Household hazardous waste (HHW) is post-consumer waste which qualifies as hazardous waste when discarded. It includes household chemicals and other consumer products sold for home care, personal care, automotive care, pest control and other purposes.
These products exhibit many of the same dangerous characteristics as fully regulated hazardous waste due to their potential for reactivity, ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity, or persistence.
Examples of items that CAN be taken to local tips include:
- acids and alkalis
- household batteries
- engine coolants and glycols
- (red only) fire extinguishers
- fluorescent lamps and tubes
- small household 9kg gas cylinders
- household chemicals such as cleaners
- poisons and other toxics
- pool chemicals
- smoke detectors.
All items listed above can only be dropped off at local tips if they’re in domestic quantities of up to 20 litres or 20 kilograms per package/item.
Items that CAN’T be dropped off at local tips include:
- used motor oil
- halon fire extinguishers
- other types of gas cylinders (eg automotive LPG cylinders, large household cylinders)
- waste EPIRBs or PLBs
- mobile phones
- printer cartridges
- batteries – lead acid
- explosives (other than flares)
- ammunition or fire arms
- empty chemical containers or drums
- any material from non-domestic sources (eg agricultural, commercial, veterinary or industrial waste)
Unknown chemicals are accepted but must be in sealed chemical resistant containers.
Besides the local tip, some other places that may take HHW include some major shopping centres (which have phone recycling stations), some community fairs (smaller household batteries), and some stores (like Officeworks) may collect used printer cartridges.
Your local council may also do annual verge collections of some types of HHW items such as paint and car batteries.
Hardware shops also sell products that render paint solid so they are easier to dispose of, and less likely to ruin the inside of your car!