Household Hazardous Wastes

Drop-Off Events to Collect Residential Hazardous Wastes
To assist residents with proper disposal of hazardous wastes, the Department of Solid Waste Management hosts two free drop off events each year for household hazardous material disposal (not for commercial waste), one in May and one event in October. The next event is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 21, 2016.

 Download our free app to be reminded via mobile device notification or email reminder: These events are also advertised in the Frederick News Post several weeks in advance, as well as posted to our Facebook  page.
Acceptable Items: Unacceptable Items:
Aerosol spray paints Ammunition (Contact the County Sheriff’s Department at 301-600-1046 or the Office of the State Fire Marshall Bomb Squad by calling 410-859-7152.)
Brake Fluid Cans of paint (Oil based or latex, it is not hazardous. Paint will store in useable condition for many years; painting out and using up the material is preferred. For disposal, paint must be dried out, then may be placed in your regular household trash. Inexpensive commercial drying products for latex paint are available at paint and home improvement stores and can dry latex paint within a few minutes. You may also simply add mulch, shredded newspaper or kitty litter to any paint and leave the lid off until dried, or spread paint across sheets of cardboard or newspaper. Once it is dried, paint can be thrown in the regular trash or brought to the landfill for disposal.)
Fluorescent bulbs (CFL/compact and tube)
Alkaline batteries (may be disposed of with regular household trash as they are not hazardous)
Fuels (gasoline/kerosene) Biohazard waste (Clym Environmental Services is 1 local vendor who may be able to assist with this waste; for more information contact them at 301-694-6000.)
Household cleaners Explosives (Contact the Office of the State Fire Marshall Bomb Squad by calling 410-859-7152)
Mercury thermometers Firearms (Contact the County Sheriff’s Department at 301-600-1046.)
Mothballs Fire extinguishers (Call Frederick Fire and Safety at 240-422-4334.)
Nickel-cadmium and NIMH batteries (rechargeable batteries) Fireworks and flares (Contact the Frederick County Fire Marshall at 301-600-1479.)
Pesticides/insecticides/fungicides Freon and fuel tanks and cylinders (Most vendors accept barbeque grill-sized propane tanks; Aero Energy (301-662-4101) accepts small/camping canisters. Look under “Gas Companies” in the yellow pages; some vendors may also accept freon, oxygen, and fuel tanks other than propane.)
Photographic chemicals Helium tanks (Empty tanks may be deposited for no charge in the scrap metal drop off bin at the DSWM Recycling Center located at 9031 Reichs Ford Road. Any residual helium left in the tank must first be released by opening the valve. After the tank has been depressurized in this way, unscrew the nozzle on the tank and remove it completely.)
Pool chemicals Medicines (See info on year round drop-off locations below.)
Smoke detectors Motor oil, oil filters, and antifreeze (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)
Stains and sealants Radioactive materials
Thinners and solvents Regular trash (Accepted year round via the Reichs Ford Road Landfill Main Entrance.)
Household materials marked as "hazardous" or "toxic" Recyclable materials (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)
Tires (Accepted for recycling, year round via the Reichs Ford Road Landfill Main Entrance.)
Vehicle batteries (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)

Vegetable oils
Local Prescription Drug Take Back Programs
Note: The Department of Solid Waste Management will no longer collect pharmaceuticals at Residential Household Hazardous Waste events after October 25, 2014. This service is discontinued at these events because there are now four convenient locations in Frederick County where residents may dispose of pharmaceuticals anytime throughout the year.  Below is a list of these drop off locations.  More collections boxes are anticipated within in Frederick County; revisit this site for updates. The existing locations are:
  • Brunswick Police Department- 20 E. A St., Brunswick, MD 21716
  • Emmitsburg Community Center- 2nd Floor, 300 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.
  • Frederick Police Department- 110 West Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701
  • Maryland State Police Barracks- 110 Airport Drive E., Frederick, MD 21701
  • Middletown Municipal Center - 31 W. Main St., Middletown, MD 21769
  • Thurmont Police Department- 800 Main St., Thurmont, MD 21788

For more information on these and other prescription drug take back programs, please visit the following websites:


Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) 

According to the U.S. government Energy Star program, a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) uses 75% less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb! Part of what makes these bulbs work so efficiently is the small amounts of mercury they contain. This also means that they need to be handled carefully, and like any other potentially hazardous substance in your home, they need to be disposed of outside the regular waste system.

Note: Please don't toss CFL bulbs in your regular household trash!

Proper Disposal

  • CFL bulbs may be brought to the county's Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off events twice per year.
  • Some local businesses, including The Home Depot, Lowes, The Common Market, and MOMs Market, accept CFL bulbs for recycling year round (see their websites for more information).

More detailed information on compact fluorescent light bulbs, including disposal options and what to do if a bulb breaks in your home, can be found at the EPA website.