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Household Toxics

​​Household Hazardous Waste

Household products that are labeled as poisonous, hazardous, flammable, explosive, or caustic -- such as pesticides, solvents, and oil-based paints -- should not be emptied in the sink or storm drains, poured on the ground, or placed in the trash where they will be landfilled and potentially end up leaking into our groundwater. 

Instead, please dispose of these materials responsibly. Share leftover materials with others to use up as directed on the label.  Consider purchasing less toxic materials in the future.

  • Household quantities of used fertilizers, mercury thermometers, mercury thermostats, pesticides, herbicides, roofing tar and asphalt, wood preservatives, cleansers, polishes, oil-based paints, point thinners, solvents, varnishes, motor oil, motor oil filters, and household rechargeable batteries are accepted in their original container to the Washtenaw County’s Home Toxics Center, (734) 222-3950 705 N. Zeeb Road, near Jackson Road, open 9-Noon the first three Saturdays of each month (excluding holiday weekends) and by appointment for the other days and during winter months.

  • The City of Ann Arbor discontinued residential curbside pickups of household batteries, used motor oil, and used oil filters on June 30, 2010 as the city moved towards greater efficiency of recycling collection with the single-stream recycling program. These toxic materials may be recycled at many locations that had not been available when first included in the city’s recycling program the 1980s.

  • Businesses with surplus toxic chemicals may contact the county for information on proper management and disposal options of these regulated materials.

Batteries

See the​ separate battery web page and chart. Alkaline batteries may be placed in the trash. Rechargeable batteries should be taken back to stores or drop off sites for free, separated recycling as listed at www.rbrc.org. Car batteries are required by the state to be returned to auto service centers and a cash rebate may be provided.

Motor Oil and Filters

Many local auto repair and quick oil-change shops accept motor oil and filters for recycling. Motor oil and filters are also accepted at Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station and at Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center.

Televisions, Computers, and Other Electronics

Michigan’s e-waste take back law requires all manufacturers (e.g., Sony, Dell, Toshiba, HP, Epson, etc.) to establish free and convenient take back​ programs to ensure that all televisions, computers, and printers used by consumers are fully recycled at the end of their useful lives. Television manufacturers are required to take back any TV regardless of brand. Computer and printer manufacturers are required to take back those products that are labeled with their brand.

Equipment manufacturers are required to provide information on how to recycle their televisions, computers, or printers. A list of brands with a description of their take back program can be found by visiting the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Additional electronics recycling options exist, such as bringing electronics to the Recycle Ann Arbor’s Drop-Off Station (some fees may apply) or participating in free electronics collection days (provided periodically by a range of sponsors),

Due to the toxic chemicals that can be released when computer monitors and televisions are crushed, these items are prohibited from Ann Arbor’s trash carts and dumpster collection program. Never put electronics into the city’s recycling carts or dumpsters.

Hints: Good Will Industries and Best Buy stores take back all computers, televisions, printers, and many other electronics for free recycling. Just verify the take back​ parameters before making the recycling trip. When looking for new TVs and computers, ask how old electronics are recycled and patronize your favorite retailers. Some stores, such as Big George and Best Buy, will pick up an old television if a customer is buying a new TV to be delivered.

Medical Waste

Used residential sharps (needles and lancets) must be stored in a sturdy plastic jug, labeled "Sharps, Dispose of Properly." When full, the jug is to be taped securely shut and placed inside a residential trash bag. Sharps should never be placed in the recycling bins.

The preferred method for handling used residential sharps is to store them in a commercially-available sharps container. When full, the container is taken to a participating pharmacy for safest disposal. WHY? The needles collected at pharmacies are disinfected with steam heat and then shredded before being landfilled.

Washtenaw County maintains information on pharmacies that accept sharps and locations that take back unwanted or unused medications. Commercial medical waste must be disposed according to Federal regulations and will not be collected by the city.

If you have any questions, please contact the  customer service desk at  customerservice@a2gov.org



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