Household hazadous waste drop-off questions and answers

What can you bring to a drop-off day?

  • Acids and alkalis
  • Garden chemicals
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Paints - up to 20 litres
  • Solvents
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Pool chemicals
  • Photographic chemicals

What can't you bring to a drop-off day?

  • Waste generated by business and government agencies. Instead, contact waste companies in the Yellow Pages
  • Explosives and ammunition - contact your local police station.
  • Empty pesticide containers - contact your local council for information on the drumMUSTER program.
  • Asbestos - see the EPA website or call them (08) 8204 2004 for advice.
  • Tyres - contact your council for the nearest waste transfer station that accepts tyres
  • Any light globes, bulbs or tubes. This includes all fluroescent globes, tubes and CFLs
  • Fertilisers
  • Oil

Check out our fact sheet on disposing of tricky wastes.

Options for disposal and recycling of common household items

  • Pharmaceuticals - all chemists will take unused or unwated pills and medications. See the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project website
  • Light globes - Banner, Mitre 10 and True Value hardware stores accept all household globes, tubes and CFLs for recycling for free, find your nearest store here
  • Batteries - Contact your council to see if they have any drop off options
  • Oil - many councils run free oil drop off services. Contact your council or type in Oil at the Recycle Right search engine here
  • Liquid paint - unwanted paint can be allowed to harden, then tapped out into the waste bin and the container placed in the yellow recycling bin
  • Smoke detectors - these can be placed in the waste bin, see the EPA website for more details
  • Gas bottles - contact All Pressure Testing at Lonsdale on 8384 673 or Elgas at Para Hills West on 8368 4700
  • Needles - sharps can be disposed of through the Safe Sharps project, visit the website for your nearest location.

How to handle hazardous waste

  • Keep chemicals in their original containers.
  • Ensure the containers are clearly labelled and well sealed. Attach your own label if the original has fallen off. But don’t guess. Only make a label if you’re absolutely sure of the chemical.
  • Don’t mix chemicals. Apart from making disposal difficult, you increase your risk by handling them and – in extreme cases – mixing incompatible chemicals can lead to violent reactions such as fire or explosion.

How to transport hazardous waste safely

  • Secure them in the boot of your vehicle or, preferably, in a ute or trailer.
  • Don’t put them in the passenger compartment: a fallen or leaking container could fill the car with dangerous vapour.
  • Travel with your car windows down when carrying flammable or odorous materials.
  • Secure containers so they don’t fall over or leak.
  • Ensure lids are fitted tightly.
  • Place containers of liquids in a tray or plastic bucket so they don’t spill or fall.
  • Pack powders and solids securely.
  • Keep corrosive chemicals, such as battery acid, away from poisons.
  • Keep oxidising agents, like peroxide, away from all other materials.Protect taps on drums so they don’t break off in transit.
  • If the packaging is open or leaking, put it into another container and label it.
  • Place corroded or suspect containers in something like a plastic rubbish bin to secure them. A bucket is good for smaller containers.
  • Don't transport your chemicals with food, household items, pets or other livestock.

What do you do at a hazardous waste drop-off day?

  • Follow the directions of the Council staff.
  • Stay in your car, unless directed, and trained staff will unload the hazardous items for you.
  • For safety, pets and children MUST remain in the car at all times.
  • No smoking is allowed on the site.
  • Switch off your car engine while you’re being unloaded.
  • Licensed professional contractors will then manage the segregation, transport, recycling, treatment and disposal of the waste.

Download the household hazardous waste depot details. (PDF, 1Mb) This document explains what you can and can't take to the Dry Creek depot, and provides advice on what to do when dropping off hazardous materials.