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FAQ: Household Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste in box collected at event.
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

FAQ: Household Hazardous Waste

Household hazardous waste (HHW) includes products that we purchase and use every day in our homes that can harm us or the environment if they are not handled properly.

  • Prescription drug donations are regulated by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Board of Pharmacy.  For questions on donations, see LARA’s Cancer Drug Repository Program and Utilization of Prescription Drug Program Website and their donation form.  The form highlights that donated prescription drugs must originate from an eligible facility (pharmacy) and drugs obtained by a resident prior to being admitted to an eligible facility cannot be donated.  Questions on donations can be directed to or 517-241-0205.  For household drug disposal options, see the household drug takeback map and tutorial.  For disposal of unwanted medications from healthcare, see our Handling Pharmaceuticals and their Containers Guide

  • Donate

    Use items that can still be used or donate them to someone you know will use them properly and lawfully. Common options for donating include offering paints, stains, cleansers, electronics, etc. to local parks, churches, art counsels, non-profit housing authorities, shelters, and neighbors. Some products, like prescription medications, do not have donation options. Only chemotherapy agents are eligible for donation. 


    Many retailers offer services for recycling or disposing of household items when you purchase a replacement item. Look for these options when shopping for new items like electronics, batteries, light bulbs, medications, motor oil, and antifreeze at department, hardware, auto parts stores, and pharmacies. 

    Local Government

    Search EGLE's list of government hosted collection contacts for nearby collection options for materials like mercury, solvents, gasoline, and acids. If nothing is listed for your area, call your local city, township, and county to see if they offer this service. If needed, safely store the materials until a collection is offered, or see if another area will assist for a fee for out of area residents.

    Some collections are limited to specific materials. For additional resources for finding collections that are material specific, please see below. To understand the hazards associated with a material, see our household hazardous waste website. To quickly learn what is a hazardous waste, see our Hazardous Waste 101 YouTube video.

    Medications and Sharps/Needles

    Search the EGLE household drug take back map for these items. Use the short YouTube video to quickly learn how to use the map which is also available in list view with instructions for filtering the data.


    See the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Clean Sweep map for pesticide collection options across the state that accept pesticides for Michigan residents.


    Use EGLE's e-waste manufacturer and recycler lists to find recycling options for e-waste.

    The Michigan Recycling Directory and Earth 911 are searchable directories that may be helpful for finding recycling solutions for some household hazardous waste and other unique items like mattresses, bulk appliances, animal and vegetable oils, and more.

    If safely storing your materials for the next collection is not an option and the resources above do not offer a solution, contact the vendors your local officials would use for hosting a collection or contact your local hazardous waste inspector for help.

    Additional Resources

  • See our Household Hazardous Waste Website to learn why certain waste materials are considered hazardous.