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Household Hazardous Waste Disposal
What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?

Many products used around the home contain hazardous ingredients and need to be used and stored safely. These products include non-water-based paint, stain and varnish, motor oil, cleaning solvents, pesticides, weed killers, antifreeze, rechargeable batteries, gasoline, aerosol cans, waxes, and wood preservative. Once these products are no longer needed, they become HHW that requires proper disposal. See a more comprehensive list.

HHW should never be poured onto the ground or gutter because it will wash into the storm drains. Water in the storm drains flows directly into the streams, and this can result in the pollution of surface water, groundwater, and wildlife habitat. Such wastes should not be flushed into septic systems or into the sewer drains because this may kill the active bacteria in the wastewater processes.

Proper Disposal

Broomfield residents have two options for disposal of HHW. First, the City and County of Broomfield typically hosts two one-day drop-off events each year—one in the spring and one in the fall.

Broomfield residents are also welcome to use the year-round permanent Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF) in Boulder. There is no charge to the individual for this service. A driver's license or other proof of residency is required. Boulder County operates the program. Please note that the HMMF does not accept electronic waste.

The facility is regularly open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. The facility is not open on public holidays. Reusable products are available FREE OF CHARGE to the public during regular hours of operation.

Residents should call the HMMF at 720.564.2251 for closure information before delivering any waste.

To get more information on the Household Hazardous Waste Program, call the Boulder County Resource Conservation Division at 720.564.2220.

Important Update About Electronic Waste Disposal

As of July 1, 2013, Colorado residents are no longer able to dispose of most electronic waste (e-waste) in household trash because of the new Electronic Recycling Jobs Act. The new law bans landfills from accepting e-waste.

The Act applies to televisions, CPUs, computer monitors and peripherals, printers and fax machines, laptops and notebook computers, DVD players, VCRs, and all video display devices with screens larger than four inches, radios, stereo equipment, and video game consoles.

Several big-box retail electronics and office supply stores will take old items off your hands at no charge, and no purchase is necessary. Talk with retailers or check their websites to see who offers this service. Some limitations may apply.

What should I do with my leftover paint?
More options are now available for safely disposing of unused paint. Read on. . .

Household Battery Disposal
  • Alkaline batteries come in many sizes (AA, AAA, C, 9V). Prior to the early 1990’s, manufacturers added mercury and cadmium to alkaline batteries, making them unsafe for landfill disposal. The majority of alkaline batteries today are non-hazardous and can be safely disposed with household trash. Older alkaline batteries should be brought to the HHW collection event. (downloadable battery information sheet)
  • Button batteries often contain metals and other hazardous ingredients and should be returned to the manufacturer when purchasing a new battery. Many shops that replace watch and hearing aid batteries accept batteries for recycling at no charge. Button batteries can also be brought to a HHW collection event.
  • Lithium batteries should be recycled. Again, exchange lithium batteries at the time of replacement purchase or deliver them to a HHW collection event.
  • Rechargeable batteries are environmentally preferable because they last longer and can be easily recycled. However, they contain Nickel and Cadmium and will be clearly marked with the words "nickel and/or cadmium. These should be recycled. Exchange them at the time of replacement purchase or bring them to a collection event. 
  • Car/motorcycle batteries contain lead and acid and must be recycled. Many businesses allow you to trade-in your old battery to avoid a fee (core charge). Lead-acid batteries can pose serious dangers if disposed of with the household trash and should not enter the landfill. They may also be delivered to a HHW collection event.

Is it true that Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL's) should not go in the trash?

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL's) contain a small amount of mercury and therefore should not be disposed of in your household trash. Check with the retailer where you purchase the CFL's to see if they offer a recycling service. You can also dispose of these as you would other HHW materials, either at Broomfield's HHW events scheduled in early May or early October each year, or at the Boulder HMMF.

Tips to help reduce the amount of HHW generated:

READ LABELS: Read and follow directions carefully!

THINK SMALL: Use the correct amount of product recommended. For example, with pesticide use, twice as much is not twice as effective and may be twice as toxic!

NON-TOXIC ALTERNATIVES: Purchase the least toxic product available. Danger, Caution, Warning, Harmful, Poison, Toxic, Corrosive, Volatile, Flammable, Inflammable, Combustible or Explosive—these words should alert you to the hazardous nature of the product. Choose water-based products over solvent-based ones. Avoid aerosols if you can. Avoid products containing chlorinated compounds, petroleum distillates, phenols and formaldehyde.

STORE PROPERLY: Always store products in their original containers with labels. Store unsafe products away from small children and pets.

DON’T MIX: Some household products, when mixed, can form dangerous fumes or may become explosive. Never mix anything with products containing chlorine or ammonia.

PLAN AHEAD: Buy only what you need to avoid or minimize waste. Don’t be tempted to buy a gallon if you only need a cup. Think about how you are going to dispose of any materials you have left over. Give leftover products to a responsible neighbor or friend who can use it up rather than throwing it out.

Boulder Facility Accepts HHW Year-Round

Broomfield residents can take their household hazardous wastes* to the Boulder County Hazardous Materials Management Facility year round! There is no charge for this service. The facility is located at 1901 63rd St., immediately west of the Boulder County Recycling Center. It is open Wednesday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call the facility at 720.564.2251 for more information.

*Electronic waste is NOT accepted at this facility.

If you have additional questions or need more information, please call Shirley Garcia, Environmental Coordinator for Broomfield, at 303.438.6329, email her, or contact the Boulder County Resource Conservation Division at 720.564.2220.