Household Hazardous Materials (HHM)

household hazardous materials

Disposing of HHM

Drop-off at Arlington's HHM Facility

Arlington's HHM Facility accepts most solid, liquid, compressed gas and aerosol products--typically flammable, corrosive or poisonous--and used in the home. Common HHM products include paint, motor oil, pesticides and fertilizer.

The HHM Facility/Electronics Collection and Recycling Center is open most days of the week for drop-off only to Arlington County residents and employees. There is no charge for the service. Business and commercial hazardous materials are not accepted.

  • Product labels with words like “danger,” “warning” or “caution,” followed by a statement of the principle hazard(s) (“combustible,” “caustic,” “toxic”) indicate an HHM, requiring careful use and proper waste management disposal.

  • Household electronics like TVs and computers often contain hazardous and toxic materials that pose environmental risks if taken to a landfill or incinerated.

Look Up Your Type of Item & How To Prepare

E-CARE, a waste drop-off event, is traditionally held in spring and fall.

Unaccepted Materials

About Paint

Latex: If the can is less than 25 percent full of latex paint, it may be solidified at home by the resident for disposal via curbside trash collection. For the home disposal process, you should wear old clothing, gloves and eye protection. Work in a well-ventilated area. Add kitty litter to the open latex paint cans. Stir in enough kitty litter to achieve a very thick paste. Place the cans in a trash bag inside your trash cart for collection. If the can is more than 25 percent full of latex paint, arrange for drop-off at an HHM facility like Arlington's.

Oil-based: There is no curbside collection for oil-based paints. Cans should be dropped off at an HHM facility like Arlington's.

About Mercury

Each mercury thermometer contains one gram of mercury, enough to contaminate a 20-acre lake. Devices containing mercury should be dropped off at an HHM facility like Arlington's.

About Motor Oil

Motor oil should be dropped off at an HHM facility like Arlington's.

  • Use a dirt-free pan that can hold as many quarts as your car’s crankcase, a pan that has not been used for paint, cleaning solvents, antifreeze or other chemicals besides motor oil.
  • Pour your used oil from the drain pan into a container with a leak-proof lid, such as a rinsed-out plastic milk jug. Use a funnel to avoid spills. Don’t mix or blend your oil.
  • If you change your oil filter, drain the old one by punching a hole in the top and inverting it over your drain pan. Dispose of the old filter by putting paper towels over the hole. Then put the old filter and paper towels in the box your new filter came in. Place the box in the trash.
  • To reuse your used oil container, put the lid back on and save it for your next oil change. Store it away from children and pets.

Battery / Fluorescent Light Disposal

Fire Stations Accepting Rechargeable, Lithium, Silver Oxide and Mercury Batteries

  • Regular household (alkaline and zinc carbon) batteries should be disposed of in regular trash.
  • Rechargeable batteries, as well as lithium, silver oxide, and mercury batteries, should be dropped off at an Arlington fire station or the HHM Facility.
  • Car batteries can be collected with curbside recycling ("Residential Curbside Collections") or dropped off at the HHM Facility.
  • Learn more about proper battery disposal
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

CFLs contain mercury and shouldn’t be thrown in the trash.

CFL Drop-off Sites

Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tubes are one of the most popular and widely used lighting options available, but they contain mercury and must be correctly disposed of at an HHM facility like Arlington's. Do not place in the trash.