Household Hazardous Waste
Each Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection site is open one day per month from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the service is free. Waste must be dropped off only when a Household Hazardous Waste Collection vehicle is present.
Collection Site Rules
You can not leave your car and walk up to the site. You MUST remain in your car at all times for safety reasons. Mixing cars and with pedestrians potentially walking up to the collection site from any and all directions is never a good idea and when you add handling and sorting hazardous waste, it increases the safety risk for everyone.
Expect to wait if you visit before or just after a collection site opens; it is common for a line to form in the 30 minutes before a site opens. Expect to wait if you visit a site after 4 pm when many try and stop on their way home from work.
Expect extended wait times after holidays.
Please be patient if there is a line. Our staff must look at each container to ensure it is placed with compatible materials.
Only small (no larger than trunk-sized) loads are accepted at the collection sites. There are limits on certain types of waste; please see accepted materials for those limits. Larger loads or major clean-out loads must be taken to the Hazardous Waste Facility at the Ada County Landfill. The facility is open Fridays and Saturdays from 8 am to 6 pm.
HHW Collection is closed on the following holidays:
- New Year's Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas (Please note: if a collection site is open on Christmas Eve, the site will close early at 4:00 p.m.)
Do not leave items at a site when collection vehicle is not present as it creates hazardous conditions and violates Boise City Code.
What Is Household Hazardous Waste?
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) comes from products used for cleaning, home improvements, automobile maintenance, and lawn and garden care contain ingredients that can harm human health and the environment. Properly disposing of these hazardous products will keep our community safe and clean.
Items such as solvents, paint/stain/varnish, yard/garden products (including pesticides and herbicides), batteries, automotive products (including gasoline and oil), compact fluorescent light tubes, TVs, and computer monitors are considered hazardous waste.
If something is hazardous, the label will contain one of these signal words:
- Environmental Hazard
If the label contains one or more of these words, it is hazardous waste and is accepted at household hazardous waste collection sites. Do not throw hazardous waste in with your trash, recycling or compost.
Proper Lithium Battery Disposal
Did you know that improper Lithium Ion battery disposal can be a safety hazard to collection truck drivers? Lithium Ion batteries can catch fire if disposed of incorrectly.
In 2020, Boise Fire responded to a trash trailer fire at Republic Services that was caused by the improper disposal of a Lithium Ion battery.
View our disposal tips video to learn how to properly dispose of batteries and keep our collection drivers and equipment safe.
Below is a list of common battery types and how to dispose of them properly
- Alkaline - (AA, AAA, C, D)
Throw in trash cart
- Lithium (non-rechargeable) and Lithium Ion (rechargeable)
Take to a mobile HHW collection site
Take to a mobile HHW collection site or Return car and motorcycle lead-acid batteries to local battery distributors like Interstate Batteries or Sterling Batteries to receive a battery core refund
- All other battery types (e.g. zinc-carbon, silver oxide, mercury “button”)
Take to a mobile HHW collection site
For more information, call 208-608-7136
We can take up to 25 items or small loads that will easily fit into the cargo area of a small SUV or trunk of a car. Larger quantities or pickup truck-sized loads of household hazardous waste must be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility at the Ada County Landfill. If you have questions about specific materials, call the Boise Public Works Department at 208-608-7136.
- Used motor oil (max. of 25 gallons)
- Used motor oil can also be collected curbside on your regular trash pickup day. Please see the digital guide for requirements.
- Old gasoline (max. 5 gallons) - Up to 5 gallons can be poured into a 30-gallon drum at collection sites and container returned. Larger quantities must be taken to facility at landfill where there is unlimited capacity to empty containers and return.
All types (except alkaline batteries, which are not hazardous; please dispose of those in your trash)
Gas Cylinders / Propane and Helium Tanks / Camping Fuels
- Propane – Twenty-pound (BBQ size) refillable tanks and one-time use, one-pound camping style canisters
- Unused camping fuel canisters or fire starters that contain other types of fuels (ie., Gel)
- Unused solid camping fuel cubes
- Helium tanks (retail size used for parties etc…). See Industrial Compressed Gas Cylinders for larger tanks
Products Containing Mercury and Elemental Mercury
- Fluorescent light tubes and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. (LED light bulbs do not contain mercury and can be thrown in the trash.)
- Mercury thermometers
- Mercury thermostats
- Button batteries
- Antiques (barometers, clocks, mirrors, antique necklaces from Mexico)
- Containers of elemental mercury of any size (please note: mercury is heavy. Do not transport mercury in glass containers)
Paints and Stains (Max 25 Gallons)
- Latex paint and oil-based paints and stains
- Paint thinners
- Wood stains
Electronic Equipment and Small Appliances
- Computer equipment (e.g. laptops, hard drives, LCD displays, computer monitors - limit: 3)
- Televisions smaller than and including 27" with cathode ray tubes (CRTs) - limit: 2. Larger televisions and console televisions must be taken to the Recycling Area at the Ada County Landfill
- Flat Screen TVs of any size are accepted at Collection Sites and/or the Recycling Area at the Ada County Landfill
- Audio/Visual Equipment (e.g. DVDs, VCRs, camcorders, cameras, radios)
- Office Equipment (table top printers, scanners, copiers, fax machines) Larger items must be taken to the Recycling Area at the Ada County Landfill
- Cell phones
Yard and Garden
- Garden chemicals
- Pool/spa chemicals
Items Not Accepted
- Ammunition - Residents with unwanted ammunition can call Impact Guns at 208-321-1288. Location: 11655 W. Executive Drive, Boise 83713. Unwanted ammunition will be accepted with manager's approval. Note You must call and receive approval prior to arriving with your unwanted ammunition. Be prepared to provide a detailed description of the unwanted items.
- Radioactive materials
- Biomedical waste
- Electric mowers
- Console televisions ((must be taken to the Recycling Area at the Ada County Landfill)
- Tires - Accepted at Ada County Landfill for a small fee. Call 208-577-4725 for assistance.
- Paint from painting contractors, property management companies, or other businesses (see Commercial Hazardous Waste).
- Prescription drugs (Learn more about Medication Disposal)
- Commercial Hazardous Waste - Business wastes are only collected at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility.
- Compressed gas cylinders used for industrial purposes (i.e., welding) should be returned to supplier/distributor when empty.
- Oxygen cylinders used for medical purposes should be returned to the supplier/distributor when empty.
The Homebound Service assists elderly or physically challenged residents who are unable to transport their household hazardous waste and do not have readily available assistance from others to deliver their waste to an established collection site. The Homebound Service offers convenient at-home pick-up of household hazardous waste.
Please note: Staff cannot enter dwellings, storage sheds, garages, or fenced backyards. Waste must be placed where it can be seen and easily accessed from the street.
To be eligible for the program, you must meet the following criteria:
- Ada County resident
- Persons aged 18 and older
- Persons with a physical limitation or medical condition that prevents driving a vehicle
- Those persons who meet the above criteria and who do not have access to assistance from others in transporting hazardous waste to a collection site
To sign up, contact one of the following agencies:
Commercial and Businesses
Who Can Participate?
Businesses or organizations located within Ada County that are considered a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and/or generate wastes regulated under the Universal Waste Rule (e.g. fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs).
Under RCRA, VSQG must meet three conditions:
- Produce less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste each month
- Produce less than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste [as defined in 40CFR261.31, 261.32, 261.33(e)] each month
- Store no more than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste on site
Calculating How Much Waste Your Business Produces
To determine generator status, you must do the following:
- Look at all waste streams generated at your facility
- Determine which waste streams are hazardous
- Estimate the quantity of hazardous waste generated and stored each month (Use the standard of one gallon equals eight pounds to estimate total pounds.)
If your business includes more than one location, calculate quantities from each location separately. If the total amount of wastes generated at your facility is less than 220 pounds per month AND you also meet the other criteria, your business is eligible to register for the program.
Waste to Register
All wastes that fall under RCRA and the Universal Waste Rule (including fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs, and other mercury-containing devices). Electronics accepted include televisions, computers (monitor, keyboard, mouse, and CPUs), printers, fax machines, and scanners. Dental office wastes such as x-ray fixer solution and lead foils are accepted. Unused dental amalgam is accepted. However, used amalgam or teeth containing amalgam fillings is considered biomedical waste and is not accepted. Cell phones are also accepted.
Explosive, radioactive, biomedical wastes, and tires ARE NOT accepted.
Cost depends on the type of waste that is generated and is charged by the pound. Businesses are charged disposal costs only. There is no fee for electronics.
How to Register
Once your business is verified as a VSQG, call Ada County at 208-577-4736 and get an application, certification, and inventory report form.
Where to Take Waste
Business waste is accepted each Friday at the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility located at Ada County Landfill. Business wastes are accepted by appointment only. Each business is responsible for the safe transport of their wastes to the facility. Business wastes are NOT accepted at Boise City, Eagle, Kuna, or Meridian mobile collection sites.
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