Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients to be “household hazardous waste” or “HHW.” Products such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when disposed of.

Improper disposal of HHW can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases, putting them out with the trash. The dangers might not be immediately obvious, but improper disposal can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.

A few times a year, special collection days are offered to ensure residential HHW is properly disposed of. These collections are for Calhoun County residents only.  Upcoming collection dates are listed below along with acceptable items.

2021 Household Hazardous Waste Collections:

County Building
Parking lot south of the intersection of Hanover St. and Grand St., Marshall, MI
Dates: Saturday, May 22 and Saturday, Sept. 25 

Time: 9:00 AM to Noon

Toeller Building
190 E. Michigan Avenue, Battle Creek, MI back parking lot
Date: Saturday, April 24 and Saturday, October 23
Time: 9:00 AM to Noon

Items Accepted:

  • Oil-based paint
  • Fuels (must be in approved container)
  • Solvents
  • Acids
  • Bases
  • Pesticides
  • Household Cleaners
  • Metallic mercury
  • Medications
  • Sharps
  • Household batteries
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Smoke detectors
  • Motor oils
  • Antifreeze
  • Propane cylinders
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Aerosol cans
  • PCB-containing lamp ballasts

Items NOT accepted

  • Latex paint
  • Car batteries
  • School chemicals
  • Construction materials/debris (includes treated lumber)
  • Radioactive material
  • Ammunitions
  • Weapons
  • Explosives

How can I tell if I have latex or oil-based paint? Latex paint labels will use words such as “latex,” “acrylic latex,” or “cleans up with soap and water.” Read the ingredients list and look for the word “water.” If you have oil-based paint, your label will say “alkyd,” “oil-based,” and “caution: combustible.” The label will mention “mineral spirits,” “soya oil,” “aliphatic hydrocarbons,” or “petroleum distillates.”

Sharps: Place sharps in a rigid plastic container with a lid such as a laundry detergent bottle.  Make sure the container is labeled “sharps.”  Do NOT place sharps in plastic bags or have them loose in a cardboard box. 

Useful links:
Smoke Detectors
https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22334/html/cover_025.htm