1. What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?
Products around the house that contain chemicals which are toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive are hazardous household products. These products are safe when used and stored following label direction. However, when the products become unusable and are no longer wanted, they become household hazardous waste.
2. Who can/cannot participate?
Residents in Saint Louis County, St. Louis City, and Jefferson County can participate in the program. The program is for residential households only. Commercial entities/businesses, places of worship, and schools are not permitted to dispose of hazardous wastes at these facilities.
3. What materials are accepted at the facility?
Residentially generated wastes including: paints (oil-based, craft and hobby paints), stains, varnishes, pesticides, herbicides, fire extinguishers, poisons, gasoline and other fuels, solvents and strippers, aerosols, motor oil and filters, gas cylinders/propane tanks (20 pounds or smaller), fluorescent lightbulb tubes, rechargeable batteries (ex: lead acid batteries, lithium batteries, car/boat batteries), alkaline batteries (ex: AA/AAA batteries), antifreeze, brake and transmission fluid, pool chemicals and other acids and bases, wood preservatives, driveway sealant, and items containing mercury (such as thermometers, thermostats, and mercuric salts).
NOTE: Latex paint is accepted at the facility for recycling, but residents will pay the full cost of this service ($.50 per pound)
4. What materials are not accepted at the facility?
Explosives and ammunition, radioactive waste, smoke detectors, holiday lights, medical waste (prescriptions, medical equipment, medicines), appliances, household trash, tires, electronics, TVs/monitors, unknown cylinders, and other bulky items and any hazardous material generated by a business or commercial entity. Click here for recycling and disposal options for these items.
5. What are the hours and locations of the facilities?
- South County Facility: 291 E. Hoffmeister, St. Louis MO, 63125.
- North County Facility: 4100 Seven Hills Drive, Florissant MO, 63033
- See full hours listed here
6. Why can't I just show up whenever I want?
Like going to the doctor or hair stylist, the safest option we have right now during the pandemic is to know you are coming and have you schedule an appointment. We do not have staff available 24/7, and we want to ensure we have the safest protocols in place for your arrival. While we will eventually take walk in's again, at this moment in time we are asking for cooperation from residents to please make an appointment. We tried to make it a little easier and give you a chunk of time to show up between instead of an exact time slot, so the drop off can work around your schedule. We understand you would like to come when it's convenient for you and just show up, but if you are going above and beyond to dispose of your waste properly, don't you want us there and available to take it safely? We sure do!
7. Are there costs to participate?
Possibly. If you bring latex paint you will be charged the recycling fee of $.50 per pound. For other HHW materials, the first 50 lbs of HHW will have no cost to the resident. Any additional HHW materials over 50 lbs will have a cost to the resident of $0.90 per pound.
8. How is this program funded?
This program is funded in part through a grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Construction of the Saint Louis County sites and supplemental disposal for St. Louis County residents comes from the Saint Louis County voter approved landfill surcharge fees.
9. What method of payments do you accept?
The facilities will only accept credit cards and debit cards at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cash and checks are not accepted.
10. What do I need to bring at the time of my appointment?
Please bring proof of address such as driver's license or utility bill. There is nothing else you need to bring!
11. Do you accept materials not in their original container?
Yes, but please bring HHW in its original container(s), if possible. If the original container is damaged, save as much of the label as possible to identify contents or write what the contents are on the container.
12. If I bring old gas in a gas can, will the container be returned?
13. What are guidelines for safe transport?
- Tighten lids and ensure that all HHW containers are stored upright, preferably in a lined box to prevent and contain spills.
- Keep chemicals in their original container. Label materials if they are not in their original container. If you don't know what the substance is, that is ok! Just let us know upon arrival.
- Do not mix chemicals! Arrange similar chemicals together when packing your car. Put pesticides together, solvents together, paints together in their own boxes.
- Ventilate your vehicle by keeping two windows open.
- Place your boxes of HHW in the trunk of your car or the in the bed of your truck.
- Drive directly to the permanent HHW facility after loading your HHW.
14. What can I expect when I arrive at the facility for my appointment?
- Signs will direct you to the designated drop-off area. Please stay in your car and please do not smoke.
- Roll down your window and state your name and appointment time.
- The HHW contractor will verify your address.
- The materials will be unloaded by the contractor and placed on a scale visible to you.
- After confirming weights, you will be advised of any fees due. Please stay in your car and the contractor will be able to come to your window to take payment.
- If you have a fee to pay, you will be given a receipt at your request.
- Exit the facility.
15. What happens to my waste once I drop it off?
Up to 85% of the waste is recycled or recovered as waste to energy. The remainder is managed like regulated hazardous waste and in accordance with applicable regulations.
16. Will there be one-day collection events for St. Louis County residents?
The permanent program is replacing one-day collection events. Since 1998, the Saint Louis County Department of Health has held one-day collection events at an approximate cost of $7 million! In addition to offering a more convenient disposal option to residents that is offered year round, the permanent program is more cost effective than the one day events.
17. Why do I pay for HHW over 50 pounds?
Proper management and disposal of HHW is expensive. Funds used to subsidize the management fee for the first 50 pounds of HHW come from Saint Louis County landfill surcharge fees and Missouri Department of Natural Resources landfill tipping fees. As landfills close and recycling increases, these funding sources are decreasing. By having residents share in the costs it will conserve funds and encourage responsible and conservative purchasing practices to reduce the amount of HHW created.
18. Why is latex paint not included in the first 50 pounds of subsidized disposal?
Latex paint is not considered a hazardous waste. The goal of the HHW program is to keep toxic materials out of the landfill. Limited HHW funds need to be conserved for disposal of materials that are hazardous.
Latex paint recycling is offered through the program as a service to residents who want an alternative to landfill disposal. The $.50 per pound fee encourages residents to utilize alternative options for latex paint, starting with purchasing only the amount needed for the job and sharing leftovers. If completely hardened or dried out latex paint can be safely disposed of in the trash. Please contact your hauler for additional requirements. See Proper Paint Disposal.
19. Why are St. Louis City and Jefferson County residents limited to one drop-off per year?
Disposal funds for St. Louis City and Jefferson County are provided solely through a grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Officials from these jurisdictions made the decision to limit their residents to one drop-off per year to help preserve funding for as many households as possible. The year is a calendar year. A resident dropping off materials in October, would be able to make a reservation again in the following January.
Saint Louis County residents have voter approved landfill surcharge fees that supplement funding for HHW, permitting more than one reservation per year. You can make multiple appointments throughout the year and still get the first 50 pounds of HHW free with each visit. Limit one visit per day.
20. Can schools, businesses, or places of worship use this facility?
The program can only accept residential hazardous waste. Commercially generated waste is prohibited by law to be collected at our facilities. This includes businesses, not-for-profit groups, schools, places of worship, farms, conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQG) and government agencies. Entities whose status is defined as a Missouri Department of Natural Resources Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator have special options for disposal of hazardous waste and should reference https://dnr.mo.gov/pubs/pub2174.pdf
21. Where can I find commercial disposal options?
The entities listed in question 20 can check the Missouri Department of Natural Resources website here for commercial disposal options.