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Table of Contents

Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Programs
Electronic Waste Management
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs- What Consumers Need to Know
Prescription Drug Disposal
Ohio EPA Fact Sheets and Brochures
Helpful Web Sites
U.S. EPA Pollution Prevention Information

Kids Pollution Prevention (P2)


Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Programshazard1

If you are a homeowner, you probably have old cans of paint, paint remover, garden chemicals and other hazardous household materials that you no longer want stored in your garage or basement. How do you get rid of this stuff? Your local solid waste management district (SWMD) may have a solution for you. Many SWMDs hold household hazardous waste (HHW) collection events. If you live in a SWMD that has a collection program, you can take your old chemicals and other nasty stuff to the collection site for free. Check out the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Events schedule for more details. If you live in a county that is part of a SWMD that is listed, call the phone number provided to find out when and where to take your HHW and what materials will and won't be accepted. You can also call Ohio EPA at (614) 644-2621 for information on how to dispose of your HHW safely.

The Organization of Solid Waste Districts of Ohio maintains a web site with contact names, numbers, and web links to SWMDs.

DSIWM also maintains a list that includes SWMD district coordinators.

Ohio EPA maintains an electronic question and answer service called “The Answer Place.” You can click on Frequently Asked Questions about Household Hazardous Waste to find answers to frequently asked questions about household hazardous waste.


Electronic Waste Management

What is E-Waste?

Electronic waste or "e waste" is a term used to describe old, end-of-life electronic appliances and devices. Examples of "e waste" include:

    Computers; hhca126j
    Fax machines and copiers;
    Television sets;
    Stereo/audio equipment;
    Phones (including cell phones);
    Personal digital assistants (PDAs);
    Game consoles; and
    Electronics from industrial sources.

Why is E-Waste a Problem?

As we become more dependent on electronic products to make life more convenient, the stockpile of used, obsolete products grows. The National Safety Council projects that nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in the next five years and mobile phones will be discarded at a rate of 130 million per year by 2005. "eCycling" is reusing or recycling of these consumer electronics.

Computer monitors and older TV picture tubes contain an average of four pounds of lead. In addition to lead, electronics can contain chromium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, nickel, zinc, and brominated flame retardants. When electronics are not disposed of or recycled properly, these toxic materials can present problems.

Why Should We Recycle E-Waste?

Extending the life of your electronics or donating your most up-to-date and working electronics can save you money and saves valuable resources. Safely recycling outdated electronics can promote the safe management of hazardous components and supports the recovery and reuse of valuable materials (U.S. EPA e-Cycling Web Site).


Electronic equipment is used by almost everyone and advances in technology result in newer equipment continually becoming available for home use. As our old electronic equipment becomes outdated, it is important that we think carefully about reusing and recycling materials, instead of just throwing equipment in landfills. The Electronic Equipment from Your Home fact sheet helps you make the best decisions about what to do with your old electronic equipment. The Electronic Industries Alliance and Earth 911 Web sites also identify electronic equipment recyclers in many areas around the country.

OCAPP maintains an Electronics Waste Management Web site at: http://www.epa.state.oh.us/ocapp/p2/mercury_pbt/e-waste.html

Electronics Collection Events

Many electronic items are recyclable, but the problem is finding a place to take them. Your local solid waste management district (SWMD) may be able to help you. Several SWMDs offer electronics collection events. These SWMDs along with contact information are listed in the Electronics Collection Events schedule below for more details. If you live in a SWMD that isn't listed, there may be a local outlet for your electronics equipment.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs- What Consumers Need to KnowFluorescentBulbCcartoon_cut

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) are small fluorescent light bulbs that use up to 75 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb and can be screwed into a regular light socket. Switching from traditional light bulbs to CFLs is an effective, accessible change every American can make right now to reduce energy use at home and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.

Lighting accounts for close to 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill. Changing to CFLs costs little upfront and provides a quick return on investment. If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, it would save enough energy to light more than three million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars annually.

As consumers look for ways to conserve energy and help the environment, use of these light bulbs is increasing. Unfortunately, some of the properties that make these bulbs energy-efficient can also cause concerns in other areas. Ohio EPA developed this web page http://www.epa.state.oh.us/pic/cfl_info.html and associated fact sheet in an effort to increase the public’s awareness of these issues, and ensure that consumers have information they need to make an informed decision about the use and ultimate disposal of CFLs.


Prescription Drug Disposalnwagg016

What is the proper disposal method for expired, unused, or excess prescription drugs from the home? This issue of drug disposal is gaining recent attention, given some studies that have been done on water contamination from flushing drugs down the drain. From a regulatory standpoint, personal medications disposed of from a home are not regulated by Ohio EPA as a hazardous waste.

This means that our regulations do not prohibit homeowners from throwing medications in the trash along with their regular solid waste. We usually recommend, however, that homeowners also contact the State Board of Pharmacy for any guidance they have on proper drug disposal. They may have specific guidelines for you to be aware of, depending on the nature of the medication (e.g. controlled substance, etc.). Their Web site is at http://pharmacy.ohio.gov/. In addition, there are some other options that may also be available for managing these materials.

Not many Ohio communities or solid waste management districts (SWMDs) have established disposal events or programs for households. However, a few SWMDs accept medications at their household waste collection events. At this time, the only ones that we are aware of are the Butler, Hamilton and Miami County Solid Waste Management Districts. But it is possible that in the future it will become less difficult to dispose of household medications because the issue has drawn a lot of attention over the last year or so. Citizens should be sure to contact their local SWMDs to find out if they have pharmaceutical collection programs. A listing of SWMD collection events and contact information is available on our Web site (Division of Solid and Infectious Waste Management) at www.epa.state.oh.us/dsiwm/document/general/recycle_hhw_events.pdf.

It might also be possible that a local pharmacy or hospital near you would take the medications for disposal. Again, we are not aware of specific locations that may be doing this, but it may be worth a few calls to find out. There are certain drugs that the FDA advises should be flushed, including prescription narcotics and other potentially dangerous drugs. More information on this, including a list of medications, is available through the Office of National Drug Policy Web site at http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/factsht/proper_disposal.html. They also have additional information on safely disposing of drugs if take back programs and other options aren’t available.

For more information, we also recommend you also visit U.S. EPA’s Web site on pharmaceuticals at http://www.epa.gov/ppcp/.

Ohio EPA Fact Sheets and Brochures

The following fact sheets and brochures from the Ohio EPA are available to help you manage your household waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

Home Pollution Prevention - Ohio EPA Brochure

A Guide to Safe Management of Household Hazardous Waste - Ohio EPA Brochure

Disposal Tips for Household Generated “Sharps” - Ohio EPA Fact Sheet

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs - What Consumers Need to Know - Ohio EPA Fact Sheet

Handling Used Oil from Your Home - OCAPP Fact Sheet

Handling Gasoline, Kerosene, Diesel Oil and Heating Oil from Your Home - OCAPP FACT Sheet

Household Batteries - OCAPP Fact Sheet

Lead-Acid Batteries Generated from the Home - OCAPP Fact Sheet

Mercury in the Household - OCAPP Fact Sheet

Pesticides - OCAPP Fact Sheet

Storing and Disposing of Paint from Your Home - OCAPP Fact Sheet

Electronic Equipment from Your Home... Don’t Just Throw it Away - OCAPP Fact Sheet

Junk Mail Reduction - Ohio EPA Fact Sheet


Earth 911: Recycling Hotline: Earth 911 - By simply typing in your zip code, this hotline helps you locate recycling centers in your community "for all types of recyclables."

Freecycle: A grassroots and non-profit movement of people giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

FreeSharing: Free recycling of your unwanted items. The sites are all locally owned, grassroots groups helping their neighbors and the environment by keeping usable items out of the landfill by passing them along to people who can use them.

Energy Star: ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. This voluntary labeling program is designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors, office equipment, residential heating and cooling equipment and home electronics are included in the program. EPA has also extended the label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

Junk Mail Reduction



U.S. EPA Pollution Prevention Information


Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle - Learn the 3 R's of environmental protection, and how to put them into practice.

Recycling - This document provides an overview of recycling including what is in our trash and steps you can take to recycle at home.

Electronic Recycling

Plug In To eCycling - Learn about the many benefits of recycling electronics and view some important statistics.

Where Can I Donate or Recycle My Old Computer and Other Electronic Products? These Web sites and organizations can provide information on opportunities for donating and recycling computers and other electronics.

Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste - This page describes the steps that people can take to reduce the amount of household hazardous waste they generate and to ensure that those wastes are safely stored, handled and disposed of.

Energy Conservation

Residential Energy Efficiency - This downloadable computer program teaches effective ways to reduce home energy consumption and allows users to calculate how much they will save by making their homes more energy efficient.

Your Back Yard

Your Yard and Clean Air - This PDF document provides tips on how you can prevent pollution in your own backyard by adopting practices that will help protect the environment.

Citizens Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety - This PDF document teaches consumers how to control pests in and around the home, alternatives to chemical pesticides, how to choose pesticides, and how to use, store, and dispose of them safely. It also discusses how to reduce exposure when others use pesticides, how to prevent pesticide poisoning and how to handle an emergency, how to choose a pest control company, and what to do if someone is poisoned by a pesticide.

Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment - This guide is about "caring for your lawn in an environmentally friendly way".

How To Use Insect Repellents Safely - There are several factors involved in choosing an insect repellant; this page can help you make a safer choice.

Pesticide Health and Safety Fact Sheets - These fact sheets include information such as safety precautions in applying pesticides to control mosquitoes, product recalls and EPA's process for protecting the public from pesticide residues in food, including the special efforts taken to protect infants and children. 

Pesticide Safety Tips - Read these tips for safer pest control.

Lawn and Garden and Tips for a Waste-Free Lawn and Garden - Learn about many things you can do to reduce waste and conserve resources from caring for you lawn and garden equipment, to greenscaping.

Greenscaping - EPA's GreenScapes Program can show you how to reduce the environmental impacts of landscaping your lawn and property by grasscycling, mulching, and composting.

Protecting Pets - Learn how to protect your pets from pests and potential pesticide risks by following product label directions and understanding the precautions.

Water Conservation

Residential Water Conservation Techniques -This downloadable computer program shows effective ways to save water inside and outside the house and allows users to calculate how much they will save by installing water efficient devices in their homes.

Reducing Solid Waste

Consumer's Handbook For Reducing Solid Waste - Reusing products is just one way to cut down on what we throw away. This Web site outlines many practical steps to reduce the amount and toxicity of garbage. 


Make Less Waste-How You Can Help the Environment: A coloring book about reducing waste and preventing pollution.

Books For Children: Recommended reading list from Ohio EPA’s Public Interest Center to help children understand the environment.

Simon’s Kid Zone: Looking for environmental resources for children? Visit Simon's Kids Zone at Ohio EPA.

U.S. EPA Student Center: Discover the world of things we leave behind. Our waste, garbage, junk, trash, and glop must go somewhere. Reducing, reusing and recycling will help us restore and protect our environment.

Recycle City: This web site is a project of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 9 office in San Francisco.

Contact OCAPP for more infomation.


page last updated: November 25, 2008


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