Safe Handling and Disposal of Hazardous Household Materials 

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Safe Handling and Disposal of Hazardous Household MaterialsProvided by Prince William County Department Public Works Solid Waste DivisionCounty Helps Residents Safely Manage Potentially Dangerous Waste 

Many ubiquitous products used in homes, yards, and garages contain hazardous ingredients. When disposed of improperly, these items can pose harm to humans, animals, or the environment. Proper identification, safe handling, appropriate use, and safe disposal are all important considerations for household hazardous waste items.

The Prince William County Landfill has a twice weekly household hazardous waste collection program for County residents. The program accepts a myriad of items every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free of charge.

Household chemicals when used, stored, and then disposed of properly are harmless. However, when the guidelines on labels are not followed, they can be dangerous. Many potentially harmful products have less dangerous, less toxic alternatives that are worth a try.

These environmentally friendlier products don’t require special disposal and the empty container can be placed in the household trash or recycling bin depending on the material of the container.

Improper disposal of hazardous materials, such as disposal in the household trash, or pouring them in storm drains, sewer, or septic systems, is dangerous and can:

  • Injure garbage collectors and landfill workers by exploding aerosol cans, splashing chemicals, or poisonous fumes created by mixed chemicals
  • Cause fires and/or explosions from chemical reactions in garbage collection trucks
  • Pollute the ground and ground water from leachate leaks in a landfill
  • Endanger your health, the health of others and the environment

Identifying Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials have one or more of the following characteristics: ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic.  These hazardous products may also be identified by warning words like poisonous, volatile, flammable, inflammable, combustible, or explosive. When the time comes to discard these items, they require special handling because of these characteristics and warnings.

Common household hazardous waste products include items such as solvents, pool chemicals, fluorescent bulbs and tubes, home cleaning and maintenance products, unwanted fuel, paint, pest control products, and lawn and garden care products.  All these items need to be disposed of safely.

Transport Safety Tips

For safety, County residents should bring household hazardous waste items in the original labeled container, sealed, and packaged for transport to the Prince William County Landfill. Avoid spills and accidental mix of chemicals in transport, this can cause a dangerous chemical reaction. Containers that are leaking should be individually bagged, sealed, and labeled.   If a product has been removed from its original container be sure it properly labeled.

Hazardous Materials Accepted

The Household Hazardous Waste collection program at Prince William County Landfill accepts a variety of products and comprehensive list can be found at  In fact, many residents may be surprised at some of the items on this list.

Electronic items are also accepted at this program. Resident may bring up three electronic items per visit.   Household Hazardous Waste item limits are 15 gallons liquid and 40 pounds solid per visit.

The program is not for businesses or Manassas and Manassas Park residents.

Hazardous Materials Not Accepted

Explosives, fireworks, ammunition, medical waste, biological waste, asbestos, radioactive waste, unknown substances and business waste.

Other Special Care Items

Automotive fluids (oil and anti-freeze), household batteries and lead acid (automotive batteries) also require special disposal.   These items can be brought to the Landfill and the Balls Ford Road Compost Facility any day.  Medical sharps that are properly secured can also be safely disposed of at the Landfill any day.   County facilities do not accept electric car batteries. Electric car batteries should be returned to the dealership.

The Solid Waste Division recommends residents become familiar with the list of household hazardous waste items so that they can plan for safe handling and proper disposal or recycling. For more information on recycling or the proper disposal of hazardous materials visit or use the  A to Z Disposal Guide to find disposal and recycling information on specific items.


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