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Household Hazardous Waste

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Spring is really here. Although the weather is telling us different we need to continue with the spring cleaning we started. As you clean the home, garage and storage areas and find items that should not be put in the trash, set them aside and dispose of them correctly. Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department holds Household Hazardous Waste Collections several time through the year to help dispose of items properly.

Items such as cardboard, newspapers, magazines, glass bottles, plastic containers #1 through #5 and mixed paper can be recycled at the local drop off sites in Lincoln and surrounding areas and curbside recycling.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL's) should be taken to local hardware and home improvement stores who take burnout bulbs or to a household hazardous collection.

Items that CANNOT be taken to a collection site are latex paint, used oil, medicine/ pharmaceuticals, fire extinguishers, tires, electronics and computers, fertilizers, antifreeze, ammunition, explosives, asbestos, batteries or large propane cylinders for gas grills.

Latex paint can be dried out and placed in the trash. If the cans are at least half full it can be taken to EcoStores, 530 West P Street in Lincoln, 402-477-3606. EcoStores disposes of unusable paint for $2/can. Latex paint exchanges will be held May 17 and September 13, 9 a.m to 2 p.m. For more information go to

Items that CAN be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste collection site are:

  • Lawn and Garden Products: 2,4,5-T, Chlordane, Diazanon, Dursban/Lorsban, flea/tick products, insect sprays, lighter fluid, PEP, pool chemicals, rodent poisons, and weed killer.
  • Automotive: brake fluid, grease removers, mixed gasoline, old gasoline, power steering fluid, and upholstery cleaners.
  • Home Improvement: Adhesives, furniture stripper, oil-based paint, paint thinner, turpentine, wood preservatives, stains, and oil-based.
  • Household: bleach cleaners, compact bulbs(CFL's), drain/oven cleaners, fluorescent tubes, spot removers, small capacitors, mothballs, solvent-based polishes, glues, and mercury thermometers and thermostats.

Unused and outdated medications should be returned to a local pharmacy for safe disposal. Visit for a list of drop off sites.

To reduce the amount of household hazardous wastes the following is suggested:

  • Buy the least toxic products to do the job.
  • Buy only the amount you need for the job.
  • Read product labels carefully.
  • Reuse or recycle household products, whenever possible.

The next Household Hazardous Waste for Lancaster County residents will be Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the South Wal-Mart, 8700 Andermatt Drive, (87th and Hwy 2).

The May collection is Saturday, May 17th at Zoetis, 601 West Cornhusker Highway

For more information on these collections contact the Lincoln/Lancaster Health Department at 441-8021 or visit (keyword: household).

Now is the time to check your home for unused, unwanted or unneeded items and dispose of them properly.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was updated April 2014 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
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444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180