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Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste Days On May 13, 1997 the Commissioners of St. Mary's County approved the first collection event which was co-hosted by the Department of Public Works and the NAS Patuxent River Hazardous Material Control and Management Program Office on June 14, 1997. Since that time, county residents have been encouraged to clean out their barns and basements, sheds and garages, and under their kitchen sinks and take advantage of the opportunity to properly discard of potentially toxic/dangerous materials. These products become Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) once the consumer no longer has any use for them. The average U.S. household generates more than 100 pounds of HHW per year and can accumulate in the home, often remaining there until the residents move or do an extensive clean out. Items that are accepted include:

  • Disinfectants
  • Paint (all kinds) (NOTE: since Latex Paint is not considered hazardous, it can also be disposed of along with your regular trash collection as long as the mixture is harden by adding absorbents such as cat litter, sand, sawdust, or paint drying crystals, etc. prior to disposal)
  • Stains and polish
  • Solvents and thinners
  • Caustic cleaners (for toilets, tile, masonry, ovens, etc), pool chemicals, lawn care chemicals, pet care chemicals
  • All pesticides, fungicides and herbicides used in and around the home
  • Batteries (all kinds are also collected at the Convenience Centers)
  • Thermometers, thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs (all contain mercury and are also collected at the Convenience Centers)
  • Aerosol cans of anything
  • Boat gas, kerosene and other fuels (even old and mixed with water)

The Department conducts several announced events during the early spring and early fall each year at the St. Andrews Landfill. This initiative has grown in participation since it was initiated in 1997 and currently collects between 40 - 50 tons of material each year. The average annual program costs each year are approximately $60,000 for the collection, equipment, transportation and disposal of material. More information is available by calling the Department of Public Works & Transportation at (301) 475-4200 ext. 3517.