Household Hazardous Waste

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Household hazardous wastes (HHW) are those wastes produced in our households that are hazardous in nature, but not regulated as hazardous waste under federal and state laws. 

Why Should I Care About Household Hazardous Waste?

Each person in Pennsylvania produces an average of four pounds of HHW each year, which adds up to about 25,000 tons statewide annually.  If managed carelessly, HHW can and frequently does create environmental and public health hazards.  For more information about HHW, you can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s website by clicking here.

What Are the Options to Manage Household Hazardous Waste in York County?

1. Use care when purchasing products. The best method of managing HHW is to prevent its generation in the first place. Select the least toxic item to “do the job” and buy only the necessary amount.

2. Donate unused products.  First check to see if the material is still useable (not expired or damaged). If the product is still useable, contact local community groups to see if you can donate it.

3. Bring material to the York County Solid Waste Authority’s (YCSWA) Free Annual HHW Collection Event. YCSWA conducts a yearly HHW Collection Event on the first Saturday of May from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  In 2020, the HHW Event will be held on May 2.  There is no fee for York County residents to participate.  Businesses and government entities are not eligible to participate. The Authority provides this service as part of our integrated waste management system and through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  After collection, HHW is transported to hazardous waste facilities that safely manage, and whenever possible, recycle the materials collected.  Click here for a list of items accepted at the YCSWA Annual HHW Collection Event.

4. Use the “At Your Door Special Collection” for HHW.  Any time of year, York County residents can properly manage their HHW using the “At Your Door Special Collection”, a service offered by Waste Management (WM) Curbside, LLC.  YCSWA entered into an agreement with WM Curbside, LLC to offer this program to York County residents.  Funding for the program is generated by York County Resource Recovery Center tipping fees, a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the $15 co-pay required of participants.  York County residents may schedule two pick-ups per home, per calendar year and request up to two kit bags per pick-up.  For more information including a list of materials accepted and to schedule an HHW pick-up, please call Waste Management at 1-800-449-7587.

5. With the exception of mercury thermometers and thermostats which are not accepted at the York County Resource Recovery Center (RRC) and must be managed using one of the above options, as a last resort, you may legally discard of HHW in your regular trash or bring it to the RRC for disposal (click here for YCRRC tipping fee information), provided:
– You have read the product label and complied with any disposal directions.
– Liquids have been absorbed by such material as cat litter, sawdust or vermiculite.
– The remaining residue has been packaged to prevent leakage.
– The material is disposed of in small quantities, over several trash collection periods.