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Household Hazardous Waste Recycling and Disposal

Baltimore County offers several options for residents to safely recycle or dispose of household hazardous waste, including drop-off locations for specific items and a full-service household hazardous waste area at the Central Acceptance Facility. The County also offers alternative options for disposal of latex paint and medications. County residents with additional questions about the recycling or disposal of hazardous materials may email the Bureau of Solid Waste Management at or call 410-887-2000.

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Centers

All three Baltimore County drop-off centers accept selected household hazardous waste throughout the year, though the full-service site at the Central Acceptance Facility accepts the widest range of materials. The Bureau of Solid Waste Management maintains a comprehensive directory of the various materials accepted at each drop-off center.

Central Acceptance Facility

Located in the Cockeysville area.

Accepted materials:

  • Household paints (maximum of 20 gallons per visit)
  • Household chemicals
  • Cooking oil
  • Pesticides
  • Motor oil, anti-freeze and gasoline
  • Mercury thermometers and thermostats
  • Fluorescent light bulbs (limit of 10 bulbs per delivery per day)
  • Rechargeable batteries

Eastern Sanitary Landfill and Western Acceptance Facility

Located in the White Marsh and Halethorpe areas, respectively.

Accepted materials:

  • Motor oil and anti-freeze
  • Gasoline (at the Eastern Sanitary Landfill only)
  • Mercury thermometers and thermostats
  • Fluorescent light bulbs (limit of 10 bulbs per delivery per day)
  • Rechargeable batteries

Recycling or Disposal of Latex Paint

  1. Residents may take unwanted latex paint (maximum of 20 gallons per visit) to the County's full-service household hazardous waste drop-off location.
  2. Small amounts of latex paints can also be disposed of with regular household trash if a few simple steps are taken:
  • Make sure the paint cans are empty or the contents have solidified before placing latex paints into the garbage can.
  • Latex paint can be solidified in the paint can by removing the lid, stirring in an absorbent material such as cat litter or saw dust, and placing the open can out in the sunlight to dry. This should be done in a safe, well-ventilated area away from children and pets.
  • The lid should be removed from the paint can so that the garbage collector can see that there is no liquid inside.
  • Care should be taken to avoid overloading your garbage can with latex paint cans beyond the 40 pound weight limit regulation, or overloading individual garbage bags beyond 30 pounds (to prevent bag breakage).
  • Oil based (alkyd) paints may be flammable and should not be disposed of through the routine garbage collection system.

Disposal of Unwanted Medication

  1. The Baltimore County Department of Health and the Baltimore County Police Department have initiated a drug "take back" program in the County. Residents may anonymously and safely dispose of unwanted and expired drugs 24 hours a day, seven days a week at drug drop-off boxes located outside of all 10 Baltimore County police precincts. Additional information about this program is available online from the Department of Health.
  2. Unwanted and expired medication can also be disposed of with regular household trash if a few simple steps are taken:
  • Take the medicines out of their original containers and mix with an unpalatable material such as used cat litter or used coffee grounds (as a deterrent to consumption).
  • Conceal or remove any personal information, including prescription number, on the empty containers by covering with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching the personal information off.
  • Put the mixture into a plastic bag with a seal or a disposable container with a lid.
  • Place the sealed container and empty medicine containers into the trash can.

Do not flush unwanted medicines down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so. 

For an updated list of drugs that should be flushed, please call the United States Food and Drug Administration at 1-888-463-6332.

Some pharmacies in Baltimore County will accept prescription drugs for proper disposal. For an updated list, please visit the National Community of Pharmacists Association.

Recycling of Rechargeable Batteries

Batteries that fall into the “rechargeable” category include lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, nickel-cadmium and lead acid (car and boat batteries). Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in household electronics, toys, handheld power tools and appliances. These batteries should not be placed in household trash or single stream recycling. Disposing of these items in the trash or recycling can lead to fires in collection trucks and County facilities, damaging equipment and endangering workers.

For proper disposal, rechargeable batteries may be brought to any of the County’s three drop-off facilities to be recycled. Many retailers also accept these items for recycling; a list of local drop-off sites can be found at or on the Call2Recycle website.

“Regular” alkaline batteries (such as AA, AAA, etc.) are not hazardous and may safely be disposed of in the trash. As a precaution, you may place a piece of tape over the battery terminals before disposal.

Revised July 28, 2022         


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