Acceptable Materials

These items are allowed to be brought to the Washtenaw County Home Toxics program for disposal. Please review the important information in brackets, as well as the tips for safe handling and transportation.

Acceptable Items

  • Acids and Bases
  • Adhesive, Glue [solvent-based]
  • Aerosols
  • Antifreeze
  • Artist and Hobby Paint
  • Automotive fluids
    • Antifreeze
    • Break or power steering fluid
    • Gasoline
    • Oil
    • Transmission
  • Ballasts [must be removed from fixture]
  • Automotive Batteries:  Please keep separate from household batteries.
  • Household Batteries: All types are accepted. Remove batteries from packaging, especially button cells. Please tape terminals or 9-volt batteries and rechargeable batteries. Please separate out all lithium-ion batteries (rechargeable, cell phone, laptop, cameras, watches, hearing aids, etc.). Place batteries in separate plastic bags or small boxes.
  • Brake and Transmission Fluid
  • Butane and Propane Tanks
  • Car Batteries
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Cleaners and Polishes
  • Degreaser
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Drain Cleaners and Lye
  • Fabric Dye
  • Fertilizer [with weed killer]
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Flammables
    • Gasoline/motor oil mix
    • Gasoline
    • Kerosene
    • Starting fluids
  • Floor Wax and Stripper
  • Fluorescent Light Tubes and Bulbs [CFLs, U-shaped tubes and tubes up to four feet in length are accepted. Tubes should be secured in your vehicle to minimize their movement and possible breakage. Wrap in a blanket or bundle them with rubber bands or string. Tubes should not be taped together!]
  • Furniture Polish
  • Home Repair Products [glues, caulking]
  • Liquid Asphalt and Roofing Tar
  • Mercury [including Mercury-containing devices such as thermometers and thermostats]
  • Metal Cleaner
  • Mothballs
  • Muriatic Acid
  • Nail Polish and Remover
  • Oil [Motor and all cooking oils - canola, olive, peanut, vegetable, etc. are accepted. The oil must be easily pourable. If bringing during cold weather, do not store oil outside.]
  • Oven Cleaners / Degreasers
  • Paint, Latex
    Only paint that is still liquid is accepted. If you have a large amount, try donating it to a local non-profit agency, school, friend or family member. If the paint is still liquid and you want to bring it to us for disposal, consolidate it so that you have the fewest cans possible. If the cans are empty or the paint is totally dried out, put cans in the trash with the lid off. Note that some locations, including the City of Ann Arbor, will recycle empty paint cans. If you want to dry latex paint at home so you can put it in the trash, add materials like clay-based cat litter to the paint to speed up the drying process.
  • Paint, Oil-Based [paint or primer with/without lead]
  • Paint Thinners, Removers, Strippers, Solvents, Stains and Varnishes
  • Pesticides
    [Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, DDT, Chlordane, etc. are accepted. Any Michigan resident or business can bring these items to us as part of the Clean Sweep Program through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).]
  • Pet Care Products
  • Photography Chemicals
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Propane and Butane Tanks
  • Rat and Rodent Poison
  • Rust Remover
  • Sharps, Syringes and Needles
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Spot Remover
  • Stain and Varnish
  • Weed Killer
  • Wood Preservatives

Safety Tips

  • Bring materials in their original containers. If this isn’t possible, label the container if you know what the material or chemical is.
  • Use containers that have secure screw tops (five gallon pails are okay). Do not use containers with press tops such as cottage cheese containers.
  • Do not bring items in glass bottles or jarsunless it is the original container.
  • Keep automotive fluids like motor oil and anti-freeze separate. Do not put them in the same container. If you are filling a container that is one gallon or larger, leave at least two inches air space at the top.
  • Oil - Motor and all cooking oils - canola, olive, peanut, vegetable, etc.  Please bring in containers no larger than 6 gallons.  Multiple containers are acceptable.
  • Place all cans and bottles in a rigid box (cardboard or plastic tote). If a container is leaking, place it in a plastic bag and then put the bag in a box.

The following items pose a safety and health risk to our staff, but can be accepted if you make some changes to your materials or check in with us before arriving onsite.

  • Containers over 6 gallons 
    • These containers are large and unwieldy for staff to lift, carry, and empty. This greatly increases risk of hazardous spills when our staff needs to pour off (“bulk”) these liquids into larger drums.
    • If you have a larger container, transfer your materials into smaller containers with screw top lids (no glass). Lidded 5-gallon pails are okay due to their tight sealing lids.
  • Containers 1 gallon or larger
    • You must leave 2 inches of space for motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, or other fuels at the top of a 1 gallon or larger container. This reduces spill risks and makes it easier for our staff to pour off (“bulk”) into larger drums without splashing.
  • Improperly packaged needles and sharps
    • Sharps should be packaged in a specialized medical sharps container. Both 1 and 5 qt containers are available for you to use at our facility and can be purchased at pharmacies. Due to safety concerns, our staff cannot help you move sharps from an unsafe container.
    • A cleaned screw-top hard plastic laundry detergent container also works as an alternative container. Detergent containers must have the lid securely screwed on and be labeled with “SHARPS” in permanent marker. Only these containers have plastic thick enough to prevent puncture. For the safety of staff, all other forms of packaging will be refused for acceptance until properly contained.