There are products in our homes that are highly toxic and extremely hazardous to the environment. These items cannot be easily recycled or disposed of in the landfill due to the risk of contamination of our drinking water, soil and air. There are environmentally-friendly options for the proper disposal or recycling of these materials. The State of Hawai‘i Department of Health also has an Office of Hazard Evaluation & Emergency Response which lists various fact sheets on managing hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. For more information on electronic waste see our electronic waste page.
Customers should first inquire if manufacturers, producers and retailers of hazardous materials offer take-back options for unused material or products that need disposal. Consumers should also purchase safer, more environmentally-friendly alternative products such as LED light bulbs or rechargeable batteries to reduce the amount of hazardous materials generated.
For more information on proper disposal of hazardous waste from businesses (including farms), government agencies & non-profits please visit our Business Resources page. Additional information is available at the State of Hawai‘i DOH Hazardous Waste Section website, click for a listing of Hazardous Materials Management companies (it is the “Haulers & Recyclers List” or the “Permitted Used Oil Transporters/Processors” list). For fact sheets on disposal or clean ups of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants visit the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health Office of Hazard Evaluation & Emergency Response.
Buy only what you need and properly use it all, there will be less chance your business will need to dispose of leftover hazardous materials. By law the County of Hawai‘i cannot accept hazardous waste from businesses, agencies, farms and non-profits.
Businesses, Government agencies, non-profits & Residents
Various businesses also offer collections of select hazardous materials in limited quantities:
- Mr. K’s Recycle & Redemption – lead-acid batteries (including automotive, solar system and UPS batteries) – scrap value (per pound rate varies, call for current rate) paid to you; 815 Kino‘ole St., Hilo; 969-1222.
- DALECO – lead-acid batteries (including automotive, solar system and UPS batteries); FREE (disposal & pick up in service area); 74-5546C Kaiwi St., Kailua-Kona, call 329-4605. NiCad, NiMH & Li ion (Lithium) batteries (including hybrid vehicle batteries) accepted for fee.
- O’Reilly Auto Parts – lead-acid batteries (including automotive and solar system batteries); 2100 Kanoelehua St (Hilo 959-1221) and 74-5586 Palani Rd (Kona – 326-2211); may give store credit for recycled battery.
- Home Depot – rechargeable power tool batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). FREE (Next to the Customer Service Counter)
- AKW Environmental – various hazardous materials, 430-2339
- Big Island Scrap Metal – automotive batteries; 16-168 Kalara St. (Kea‘au), 854-4530; 74-589 Honokōhau St. (Kailua-Kona), 854-4530
- Interstate Batteries of Hawai‘i – Lead-acid and deep cycle batteries, including solar batteries and uninterruptible power supply batteries (UPS) – scrap value paid to you; call for quote; If a large quantity generator would like to request pick-up service call for fee quote – call 934-7256 (194 Wiwoole St – Hilo)
- Napa Auto Parts – automotive batteries; 64-1019 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, call 885-6000; fee
- HolidayLEDs.com – holiday lights recycling mail-in program. Mail in your string of old holiday lights and receive a coupon for discounts at HolidayLEDs.com.
- Or how about becoming a rechargeable battery drop-off location, sign up at the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation’s Call2Recycle website.
Household Hazardous Waste Collections
These collection events are sponsored by the Department of Environmental Management to offer County residential households a safe and environmentally friendly method to dispose of household hazardous waste. These collection events will accept normal household hazardous materials in normal household quantities only. By law commercial or industrial materials or quantities will not be accepted at these events and those customers should contact the companies listed above or in the State of Hawaii Department of Health compiled listing of hazmat companies for proper disposal options. Certain restrictions/limitations apply.
For self-hauled waste from residential households only. Social/Physical Distancing Rules apply.
Schedule & Locations*:
- Hilo – Waiākea High School Student Parking Lot (B); Saturday, August 1, 2020, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- *POSTPONED* Kailua-Kona – Kealakehe High School Parking Lot; Saturday, August 8, 2020, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reschedule TBD.
- Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station: Sunday, March 7, 2021, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Waimea Recycling & Transfer Station: Saturday, March 6, 2021, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
*Note: Tentative schedule is based on end of the interisland quarantine restrictions for our O‘ahu-based contractor and other coronavirus restrictions on these types of events. Mahalo for your understanding.
Customers should pack their items in labeled spill-proof containers (preferably the original containers with label) and be careful when transporting them to the event. Do not mix items unless directed by the material’s label. When at the event please remain in your vehicle in line until authorized personnel come to unload your vehicle. For your safety and the safety of those around you please do not walk your hazardous materials over to the authorized personnel in the restricted area, this precaution is to prevent accidents or spillage and ensure fairness to those already waiting in line. Mahalo for your kōkua.
Social/Physical Distancing Rules For Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events
These rules are for your safety and the safety of the staff conducting these events. Please kōkua and thank you for doing your part to keep these events safe for all participants.
- Remain in your vehicle unless directed by authorized personnel.
- Prior to arriving at the event, place your HHW items in your trunk or truck bed. Make sure your trunk can be unlocked or opened remotely. If you don’t have a trunk or truck bed, preferably place your materials in unlocked unoccupied backseat area.
- No container returns. Due to infection transmission hazard all containers brought to the event will not be returned and should be disposable. If you want to keep your container transfer the material into a safe disposable container prior to the event.
- To minimize interactions, please label your HHW items (if possible) and make sure that your HHW items are easily distinguishable and separate from anything else in your trunk or truck bed.
- Facial masks and six (6) foot social distancing is required.
- If you are under government ordered quarantine, feeling ill or showing symptoms of illness please consider postponing your participation in our event or designate someone else to drop off your materials.
If you cannot make it to one of our events or if you have something that is not acceptable at our events there are private companies that can service your needs for a fee. Please refer to the Business, Government Agency and Non-Profit section above for immediate disposal options.
- Automotive fluids (including antifreeze/engine coolant, used motor oil, gasoline, diesel, lubricants, brake fluid, fuel additives and engine cleaners)
- Limited quantities of do-it-yourself used motor oil are accepted at year-round DIY UMO collection sites, click on link for more info. No business, farm or agency allowed.
- corrosives (acids & bases)
- all types of household batteries (alkaline, NiCad, NiMH, Li-ion (Lithium), lead-acid (automotive) and etc.)
- certain types of household flammable liquids (kerosene, home heating oil or lighter fluid – e.g. butane)
- unbroken fluorescent bulbs (tubes & CFLs) and chemical ballasts (pre-1979, label states “PCB”). Instructions on how to safely clean up broken fluorescent bulbs.
- mercury thermometers
- unused or outdated prescription medications (no illicit/controlled substances or sharps & needles) Hawai‘i Medication Drop-Box Program or PSI’s Got Leftover Medication Info Sheet
- toxic aerosol canisters
- household non-empty compressed gas cylinders/canisters (e.g. propane. Commercial quantities (> 5 gallons) or types of gas not accepted. Empty cylinders are not acceptable, take to Scrap Metal company)
- oil-based paint, varnishes & stains. liquid lead-based paints. paint thinner/turpentine. wood preservatives. chemical paint removers.
- toxic garden supplies (herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides)
- household poisons (e.g. insecticides, bug spray, household rodenticide)
- photoelectric smoke detectors (must clearly state “photoelectric” (only) type detector. “ionization” or combination with “ionization” type detector not accepted.)
- miscellaneous hazardous or toxic household products (e.g. drain cleaners, pool chemicals, bleach)
What’s NOT Accepted:
- Business or Farm (including unwanted farm pesticides) waste are prohibited by law (see Business Resources)
- Government Agency or Non-profit group generated waste are prohibited by law (see Business Resources)
- electronic waste (computers, TVs, printers, printer cartridges & etc.), for disposal options see our e-waste page.
- latex paint and base, acrylic paints (water-based) paint is collected for reuse at the Hilo, Kea‘au and Waimea Reuse Centers at Transfer Stations. If the paint is junk/rusty/unusable solidify it by letting it completely dry out to a solid and dispose in regular trash.
- empty compressed gas cylinders/canisters – these are scrap metal, contact Scrap Metal company). gas cylinders/canisters greater than 5 gallons in capacity. gas cylinders/canisters containing industrial-use gases (e.g. acetylene)
- farm/agricultural/industrial restricted use pesticides
- used cooking oil (solidify or absorb and dispose with trash or see our food/organics waste page – freezing doesn’t count as solidification)
- fluorescent light ballasts manufactured after 1998 (have no PCBs and are considered scrap metal)
- explosives, ammunition or fireworks. Unwanted ammunition can be safely disposed of through the Police Department; call the non-emergency police contact number, 935-3311, and describe the ammunition you need to dispose.
- flares and water reactive materials
- biological or infectious waste. e.g., anything that came into contact with blood, bodily fluids or animal waste; needles, sharps or syringes (Proper Disposal of Home Healthcare Waste & Safe Syringe Disposal Options)
- unused sharps, needles or syringes (check online for retailers that offer mail-back options)
- Electronic Smoking Devices (ESD a.k.a. ‘E-cigarettes’ or ‘vaping devices’) and cartridges (‘pods’) containing liquid nicotine or THC liquid. Please dispose of liquid nicotine cartridges (‘pods’) via the DEA National Drug Take-Back Initiative.
- controlled substances (i.e. illegal drugs, highly controlled/restricted medications, narcotics) – for take-back options of unused legal medications go to the Hawai‘i Medication Drop-Box Program, DEA National Drug Take-Back Initiative or the Go-to-Guide for Safe Drug Take-Back.
- radioactive & shock sensitive materials
- fire extinguishers & ionization smoke detectors (clearly states “ionization” or “americium 241” sensor type, not accepted – return to manufacturer) (info sheet)
- detergents, household soaps, household/glass/window cleaners
- tires are prohibited by law
- non-household quantities of materials (e.g. 55 gallon drums)
- non-hazardous material
For information on proper disposal of other hazardous materials not listed above, contact the County HazMat Infoline at 961-8554 or Greg Perry, with EnviroServices at (808) 330-1604. For immediate disposal options (for a fee) please refer to the Business, Government Agency and Non-Profit section above for hazmat company listing.