Household Hazardous Waste Program

Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) come from everyday products used in the home, yard, or garden. Oil-based paints, solvents, auto products, antifreeze, pesticides, gas, and household cleaners are just a few examples.  NRPC holds HHW Collections to allow residents to properly dispose of these products. 

By definition, household hazardous waste is corrosive, flammable, toxic, or reactive.  When you are purchasing household products, be sure to read the labels carefully and avoid items with any of these properties.  

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Corrosive substances will destroy or irreversibly damage other substances they come in contact with. They can damage eyes, skin, and tissue, with exposure resulting in chemical burns. Inhalation or ingestion can damage the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.

Look at the Label
Words such as “causes severe burns on contact” or “can burn eyes, skin, throat” indicate a product is corrosive.

Flammable substances can burn or ignite, causing fire. Solids, liquids, and gases can all be flammable. Flammable materials should never be used or stored near sources of heat, flame, sparks, static discharge, or in unventilated areas.

Look at the Label
Words such as “don’t use near heat or flame,” “combustible,” and “do not smoke near this product” indicate a product is flammable.

Toxic substances are capable of causing injury or death through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption. Many household cleaning products are toxic. In fact, cleaning products were responsible for almost 10% of all toxic exposures reported to Poison Control Center in 2000.

Look at the Label
Words such as “harmful or fatal if swallowed” or “use only in well ventilated areas” indicate a product is toxic.

Reactive substances can spontaneously ignite or create poisonous vapors when mixed with other products. They can also explode when exposed to heat, light, sudden shock, or pressure.

Look at the Label
Fortunately, with the exception of fireworks, most current consumer products are not reactive. The word reactive will likely appear on the label.


Why Participate?

When hazardous waste is improperly disposed of — in the trash, on the ground, down the sink, or into a storm drain — it poses a threat to water quality, human health, and wildlife. Household toxins may also injure humans and animals if they are exposed to these chemicals due to careless storage and handling.

Improperly handled electronic waste can pose human and environmental risk of exposure to lead and mercury.  Furthermore, electronics can be recycled for valuable metal, plastic, and glass.  For these reasons, New Hampshire is taking steps to keep certain electronics out of the solid waste stream. The disposal of video display devices in solid waste landfills or incinerators is prohibited under RSA 149-M:4.

Participating is Easy!

Watch "All About Town," a Pelham Community Television show with host Selectman Bill McDevitt.  This episode features a trip to a Household Hazardous Waste collection in Nashua, organized by the Nashua Regional Planning Commission. You'll see just how easy it is to participate: