Household Hazardous Wastes

Our Next Household Hazardous Waste Event: November 4th, 2023 8AM-Noon

To assist residents with the proper disposal of waste, the Frederick County Division of Solid Waste and Recycling hosts free drop-off events each year for household hazardous material disposal (not for commercial waste). 

Get automatic notifications and reminders for these events! To get reminders for special events, visit Recycling Information, and then:
 1. Enter your address in the “Recycling Schedule” box
 2. Click the button to “Set Reminder”
 3. Select “Single Collection or Event”
 4. Choose which events and how you would like to be reminded.
These events are also advertised in local newspapers several weeks in advance, as well as posted to our Facebook page.

Click here for the event flyer here for complete details on what is - and is not- accepted as household hazardous waste.
These events do not take place at the landfill. The location can change. Please see event flyer for details. 

For these events, Frederick County Government hires a specially permitted contractor licensed to handle hazardous materials. In this way, some items get recycled and all materials are handled in the most environmentally responsible manner. Residents are strongly encouraged to safely store materials until the next drop-off event. However, the federal government has drawn a distinction for residential/household hazardous materials, and small amounts can be brought to the County's 9031 Reichs For Road facility for disposal as regular trash. Please note that our facility is permitted to process solid waste only. If liquids can be mixed with a sufficient quantity of an absorbant material such as shredded paper, mulch, rags, sawdust, etc., they may be able to be processed as solid waste.
Per the EPA website: Under this exclusion, found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 261.4, wastes generated by normal household activities (e.g., routine house and yard maintenance) are excluded from the definition of hazardous waste. Specifically, wastes covered by the household hazardous waste exclusion must satisfy two criteria:

  1. The waste must be generated by individuals on the premise of a temporary or permanent residence, and
  2. The waste stream must be composed primarily of materials found in wastes generated by consumers in their homes.
PLEASE NOTE: The drop-off events are free to use and are the highly preferred method for safe, responsible management of household hazardous waste. If choosing to dispose otherwise, your waste hauler may have restrictions on materials they will collect. (Frederick County Government does not provide waste collection service.) The County facility charges a standard tipping fee for disposal of waste and is permitted to process solid waste only. Before bringing liquid materials to our site, they must first be dried out or mixed with an absorbant material.

PLEASE NOTE: Unidentifiable items will not be accepted at these events. 

Items Accepted at Haz Waste Drop-Off Events: Items NOT Accepted at Haz Waste Events:
  Antifreeze: Accepted year round at the 9031 Reichs Ford Road recycling drop-off center for no charge.
Aerosol spray paints Alkaline batteries: May be disposed of with regular household trash, or, visit to find drop-off locations for battery recycling.
Brake fluidAmmunition: 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.
Biohazard waste: Clym Environmental Services is one local vendor who may be able to assist with this waste; for more information contact them at 301-694-6000.
Fluorescent bulbs (CFL/compact and tube types) and ballastsExplosives: Contact the Office of the State Fire Marshall Bomb Squad by calling 410-859-7152
Fuels (gasoline/lighter fluid, oil/gas mixed)Firearms: Contact the County Sheriff’s Department at 301-600-1046.
Household & automotive cleanersFire extinguishers Empty, depressurized canisters may be disposed in regular trash. (Check the haz waste flyer linked above, or, call our office if you would like instructions: 301-600-2960.)
Mercury thermometers & thermostatsFireworks: Contact the Frederick County Fire Marshall at 301-600-1479.
Mothballs, rodent poisonsFreon and pressurized fuel tanks/cylinders: Most vendors that sell them accept barbeque grill-sized propane tanks for return. Look under “Gas Companies” in the yellow pages; some vendors may also accept freon, oxygen, and fuel tanks other than propane.
Nickel-cadmium, NIMH and lithium ion batteries (all types of rechargeable batteries accepted)Helium tanks: Do not place in a recycle bin. First, open the valve to release any remaining helium. Using a hammer and screwdriver, knock out the round disk on the back of the tank. (Online tutorial here: Empty tank may be placed in the scrap metal bin at the 9031 Reichs Ford Road recycling drop-off center. 
Pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicidesKerosene, diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid: Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.
Photographic chemicalsLiquid paint: The best practice is to use up paint. Paint can be stored in usable condition for many years. For disposal, paint must be dried out, then may be placed in your regular household trash. Commercial drying add-ins 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 to dry. Once it is dry, paint can be thrown in the regular trash or brought to the landfill for disposal.
Pool chemicalsLED and halogen light bulbs can be disposed as regular household waste.
Smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide detectors Lithium ion batteries should never be disposed as regular trash or recycling: They are accepted at haz waste events, but may also be taken to year round recycling sites: Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot and the County's 9031 Reichs Ford Road facility.
Stains and sealantsMedicines: See info on year round drop-off locations below.
Thinners and solvents

Motor oil& filters: Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.
UV light bulbsRadioactive materials
General household materials labeled as "hazardous" or "toxic" on the packaging

Regular trash: Accepted year round via the Reichs Ford Road Landfill Main Entrance.
Small #1 cylinders, such as for camping fuel.

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 Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.



Local Prescription Drug Take Back Programs

Note: The Division of Solid Waste and Recycling does NOT collect pharmaceuticals at our residential household hazardous waste events. There are convenient locations across Frederick County where residents may safely dispose of pharmaceuticals anytime throughout the year. Please note: Most sites do not collect liquid materials; where liquids are allowed, we have noted that information below.

 These are not County government programs and details may change without our knowing. Each site is individually operated and their rules vary. Please
follow the guidelines posted at each site, and call first or ask the staff on site if you have questions.


  1. Brunswick Police Department- 20 E. A St., Brunswick (24 hours) 
  2. CVS Pharmacy- 402 South Jefferson St, Frederick (accepts pills, patches and liquids)
  3. CVS Pharmacy- 5414 Rotary Avenue, New Market (accepts pills, patches and liquids)
  4. CVS Pharmacy- 228 Church St., Thurmont (accepts pills, patches and liquids)
  5. Emmitsburg Community Center - 2nd Floor, 300 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg  (8am - 4:30pm)
  6. Frederick Police Department - 100 West Patrick Street, Frederick (24 hours) 
  7. Frederick County Law Enforcement Center- 110 Airport Drive E., Frederick  (24 hours) 
  8. Middletown Municipal Center - 31 W. Main St., Middletown  (8am - 4pm)
  9. Myersville Municipal Center – 301 Main Street, Myersville (9am - 4pm)
  10. Mount Airy Police Department - 205 Center St., Mt. Airy 
  11. Thurmont Police Department - 800 Main St., Thurmont  (8am - 4pm)
  12. Urbana Pharmacy - 3420 Worthington Blvd., Frederick 21704 (also has a syringe disposal box)
  13. WalMart - 7400 Guilford Drive, Frederick (accepts pills, patches and liquids)
  14. WalMart - 2421 Monocacy Blvd., Frederick (accepts pills, patches and liquids)

For more information on other drug take back programs, please visit the following website: 

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

  • Any fluorescent bulbs may be brought to the County's Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off events.
  • Some businesses, including The Home Depot and Lowes, 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.