Household hazardous wastes (HHW) are products that contain toxic materials that can be harmful to humans and the environment if disposed of improperly. Hazardous waste is not accepted in curbside garbage, recycling, or organics carts. Look for a label that may say CAUTION-WARNING-DANGER-POISON to determine if a product is hazardous. Empty containers may go in the garbage, with the exception of propane tanks.
Household hazardous waste items include, but are not limited to: toxic household cleaners, paint thinners, pesticides, mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs and tubes, electronic waste and car batteries
Recology CleanScapes offers a curbside Special Item Recycling program for the following household hazardous waste items:
- Fluorescent tubes & bulbs
- Household batteries
- Used motor oil
- Used cooking oil
Unwanted household hazardous waste can be dropped off at King County Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Centers. For more information call the King County Hazardous Waste Hotline 206-296-4692 or 1-888-TOXIC-ED (869-4233).
For comprehensive hazardous waste disposal information, call King County’s Local Hazardous Waste Management Program at 206-296-4692 or visit www.HazWasteHelp.org. Download the Small Business Hazardous Waste Disposal flyer.
Recology CleanScapes offers free curbside collection of button, alkaline, and rechargeable batteries for Des Moines single-family & multi-family residential customers.
Curbside Battery Collection
Put household batteries inside a tightly sealed plastic bag, and place on top of your closed recycling cart on collection day. Please place rechargeable batteries in a separate sealed plastic bag.
Apartment Battery Collection
Apartment and condominium owners must call or submit a Special Recycling Item Request to arrange for collection. Service must be requested by the bill payer on record. Please DO NOT set batteries next to carts or containers.
Property Managers: Establish a centrally located collection container at your property – a lobby, multi-use room, mail room or clubhouse – for residents to place their bagged batteries.
Please note: Motor vehicle/marine batteries are NOT accepted in your curbside recycling. Most battery retailers and auto repair shops accept auto batteries for recycling.
Burien residential customers may also drop off household batteries at The Recology Store Highline.
Recology CleanScapes offers free curbside collection of used cooking oil and kitchen grease for single-family and multi-family customers in Des Moines.
Schedule a Special Item Recycling Collection.
- Seal in clear, clean screw-top plastic jugs.
- Place your oil containers next to your recycling cart on collection day; label them with your name and address.
- Oil/grease must be free of contaminants (no large solids).
- Limit: 3 gallons per collection, 10 gallons per year.
Apartment and condominium owners: collections must be requested by the bill payer on record. Please DO NOT set cooking oil/grease next to carts or containers.
Des Moines residential customers may also drop off used cooking oil at The Recology Store Highline.
Unused medicines are accepted in the garbage, however there are better ways to dispose of them.
Medicines flushed down the toilet add unwanted contaminants to surface water bodies and marine habitats. Medicines put in your garbage could be found and accidentally consumed by children or pets, or resold illegally.
The Des Moines Police Department has partnered with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and will be hosting a National Take-Back Initiative collection site in the City of Des Moines to collect unused, expired or unwanted prescriptions and over the counter solid medications for safe disposal, with no questions asked. For additional drop-off centers, visit the Take Back Your Meds website or call 425-388-3199.
- Please follow these instructions when disposing of latex paint cans:
- Metal cans or plastic buckets containing latex paint must be dried out and then put in the garbage. Cans or buckets containing wet paint are NOT allowed in the garbage.
- To dry out small amounts of latex paint (less than 1-inch), leave the lid off for several days until the contents are dry.
- To dry out larger amounts of latex paint or to dry it quickly, mix 50/50 with kitty litter or a commercial paint hardener such as “Waste Away.” Allow the mixture to dry in the can.
- Put dried out paint cans in your garbage with the lid off so drivers can see that the can contains only dried paint.
Please follow these instructions when disposing of oil-based paint cans:
- Empty oil-based paint cans are allowed in the garbage
- If oil-based paint can is not empty, please dispose of at your local Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.
Fluorescent Tubes & CFL Bulbs
Fluorescent lights contain small amounts of hazardous substances and must be recycled separately from all other recyclables. Please DO NOT put them inside your recycling cart.
We offer free curbside collection of compact fluorescent tubes and bulbs (CFLs) for single-family residential customers in Des Moines.
Single-family Residential Customers:
- Schedule a Special Item Recycling Collection.
- Wrap tubes in several layers of newspaper, secure with tape.
- Put bulbs in plastic bag tied closed (or Ziploc® style bag).
- Set bulbs on top of recycle cart (not inside).
- Place well-wrapped tubes next to your recycling cart. Tubes longer than 4 feet will not be collected.
- Limit: 2 tubes/bulbs per collection, 10 tubes/bulbs per year.
Burien residential customers may also drop off fluorescent tubes and CFL bulbs at The Recology Store in Highline.
Additionally, LightRecycle Washington is a program that allows individuals and businesses in Washington to recycle up to 10 mercury-containing lights per day for FREE. You can recycle straight and curved fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and High Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs) at authorized LightRecycle collection sites. Visit LightRecycle.org to find a collection site near you.
Putting loose sharps into the garbage is a health risk for solid waste workers. The best ways to dispose of sharps generated in the home is through a local pharmacy, a mail-in program, at your doctor’s office, or at a designated drop-off location.
- King County information is available at King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program website or by calling the King County Household Hazards line at 206.296.4692; or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the options above are not available, syringes may be disposed of in the garbage if placed in puncture resistant container such as a number two (2) PET pop bottle, with a tight fitting or taped lid and labeled “SHARPS, DO NOT RECYCLE.”
Contact your local pharmacy and ask about their “sharps” collection services. Many Bartell Drugs stores offer sharps disposal containers and will dispose of sharps/needles for a fee. Contact your local Bartell Drugs store for more information.
Purchase a postage paid, mail-in container. For more information on where to purchase, search for “sharps mail in programs” on your computer, ask your doctor, or contact the following companies:
BioMedical Waste Solutions
GRP & Associates, Inc
Recology CleanScapes will collect empty, small, disposable, camping-style propane cylinders or cans when pick up is requested. Please schedule a Special Recycling Item Collection or call 206-521-5107 to request collection.
We do not accept large propane tanks. If you have refillable propane tanks for your barbeque, make sure to reuse them or drop them off at a certified take-back facility. You can find local facilities by searching online.
Unwanted household hazardous waste can be dropped off at King County Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Centers. For more information download the King County Hazardous Waste Disposal Flyer or call the King County
Hazardous Waste Hotline 206-296-4692 or 1-888-TOXIC-ED (869-4233). For more information, please visit the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program.
Also, see the City of Shoreline’s Hazardous Waste Home Collection Program.