Proper disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW) begins with safeguarding it while in your home. Please follow these general guidelines to ensure the health of our neighbors, wildlife and environment, and to ensure that we comply with all applicable local, State and Federal waste disposal laws.
- Keep all chemicals, solvents, paints, lubricants, fuels, and other HHW in their original containers. Do not remove labels as they contain important ingredient warnings as well as instructions for handling poisoning from ingestion and harm from exposure.
- Never store HHW in containers used for food. It will permanently contaminate the container, and it could be mistaken for an edible. If someone in your household ingests an HHW product, call 911 immediately.
- If the original container begins to corrode, please contact our 24-hour Customer Service Center for assistance with immediate disposal options.
Never mix HHWs with other products. Incompatible products might react, ignite, or explode, and contaminated HHW might become unrecyclable. If you have accidentally mixed products, dial 911 immediately. Do not wait as some chemical reactions have no odor and no visible indicator of danger.
- Always use HHW as intended. Follow instructions on the product label. Do not mix HHW products. (See #4 above.)
- Do not allow HHW products to run off onto paved or natural surfaces. These could flow to our storm drains or be absorbed into our ground water through the soil. Take care to read label instructions for advice on handling run-off.
- Keep all HHW away from children. Be sure that your child is familiar with various symbols indicating that a product is poisonous.
- If you get an HHW product on your skin, in your eyes, or ingest the product, consult the label for instructions and follow them exactly. If you do not understand the instructions, or if the label is missing, call 911 immediately.
- Never pour any HHW down the sink, nor flush it down the toilet. This could cause the chemicals within the product to enter our water system.
- Never pour any HHW into a public waterway or down a storm drain. Again, the product can contaminate our water supply and will surely harm wildlife that comes in contact with it. Remember, some of the fish that we eat comes our of those waterways. Tourists, vital to our economy, swim in those waterways. Our status as the yachting capital of the hemisphere could be jeopardized if our water doesn't remain clear and safe for boaters.
- Follow instructions for use and disposal provided on product labels. These are generally compatible with City of Fort Lauderdale policies.
- Containers which held hazardous chemicals should not be recycled. Even empty containers can pose hazards because of the chemical residue that might remain.
- Consider returning certain chemicals to area vendors specially equipped to handle them. Automotive batteries and motor oil can generally be disposed of, for a small fee, at local automotive repair shops. Some paint vendors offer return programs. Propane tanks are often accepted by local gas suppliers. It is worth inquiring with local businesses if you cannot wait for one of our City of Fort Lauderdale HHW Drop-Off events.
Guidelines for specific types of HHW can be found by navigating the menu on the left. If ever you have questions about HHW storage or disposal, please call City of Fort Lauderdale 24-hour Customer Service at 954-828-8000.