How Much Does Hazardous Waste Disposal Cost?

Written by: Staff

Hazard waste poses substantial threats to our public health and the environment, and if any waste that’s deemed hazardous needs to be disposed of, local cities require you either use the city’s special facilities or a third-party.

Household hazardous waste disposal by U.S. Army Environmental Command, on Flickr
Household hazardous waste disposal” (CC BY 2.0) by U.S. Army Environmental Command

How much does hazardous waste disposal cost?

The cost of hazardous waste disposal will depend on your city, the type of item be disposed of and the amount you have.  Many cities will have local facilities that may offer hazardous waste drop-offs for its residents, while other municipalities may special days held throughout the year for its residents.  For instance, Gilbert, Arizona, a 4,000 square foot facility is opened to its residents.  Here, they accept many hazardous items such as adhesives, fuel, batteries, cooking oil, light bulbs, paint, pool chemicals and more.  Keep in mind these facilities will have a set limit, and if you go over, some cities may charge additional fees.  Some cities may also have facilities but may charge by the pound, even if you’re a resident.  Refer to the table below to see what a city may charge.

Indiana University claims costs can range anywhere from $0.79 per pound up to $25 per pound for different substances.

If you need a professional company to transport hazardous waste from your facility, it could cost $45 to $65 per drum.  This will all depend on the company you choose, the volume, how often you use the service and the geographical region. breaks down the costs involved in getting rid of hazardous waste.

Type of Hazardous WastePrice (per pound)
Acids$2 to $4
Aerosol Cans$2 to $4
Alkaline/Heavy Duty Batteries$1 to $3
Antifreeze$0.10 to $0.40
Compact Fluorescent Bul$1 to $3
Flammable Liquid$1 to $2
Flammable Solid$6 to $8
Latex Paint$5 to $15 per 100 pounds
Lead-Acid/Rechargeable Batteries$0.10 to $0.50
Lighters$8 to $10
Lithium or Button Cell Batteries$6 to $10
Mercury Thermometers$0.25 to $0.50 each
Naphthalene$6 to $9
Oil-based Paints and Stains$10 to $20 per 100 pounds
Oxidizers$2 to $4
Peroxides$6 to $9
Pesticides/Poisons$2 to $4
Roof Tar$1 to $2
Used Motor Oil$0.10 to $0.50

Hazardous waste disposal overview

Local facilities will be able to dispose of the following hazardous materials: antifreeze, automotive fluids, motor oil, gasoline, batteries, light bulbs, household cleaners, items with mercury, paint products, garden chemicals, sharp medical items, electronics, propane, aerosols, spray paint cans, refrigerants-containing appliances, ammunition, pesticides and swimming pool chemicals.  Hazardous waste will have the following characteristics:  ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity and will pose a substantial or potential threat to the public’s health or the environment.

Hazardous waste can be disposed of in the following ways:  by recycling, using a cement-based solidification method, waste-to-energy or via a special hazardous waste landfill.

Hazardous waste removal companies include Stericycle and Waste Management.  Most major cities will have its own recycling facility and/or pickup and drop-off services.

How to dispose of hazardous waste

First, you need to know if what you’re throwing away is, indeed, hazardous waste.  As noted above, there are four characteristics you need to look out for:  ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity.  Ignitability means it can catch on fire if the temperature is lower than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Corrosivity means it will be an acid/base and is capable of corroding.   Reactivity means the product may cause an explosion, toxic fumes or gas.  Lastly, toxicity means the waste can be fatal if ingested or absorbed.

Either contact a home pickup service or search your local area to see if there’s a facility nearby.  Usually, a search such as “your city + hazardous waste drop off” will yield some results.  With this information, you should be able to find out what they accept, when they are open and if there will be any charges.

Once you find a place that will accept your waste, bag your items separate from your normal trash and simply drop it off and pay the fee if there is one.  If the item can be recycled, such as a battery or cell phone, you may be able to find a drop off box opened 24 hours.  These boxes allow you to drop off the item and walk away.  If this is the case, bagging the item won’t be necessary.  Some items may even allow you to request a mail kit where you can simply send the item back for a company to recycle.  This is commonly done with toner cartridges.

What are the extra costs?

If the waste to be collected exceeds the minimum amount, there will be additional charges depending on the type of material.

Most companies are going to charge a minimum pick up fee if you choose to have it picked up at your home.  The transportation fee can cost $65 to $200, depending on the company.

Some waste requires special packaging.  If you do not have the special packaging, the company may charge extra for it.

How to dispose of old gas

Proper way to dispose of latex paint

How can I save money?

Check with your local recycling center or even check the back of the label to see if there are free ways to dispose the item.   Waste Management offers a search to show you local drop off locations.

As noted above, many local cities can offer free services to their residents only.  This can be at a local facility or held on special days throughout the year.

Autozone will accept used motor oil, batteries and transmission fluid.

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