Household Hazardous Waste

What is "HHW"?

Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be "household hazardous waste" or "HHW." Products that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when you dispose of them.

Why it is illegal to toss them in the garbage?

  • Americans generate 1.6 million tons of HHW per year. 
  • The average home can accumulate as much as 100 pounds of household hazardous waste.
  • According to the EPA and the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), disposal of these materials in a landfill poses a serious hazard to human health as well as to the environment.
Therefore, all N.J. residents are prohibited by law from disposing of any amount of HHW as garbage.

Recycle all Rechargeable Batteries

Due to regulatory changes collection practices will now change for Essex County residents.
  • Recycle all Rechargeable Batteries.
  • The label on the battery will indicate if it is rechargeable.
  • For increased safety when transporting rechargeable batteries, residents must either individually bag each battery or place a piece of tape on each of the terminal ends as shown in the picture.
  • Most button cell batteries still contain mercury. These batteries can be brought to Essex County's Household Hazardous Waste collection events.
  • Rechargeable batteries may be recycled at the following locations: Radio Shack (in Verona), Staples (in Cedar Grove), Best Buy, Target, Office Max, Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, Wal-Mart and Verizon Wireless.
  • To find the retail collection site nearest you, go to or call the consumer helpline, 1-800-8-BATTERY or 1-877-2-RECYCLE.
Essex County accepts them at Household Hazardous Waste collection events. Visit for details or click here.

Household products containing hazardous components:

  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Household cleaners; bleach, air fresheners and floor wax
  • Paint thinners and solvents
  • Oil-based paints, stains and varnishes
  • Aerosol spray products
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Mercury-containing products (thermometers, thermostats, and fluorescent bulbs and ballasts).
  • Automotive liquids (anti-freeze and steering fluid)
  • Car batteries
  • Hair coloring products
  • Lighter fluid
  • Driveway sealer
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fluorescent Light Bulbs
  • Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid
  • Propane tanks (barbecue type)
  • Chemistry sets
  • Pool chemicals


The Essex County Utilities Authority oversees the Household Hazardous Waste Collection days for all towns in this county, including Verona. Their HHW collections are held in spring and fall.
  • The collection takes place from 9:00 am. to 3:00 pm. in the Essex County Fleet Maintenance Yard at 99 West Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove.
  • It is free for Essex County residents only (proof of residency required).
  • Latex paint, asbestos, medical and commercial waste, empty containers, unlabeled or unidentified materials, explosives, munitions, ordnance, or reactive materials are not accepted.

How can I reduce HHW?

Plan to avoid overages of hazardous materials with careful project planning. Example: Before buying paint measure your surface footage. Paint manufacturers list the square footage coverage for each can of paint.

Improper disposal

Pouring the stuff down a drain, onto the ground, into storm sewers, into septic systems and out with the regular trash are common improper HHW disposals.


For more information about the HHC Collection Program, call the Essex County Utilities Authority at (973) 857-2350.