, 703-246-2253, TTY 703-204-2264
Asbestos products See other instructions Shingles and Floor tile: Homeowners may dispose of small quantities at the I-95 Landfill Complex. I-66 DOES NOT accept this material. You must call the I-95 facility at 703-690-1703, TTY 711 first. Staff needs to know how much material and when it is coming.
Other Asbestos: Homeowners may dispose of small quantities of asbestos other than shingles and floor tile at a Household Hazardous Waste Site. Please call the facility first: I-95 (Lorton) at 703-690-1703, TTY 711 or I-66 (Fairfax) at 703-631-1179, TTY 711. Staff needs to know how much and when it is coming.
Automotive:  gasoline, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid  YES Other automotive fluids (diesel fuel, transmission fluid and motor oil) are not accepted at the Hazardous Waste Sites. Instead, they may be recycled in the used motor oil area of the Recycling and Disposal Centers.
Batteries:  Alkaline (A, AA, C), Carbon Zinc NO Dispose of Alkaline and Carbon Zinc batteries in regular trash.
Batteries:  button, rechargeable (other than lead acid) YES Both button and rechargeable batteries (with the exception of lead acid) are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Sites.  Rechargeable batteries may also be taken to additional collection points.
Cleaning products: ammonia-based cleaners, drain cleaners, most bathroom cleaners NO Pour ammonia-based cleaners, drain cleaners and most bathroom cleaners down the drain inside your home. NEVER pour products down storm drains.
Cleaning products:  polishes, rust removers, floor care products YES  
Coal tar products (driveway, foundation and roof sealers) YES  
Creosote products (wood treatment products, wood sealers) YES  
Fireworks and Flares NO Dispose of legal fireworks in trash after first soaking in water. Contact the Fire Prevention Division, 703-246-4849, TTY 703-385-4419 regarding illegal fireworks.
Fluorescent light bulbs YES  
Glue, solvent-based YES  
Glue, water-based NO Dispose of water-based glue in trash.
Gas propane tanks, small hand-type torches YES Tanks up to 20 pounds such as those used on gas grills can be taken to one of the Recycling and Disposal Centers for a fee.
Home renovation:  varnish and stains, driveway sealers YES
Inks and dyes YES  
Medicines NO DO NOT flush unused medicines down the toilet unless the label specifically directs you to do so. Never pour products down storm drains. DO throw unwanted medicines in the trash.
Mercury products YES  
Moth balls YES  
Nail polish, nail polish remover YES  
Paint, latex See additional instructions Latex paint that has dried can be safely disposed of in the regular trash. (TIP: You can pour latex paint onto an old newspaper. Once dry, roll up the newspaper and dispose of it in the trash.) If you are unable to allow the latex paint to dry, you may take it to one of the county's Household Hazardous Waste sites.
Paint, oil-based and paint thinner YES  
Photographic mixes NO Diluted developers, fixers, etc. can be poured down the drain inside your home. NEVER pour products down storm drains.
Poisons YES Label clearly.
Pool chemicals YES  
Radioactive materials NO See our list of Hazardous Waste Disposal Companies under Business Hazardous Waste.
Shoe Polish NO Dispose of shoe polish in regular trash.
Smoke alarms NO May throw in trash or send back to manufacturer.
Syringes, needles and other medical sharps NO Dispose in regular trash after placing in an empty can or jar with screw on lid. Mark the container "residential sharps."
Yard care products: fertilizers (lawn and garden, tree spikes) NO Dispose of fertilizers in regular trash.
Yard care products: pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, weed killers YES  

Fairfax Joint Local Emergency Planning Committee
c/o Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s Office
12099 Government Center PW, 5th Floor
Fairfax, Virginia USA   22035

Telephone (703) 246-4386    -   Email: Trice.Burgess@fairfaxcounty.gov

Copyright © 2003 - Fairfax Joint LEPC       All Rights Reserved

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