Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

What is it?

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) includes items such as household cleaners, lawn and garden products, automotive fluids, paints and other chemical products. These flammable, toxic, corrosive or reactive items are labeled with danger, warning or caution.

What's the problem?

Most of our homes contain many chemical-based household products used for cleaning, painting or maintaining our houses and yards. Maybe it's the forgotten drain cleaner under the sink. Perhaps it's the motor oil or lawn chemicals stored in the garage. It could even be the old paint in the basement left over from that remodeling project a few years back. While these materials can be safe when used correctly and stored appropriately, improper use, storage and disposal of HHW pose a number of risks and dangers.

Hazardous products cause poisonings, severe burns, illness, blindness and even death if misused. When HHW ends up in household trash or is poured down sinks or storm drains, it not only endangers our health and safety, but it also poses risks for our communities, wildlife and the environment.

While small amounts of HHW in your home may seem like a minor concern, when millions of other homes across greater Kansas City are using similar products, it becomes a major issue if all those hazardous materials are improperly handled, stored or discarded.

How do I get rid of it?

Properly dispose of your HHW at a community collection facility or at one of the regional mobile collection events.


  • Read labels carefully. Avoid buying products with labels containing the words: danger, warning, flammable, explosive, corrosive, caustic, toxic or poison.
  • Use safer products whenever possible. There are many recipes available on the Internet to make your own safer alternatives or look at our safe alternatives info card (pdf).
  • Buy only as much as you need for the job at hand.
  • Share what you can't use or don't need any more with a friend or neighbor.
  • Recycle what can be recycled in your area, such as motor oil and auto batteries.

Learn more

For more information about the HHW program, contact Nadja Karpilow, environmental planner, at or 816-701-8226.