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
    • Brake or power steering fluid
    • Gasoline
    • Oil
    • Transmission
  • Ballasts (must be removed from fixture)
    • Some ballasts contain a highly toxic type of chemical called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). We cannot accept leaking/ruptured ballasts due to safety concerns. Please call ERG Environmental Services in Livonia at (734) 437-9650 if your ballast is leaking or rupturing.
  • Batteries: Automotive and Household
    • Automotive Batteries:  Please keep separate from household batteries.
    • Household Batteries: All types are accepted. Remove batteries from packaging, especially button cells. Please tape terminals for batteries 9-volt or larger 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.
    • Battery packaging instructions
  • Brake and Transmission Fluid
  • Butane and Propane Tanks
  • Car Batteries
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Cell Phones
  • Cooking Oils - see "Oil" below
  • Cleaners and Polishes
  • Degreaser
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Drain Cleaners and Lye
  • Fabric Dye
  • Fertilizers with weed killer (herbicides) or pesticides
  • 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!
    • Fluorescent lights packaging instructions
  • Furniture Polish
  • Game Consoles -  handheld with non-removable batteries
  • Glue and Adhesives
  • Herbicides (see pesticides for more information)
  • Home Repair Products (glues, caulking)
  • Liquid Asphalt and Roofing Tar
  • Mercury and Mercury-Containing Devices (like thermometers and thermostats)
  • Metal Cleaner
  • Mothballs
  • MP3 Players
  • Muriatic Acid
  • Nail Polish and Remover
  • Oil (Motor and all cooking oils - canola, olive, peanut, vegetable, etc. are accepted. The oil must be liquid and pourable. If bringing during cold weather, do not store oil outside.)
  • Oven Cleaners / Degreasers
  • Paints: Oil and Latex
    • Latex Paint: Only paint that is still liquid is accepted. If the cans are empty or the paint is totally dried out, put cans in the trash with the lid off. 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.
    • Oil Paint: Paint or primer with or without lead. Accepted liquid or dry, as well as rags and other items contaminated with oil paint.
    • Paints and stains packaging instructions
  • 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
  • Tablets (electronic)
  • Weed Killer
  • Wood Preservatives
  • Wood stains and varnishes

Unacceptable Items

These items cannot be brought to the Washtenaw County Home Toxics program for disposal. 

Due to regulations, the Home Toxics Center cannot except waste used for a business purpose or from out-of-county residents, except for fertilizer and pesticides. Contact us for assistance in finding an alternative disposal method if necessary.

  • Asbestos
  • Batteries in a serial configuration (*see below for more information)
  • Business Waste
  • Compost / Yard Waste (check local government for opportunities near you)
  • Empty Containers
  • Electronic Waste
  • Explosives and Ammunition (accepted at Sheriff Sub-Stations, call your local station prior to bringing in materials)
  • Flares and Fireworks (contact the State Police for a pick-up)
  • Fertilizer and plant food without herbicide, fungicide, or pesticide 
  • Fluorescent tube bulbs longer than 4 feet in length.
  • Freon Appliances (PDF) (Accepted at the Drop-Off Station)
  • Incandescent, Halogen, and LED Light Bulbs
  • Medical Waste such as blood, gauze, linen, etc. 
  • Medication / Pharmaceuticals (Visit the link to find local opportunities for drop off)
  • Laboratory Chemicals
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Recyclables like cardboard, plastics, glass, styrofoam, etc.
  • Tires
  • Trash

*Batteries in a serial configuration are connected in a way that each contributes to the overall voltage of batteries (see picture below). These voltages are too high for our staff to handle safely.

Picture of batteries in a serial configuration


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.
  1. Home Toxics Center

    Physical Address
    705 N Zeeb Road
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103

    Phone: 734-222-3950 (Hotline)

    Hours

    Weekday Drop-Offs
    Drop-offs accepted year-round
    Monday through Friday
    9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
    Closed on holidays

    Saturday Collection Events 
    April through November
    Open the first three Saturdays of each month
    9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Closed on holiday weekends

    Check our calendar for up-to-date information on closures