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), each spring and fall. These events do not take place at the landfill, but just down the road at the Public Safety Training Facility, 5370 Public Safety Place in Frederick. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the date for the next drop-off event has not yet been determined.

Get automatic reminders for these events! 

Click the “My Reminders” link on our main recycling page to sign up for free email, phone, text or mobile notifications of our events! 

These events are also advertised in the Frederick News Post several weeks in advance, as well as posted to our Facebook page.

PLEASE NOTE: Unidentifiable items will not be accepted at these events. 
Items Accepted at Drop-Off Event:   Items NOT Accepted at Hazardous 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 Fluid 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.)
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.)
Fluorescent bulbs (CFL/compact and tube) and ballasts
Explosives (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 cleaners Fire extinguishers (Call Westminster Fire Extinguisher Service at 301-662-8516.)
Mercury thermometers Fireworks (Contact the Frederick County Fire Marshall at 301-600-1479.)
Mothballs 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.)
Nickel-cadmium and NIMH batteries (rechargeable batteries) 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.)
Pesticides/insecticides/fungicides Kerosene, diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)
Photographic chemicals Liquid 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 chemicals Medicines (See info on year round drop-off locations below.)
  Motor oil & filters (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)
Smoke detectors Radioactive materials
Stains and sealants Regular trash (Accepted year round via the Reichs Ford Road Landfill Main Entrance.)
Thinners and solvents Recyclable materials (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)
Household materials marked as "hazardous" or "toxic" 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. This service is discontinued because there are now convenient locations in Frederick County where residents may safely dispose of pharmaceuticals anytime throughout the year:
  • Brunswick Police Department- 20 E. A St., Brunswick, MD 21716
  • CVS Pharmacy- 402 South Jefferson St, Frederick 21701
  • Emmitsburg Community Center- 2nd Floor, 300 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.
  • Frederick Police Department- 100 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
  • Mount Airy Police Department - 205 Center St., Mt. Airy 21771
  • Thurmont Police Department- 800 Main St., Thurmont, MD 21788

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.