Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste can be harmful to humans or the environment if not disposed of properly.
Category 1 and 2 materials, as described below, can be recycled at any convenience center in the appropriate container. Hanover County holds semi-annual events to collect other hazardous waste listed at the end of this section.
Household Hazardous Waste Receptacles

Category 1

Place in Category 1 Waste Drum

  • Cooking oil
  • Gasoline
  • Gasoline/Oil additives
  • Mineral spirits
  • Primers
  • Shellac
  • Solvents
  • Stains/Tints
  • Thinners
  • Turpentine
  • Varnish

Note: Paints can be solidified and placed in household trash

Category 2

Place in Oil Tank

  • Diesel
  • Kerosene
  • Gear oil
  • Hydraulic oil
  • Motor oil
  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission fluid

Place in Appropriate Drums

  • Antifreeze
  • Oil filters

Collected Semi-Annually at Earth Day and America Recycles Events

  • Corrosives
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Flammables
  • Aerosols
  • Pool/hot tub chemicals
  • Household cleaners
  • Acids
  • Oil based paints

Other Hazardous Waste

First Choice: Drug Take-Back Events

To dispose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, call Hanover County Department of Public Works and ask if a drug take-back program is scheduled with the Sheriff. The event is where prescription and over-the-counter drugs are accepted at a central location for proper disposal.

Second Choice for Household Drug Disposal Steps

  • Don't: Flush expired or unwanted prescription and over-the counter drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.
  • Do: Return unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs to a drug take-back program or follow the steps for household disposal below.
    1. Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
    2. Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
    3. Put the mixture into a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine tub, or into a sealable bag.
    4. The sealed container with the drug mixture, and the empty drug containers, can now be placed in the trash.
    5. Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers by covering it with permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.

Management of Household Sharps


  • Carefully discard household sharps directly into an empty, non-leaking, opaque container with a high degree of puncture resistance. Commercially sold containers specifically designed to hold household sharps OR homemade sharps containers made from rigid, heavy-duty plastic (such as detergent or bleach bottles, or similar materials) are allowable.
  • Seal the container with a tight-fitting lid or screw cap. Wrap heavy-duty tape around the lid or cap of homemade household sharps containers.
  • DO NOT place household sharps in glass containers, two-liter or smaller plastic soda bottles, milk jugs, aluminum soda cans, or similar items, as these materials are breakable (in the case of glass) or could easily be punctured by the contents.
  • DO NOT attempt to overfill household sharps containers. FDA-cleared household sharps containers are typically marked with a line that recommends filling the container to approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of the volume of the container for safety purposes.


  • Use indelible ink to label the container to indicate that the contents include household sharps and should not be recycled. "DO NOT RECYCLE - HOUSEHOLD SHARPS," "HOME GENERATED SHARPS," or similar text should be used.
  • The label and information provided on the label should be in LARGE, clearly legible print.
  • Commercially sold, FDA-cleared, household sharps containers are often pre-labeled with the biological hazard symbol and red in color. Household sharps packaged in these containers meet the regulatory exclusion as long as the label CLEARLY indicates that the sharps were generated by a household and not by a professional health care service provider.


  • Place in specially marked red containers at all Convenience Centers.
  • DO NOT place household sharps or household sharps containers in recycling bins.
  • DO NOT place loose needles or other household sharps directly into trash cans, trash bags, red biological hazard bags, or public or private solid waste receptacles.
  • DO NOT flush household sharps down the toilet.