Home toxics disposal options
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.
- Cleaners and polishes.
- Cooking oil (peanut, vegetable, olive, bacon grease).
- Automotive oil and antifreeze.
- Fertilizers and phosphorus.
- Home repair products (caulks, glues).
- Mercury (thermometers/thermostats).
- All paints (latex, oil-based, spray).
- Paint thinners/strippers/solvents.
- Stains and varnishes.
- Pesticides/herbicides/weed killers.
- Roofing tar and asphalt.
- Wood preservatives.
- Fluorescent bulbs ( up to 8-foot tubes and CFLs).
- All batteries (alkaline, auto, rechargeable. etc).
- Needles and syringes, in sealed, medical waste container.
You can take these items to
Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Reduction Program, 705 N. Zeeb Road near Jackson Road, open 9 a.m.-noon, the first three Saturdays of each month April through November and by appointment, 734.222.3950, during winter months.
Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station also accepts many toxic items for recycling. Some fees may apply after the entry fee.
Computers, televisions and other electronics
Michigan's e-waste take back law requires free and convenient take-back programs to be established by manufacturers to ensure that all televisions, computers, and printers are fully recycled. The following programs are now available in the Ann Arbor area.
Best Buy - 3100 Lohr Road, 741.1357. Accepts all televisions, computers, printers, scanners, peripherals, cell phones, and many other electronics for free recycling.
Drop-Off Station - 2950 E. Ellsworth, 971.7400. $3 entry fee. Accepts computers, printers, scanners, televisions, cell phones, and many other electronics for recycling. Some fees may apply. See page 9 for hours of operation.
Goodwill - 557 E Michigan Ave. Saline. 429.2789. In partnership with Dell, all Goodwill locations will accept computers, printers, scanners, cell phones, and most peripherals for free recycling.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore - 170 April Drive, 822.1530. In partnership with Vintage Tech Recyclers, this location accepts computers, televisions, peripherals, cell phones, audio equipment and selected other electronics for free recycling.
There are several mail-back options for computers and televisions
offered by the different manufacturers in Michigan. Periodic computer and television collection-day events are held in the area. Residents should also
subscribe to receive email alerts from the City of Ann Arbor for recycling updates via GovDelivery. Some stores, such as Big Georges and Best Buy, will pick up an old television when a customer buys a new TV and has it delivered.
Before you recycle your computer, be sure to erase the unit's hard drive to eliminate personal data. Best Buy's website offers a two-minute video showing how to erase data from a hard drive under "recycling."
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 and recycling carts and dumpsters.
Periodic free electronic collection days are coordinated by
Washtenaw County or
University of Michigan's Sustainability Office.
Labeled as "Rechargeable" and/or Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd or Ni-Cad), Nickel Metal Oxy-Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn). Rechargeable batteries come in many forms including regular AAA to D sizes, cell phone, camera, laptop batteries. Rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals such as nickel, cadmium, or lithium and cannot be safely placed in municipal land-fills.
Take rechargeable batteries to one of the many free drop-off locations (including many stores) listed on
Call2Recycle.org. They can also be taken for recycling to
Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center or
Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station. Batteries must be individually bagged or sealed with clear tape over positive (+) end for proper recycling.
While not the ideal solution, used alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries may be placed in trash to be land filled as they no longer contain toxic materials such as mercury (mercury was banned by federal law in 1996).
Batteries Plus on Packard accepts alkaline batteries for recycling for $1 per pound. The
Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center also accepts alkaline batteries.
Automotive (Lead-Acid) Batteries
Lead Acid batteries are found in most gas-combustion engines. These are large, long-lasting batteries used to provide electricity to vehicles. Lead acid batteries contain toxic substances such as lead and sulfuric acid which cannot be safely placed in municipal landfills. Once recycled, much of the content is re-used in new car batteries.
Return vehicle batteries to designated locations for proper recycling, including Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center and
Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station. State retailers are required to accept a used automotive battery with purchase of a new one. Do not place on curb or in carts for pick-up.
Lithium single-use and button-cell batteries
Single-use, long-lasting lithium batteries will be labeled "Lithium" or "Li". They should not be confused with rechargeable "Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)" batteries. For Lithium-Ion see "Rechargeable." Button-cell batteries resemble buttons in size and shape and are used in items such as watches and hearing aids.
Both types of batteries contain small amounts of toxic heavy metals and should be recycled, when possible.
Both types of batters should be recycled. They can be brought to
Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station, Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center, and a few specific locations such as Batteries Plus and Interstate All Battery Center.