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.  (Please note: this location has not changed from prior events, but the street address was formerly listed as 8349 Reichs Ford Road.)

The next event date is Saturday May 19, 2018. An event flyer may be downloaded here.

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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:
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) and ballasts
Alkaline batteries (may be disposed of with regular household trash as they are not hazardous)
Fuels (gasoline/lighter fluid, oil/gas mixed) 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 Westminster Fire Extinguisher Service at 301-662-8516.)
Nickel-cadmium and NIMH batteries (rechargeable batteries) Fireworks (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 Kerosene, diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)
Smoke detectors Medicines (See info on year round drop-off locations below.)
Stains and sealants Motor oil, oil filters, and antifreeze (Accepted year round at the Reichs Ford Road Recycling Drop Off Center for no charge.)
Thinners and solvents Radioactive materials
Household materials marked as "hazardous" or "toxic" Regular trash (Accepted year round via the Reichs Ford Road Landfill Main Entrance.)

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. This service is discontinued because there are now several convenient locations in Frederick County where residents may dispose of pharmaceuticals anytime throughout the year.    The existing locations are (more collections boxes are anticipated within in Frederick County; revisit this site for updates):
  • 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- 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.