Calvert County, MD - Official Website - Household Hazardous Waste
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County Resident Household Hazardous Waste
What makes a household material hazardous?

Household hazardous materials are common products you may use around the home. They must be used, as directed, in a particular, careful manner. 

A substance is considered hazardous if it ignites easily, reacts or explodes when mixed with other substances, is corrosive or toxic. Check for labels that bear the words or symbols for: caution, warning, danger, poison, or toxic.

How do I get rid of household hazardous waste?

Household hazardous waste (HHW) that is improperly disposed of presents a health threat and may contaminate the water, soil, air or other natural resources. Special handling of these materials is required to minimize environmental risk and protect our health.

Please note that Convenience Centers cannot take household hazardous waste during normal operating hours. All household hazardous waste can be disposed of properly for free by Calvert County residents on the scheduled Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days. Commercial haulers, businesses or institutions are not permitted.

When is the next Hazardous Waste Collection Day?

The Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Division and the Maryland Environmental Service are coordinating an upcoming household hazardous waste collection event for county residents. The Solid Waste Division thanks Calvert County residents for their patience in this process as we ensure proper hazardous waste service and safety for Calvert County and its residents. The event’s date and details will be advertised once arrangements are finalized.

What is accepted on Hazardous Waste Collection Days?
 Accepted Not Accepted
  • acids
  • adhesives/glues/epoxies
  • auto and floor care products
  • brake fluids
  • cleaners (ammonia, drain cleaner, oven cleaner, etc.)
  • explosives (ammunition, fireworks, flares)
  • fertilizers
  • pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides
  • gasoline and gas/oil mix
  • lighter fluid
  • medicines/pharmaceuticals (human and animal)
  • mercury (thermometers, thermostats)
  • oil-based paints
  • paint strippers (acetone, toluene)
  • paint thinners (mineral spirits, turpentine)
  • photographic chemicals
  • pool chemicals
  • science chemicals
  • solvents
  • stains and varnishes
  • wood preservatives (creosote, sealers)
  • 2-4-5 TP silex
  • 30-, 50- and 85 gallon containers without prior approval
  • asbestos products
  • biohazardous waste (syringes, lancets, IV, etc.)
  • dioxin
  • ketones
  • latex paint (not hazardous, please see Important Note below)
  • PCBs
  • radioactive materials (includes old watches and smoke alarms)
 Accepted Year-Round at Most Convenience Centers
  • antifreeze
  • batteries (lead-acid and rechargeable)
  • diesel fuel
  •  lightbulbs (all types)
  • helium tanks
  • kerosene
  • oil (hydraulic, motor, transmission)
  • oil filters
  • propane gas cylinders
  • electronics
  • mercury products *(only at Appeal)
  • metal
IMPORTANT NOTE: Latex paint is not hazardous waste but often is mistaken as hazardous waste.
Latex paint is commonly used as interior and exterior paint. Latex paint cleans up with water and soap. Oil-based paint does not.
Oil-based paint cleans up with mineral spirits or turpentine. Oil-based paint is hazardous waste.

To dispose of a little latex paint:

  1. open can and leave out in a safe, well-ventilated space
  2. allow the paint to dry solid
  3. dispose of in household trash

To dispose of a fuller can of latex paint:

  1. open can and work in a safe, well-ventilated space   
  2. carefully mix in kitty litter, sand or dirt until it becomes a thick consistency without it overflowing (hardeners are available in retail stores)
  3. allow the paint mixture to dry to a consistency similar to peanut butter    
  4. dispose of in household trash

Why are there only a couple of Hazardous Waste Collection Days a year?

Because of the diversity of hazardous products and the different disposal techniques needed, it can be very costly to properly dispose of household hazardous waste. The Solid Waste Division covers these costs for you.

What happens to the collected household hazardous waste?

Because this form of waste is highly varied, each category requires special handling and processing. The Division of Solid Waste works with a reputable contractor. The collected materials are sorted by their type and required handling. Materials collected by Calvert County are recycled or disposed of in special hazardous waste containment, incineration facilities, or reprocessed.

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