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Household Hazardous Waste

Information about hazardous household items.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center

Residents of the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County may bring residential hazardous wastes to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center (HHWCC) at no charge. The HHWCC is operated under contract by:

ACT (Advanced Chemical Transport)
6137 Edith NE (on west side of Edith between Montano and Osuna. Advanced Chemical Transport (ACT) is located at the end of the drive.) Google Map

Household Hazardous Waste Hotline: (505) 349-5220

Open to the Public on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What are Household Hazardous Wastes?

Household wastes which can burn easily (flammable), corrode or irritate skin (corrosive), generate heat or explode (reactive), or poison humans and animals (toxic) are examples of household hazardous wastes.

Items such as paints, fertilizers, cleaners, insecticides, pool chemicals, used motor oil, and automobile batteries may be brought into the HHWCC.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center cannot accept:

  • Explosives or ammunition
  • Compressed gases
  • Radioactive waste
  • Biomedical waste
  • Business generated waste
  • Non-hazardous waste
  • Prescription medicine
  • Electronics/ E-waste
  • Appliances
  • Tires

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center also offers a material reuse area where usable materials brought to the Center for disposal are offered to the public free of charge.

(Unfortunately, residential recycling programs for 16 oz Coleman-type propane cylinders are not yet available. Please visit Coleman for instructions on disposal options).

Call 1-800-8-Battery for Local for Companies that recycle ni-cad batteries.

For more information contact the Household Hazardous Waste line at (505) 349-5220 or the Albuquerque Solid Waste Management Department at (505) 761-8300.

Fluorescent Light Bulb Disposal

Are fluorescent light bulbs dangerous?

Yes, fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury vapor that is used to produce the light. Light bulbs containing mercury can be dangerous to your health and the environment, and should not be thrown in the trash.

How can I properly dispose of fluorescent bulbs?

The City of Albuquerque Solid Waste Management Department recommends that fluorescent bulbs be disposed of the following ways:

Fluorescent bulbs from households can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Center.

Fluorescent Bulbs from businesses, non-profits, etc, are handled different from household waste. Contact the State of New Mexico Hazardous Waste Bureau for more information.

Where can I get more information?

Hobby and Workshop Waste

Material May Be Reused or Recycled May Be Poured Down the Drain May Be Placed in Trash for Landfill Deposit at HHWC
Artist Oils and Acrylics       X
Chemistry Sets       X
Gun Cleaning Solvents       X
Photo Chemicals   X1   X
Flashlights and Toy Batteries     X  
Oil Based Paints       X
Primers, Rusts, Stains, Varnishes       X
Wood Preservatives       X
Latex Paints     X2 X
Paint Thinner       X
Turpentine       X
Paintbrush Cleaner (phosphate based)   X1    
Paintbrush Cleaner (solvent based)       X
Paint, Varnish, Stripper (lye based)   X1    
Paint, Varnish, Stripper (solvent based)       X

Notes

  1. Pour small amounts down drain with plenty of water; rinse containers thoroughly before discarding. Do not dispose of in septic tank.
  2. evaporate contents before discarding; solidify with absorbent material before placing in trash.

Home Care and Maintenance Waste

Material May Be Reused or Recycled May Be Poured Down the Drain May Be Placed in Trash for Landfill Deposit at HHWC
Basin, Tub, Tile, Window Cleaners   X1    
Bleach   X1,2    
Toilet Bowl Disinfectants   X1    
Dry Cleaning Fluid, Spot Remover       X
Glue (solvent based)     X3 X
Glue (water based)     X3  
Mothballs       X
Upholstery Cleaner (detergent based)   X1    
Upholstery Cleaner (solvent based)       X
Copper, Silver Polish     X3,4  
Floor, Furniture Polish       X
Rust Remover     X X
Light Bulbs, Tubes     X  
Flea Collars     X  
Fertilizer       X
Fungicides, Insecticides, Rat Poison       X
Roach Killer       X
Weed Killer       X
Empty Containers     X  

Notes

  1. Pour small amounts down drain with plenty of water; rinse containers thoroughly before discarding.
  2. Do not dispose of in septic tank.
  3. Solidify with absorbent material before placing in trash.
  4. Evaporate contents before discarding.
  5. Wrap in newspaper or plastic before discarding.

Personal Care Waste

Material May Be Reused or Recycled May Be Poured Down the Drain May Be Placed in Trash for Landfill Deposit at HHWC
Cosmetics     X  
Hair Permanent   X1    
Head Lice Shampoo   X1    
Medicine (liquid)     X2  
Medicine (non liquid)     X3  
Antibiotics     X3  
Nail Polish     X2  
Nail Polish Remover     X2 X
Perfume/Shaving Lotion   X1    
Rubbing Alcohol   X1    
Shoe Polish     X  
Hearing Aid Batteries     X  

Notes

  1. Pour small amounts down drain with plenty of water; rinse containers thoroughly before discarding.
  2. Solidify with absorbent material before discarding.
  3. Keep in original container; can add cooking oil or water to solid drugs before recapping. Double bag, then put in trash.

How Should I Clean-Up a Broken Fluorescent Bulb?

The following information is recommended by Energy Star, a US Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy Program.

For More Information on Compact Fluorescent Lights

Because compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the following clean-up and disposal guideline:

Before Clean-up: Ventilate the Room

  • Have people and pets leave the room, and don't let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.
  • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
  • Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.

Clean-up Steps for Hard Surfaces

  • Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
  • Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the glass jar or plastic bag.
  • Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

Clean-up Steps for Carpeting or Rug

  • Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
  • If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
  • Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.

Clean-up Steps for Clothing, Bedding, etc.

  • If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be discarded. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.
  • You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you happened to be wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct contact with the materials from the broken bulb.
  • If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for disposal.

Disposal of Clean-Up Materials

  • Immediately place all cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area for the next normal trash pickup.
  • Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing clean-up materials.

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rug: Ventilate the Room During and After Vacuuming

  • The next several times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window prior to vacuuming.
  • Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.

Smoke Detectors

May Contain

Ionization detectors may contain very small amount of low level radioactive material.

Safer Alternatives

Several types of smoke detectors are available for home use. These smoke detectors include ionization detectors and photoelectric detectors. An ionization detector uses a small disk of radioactive material to detect particles emitted by combustion. A photoelectric detector uses a photo-sensor and light beam to detect smoke. A particular smoke detector technology may only detect certain types of fires. For more information about how detectors work, and the correct applications and sensitivities of ionization detectors vs. photoelectric detectors, see the EPA Web site on Smoke Detectors and Radiation.

Handling

Do not crush smoke detector.

Disposal

  • The City Household Hazardous Waste Center does not accept Smoke Detectors.
  • Federal law allows disposal of Household Hazardous Waste like smoke detectors in the trash. It is recommended you to return the product back to the manufacturer. They are mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory law 10 CFR 32.27 to see that radioactive waste is disposed at a nuclear waste disposal facility.
  • When sending back a smoke detector, you should NOT take it apart. The entire smoke detector needs to be returned to the manufacturer or shipped by UPS ground mail (not airmail). The batteries, however, should be removed and properly disposed of or recycled. No special shipping is needed for your smoke detector: just put it in a box, maybe with some newspaper for padding, and send it.
  • If unable to return smoke detector to manufacturer, remove battery from smoke detector and dispose of smoke detector in the garbage if no other options exist.

For more information contact the Albuquerque Solid Waste Management Department at 761-8300.

Propane Gas Tank Disposal

Propane gas cylinders are used to fuel items including gas grills, torches, and camping equipment such as stoves, lanterns, and heaters. Propane cylinders are either single-use or refillable.

Propane is flammable and explosive.

An empty tank still contains a small amount of propane gas, and may explode in a garbage truck or when the garbage is processed. Propane tanks in garbage are a safety hazard to people and can damage equipment.

Most scrap metal yards will not accept intact propane tanks, even if they are empty.

Single-Use or Small Refillable Propane Disposal

Take unusable or unwanted propane tanks (single-use or refillable) to a propane marketer, pressurized gas retailer, or gas service company.

Other alternatives include:

  • Attach the canister to the device it is used with, most often a camp stove or lantern. Turn the gas on and light the device, allowing the gas to run until the canister is completely empty. Remove the canister and dispose of it in your normal trash container. Read more information about recycling a used stove fuel canister.
  • There are adapters on the market that allow you to fill 1-pound bottles from larger propane cylinders. Use your web browser to search for propane tank refill adapters.
  • Buy refillable cylinders only at your local camping gear store.

Large Propane Cylinder Disposal

Local companies that will accept up to 100-pound refillable Propane Cylinders for disposal, including Coleman 16-ounce/1-pound propane canisters, as of June 2017:

Company Name Address City Zip Code Phone
R&L Enterprise1 14305 Central NW (Exit 149 off Interstate 40 (Paseo del Volcan), 1 mi west on N. Frontage located in RV park) Albuquerque 87121 (505) 836-4772

Notes

  1. SWMD recommends contacting the company prior to drop-off of cylinder.