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PRC accepts many HHW items at our collections. This guide provides resources on:

  • How to properly recycle and/or dispose of some common household items
  • Alternate options if you can’t make it to a  Household Chemical Collection

PA DEP on Household Hazardous Waste (lots of good general information about HHW & proper disposal) 
PA DEP office locations

Local recycling information/events

Tip: Always check with local outlets to ensure availability of collection and recycling services.

Material Type

Resources Guide


Local, county or state police


Bulk item disposal—local trash collectors, municipality, scrap metal dealers.

Automotive Products

Car batteries
Advanced Auto Parts sponsors a free battery-recycling program.
Car batteries can also be returned to the seller- they are required by law to accept them.      

Motor Oil

Always check with your local automotive service suppliers regarding their policies and programs. Many will take used motor oil as long as it has not been contaminated with any other substance (such as water or other motor fluids). Additional information is available from the American Petroleum Institute. 
Information on the importance of used oil recycling from Earth911

Other Automotive Fluids

DEP Recycling Hotline: 1-800-346-4242


There are several ways to dispose of used tires properly:

  • Return them to the place of purchase or any reputable tire dealer-a fee is usually charged for this service
  • Take used tires to a local tire collection event for disposal
  • Call your county or local solid waste transfer station/landfill and ask if they accept used tires.
  • Contact your county or local recycling center 

City of Pittsburgh Tire Recycling Options

EPA on scrap tires & disposal




Household Batteries (both alkaline and nickel cadmium (rechargeable))

Rechargeable Batteries Only

Building Materials


Construction/remodeling/demolition waste—contact local landfill for disposal information.
Re-useable building materials can be donated to:

Cell phones

Tip: It’s a good idea to erase all personal information from your cell phone prior to donating.

Recycling/Donation options:

CDs & DVDs

Although recycling for CDs and DVDs is not yet widespread, there are some options available. The following organizations will recycle them free of charge if you ship them at your cost:

Check for more information.

Compressed gas cylinders (including propane tanks)



Craft Materials


Pittsburgh Center For Creative Reuse
The Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (PCCR) promotes resource conservation, creativity, and community engagement through material reuse.

E-waste (computers, TVs, DVD players, etc.)


Tip: It’s a good idea to erase all personal information from your personal computer or laptop prior to donating.


Many counties operate electronics recycling programs or know of local collections taking place throughout the year. Contact your local county coordinator for information.


Local, county or state police/bomb squad

Fire extinguishers & Flares

Local fire departments

Furniture (Gently Used)

Off the Floor (Furniture Bank of Southwest PA)
Salvation Army

General Recyclables:  Glass, Plastic, Cardboard

If curbside recycling is not available in your area, please visit for recycling options.

City of Pittsburgh Drop Offs
Waste Management MRF

Household Chemicals

PRC HHW Collections

PA HHW Collections By County
Household Products Database
Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3)

Industrial/commercial waste

Contact HHW contractor from Business-to-Business yellow pages under “Environmental Services.”

Contact local landfill or waste hauling companies for disposal information.

Light Bulbs


Incandescent Light Bulb Recycling

Fluorescent Tubes Lighting
How to manage a broken fluorescent tube
PA DEP on recycling fluorescent tubes
Due to the use of elemental mercury in fluorescent and neon fixtures and the potential exposure this represents, disposal of these tubes is of particular concern. Tubes with different colored ends may contain high levels of mercury that could leach into the environment. 

If no better options are available, residents are permitted to dispose of these tubes in their normal waste containers for landfill disposal.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
CFLs contain mercury and should be disposed of properly.

Pittsburgh, PA regional disposal outlets:

Additional information on CFLs:
Medical Supplies Global Links

Medical waste

EPA on Medical Waste Programs and Regulations

Sharps (needles, lancets, etc.)
Place in metal or impregnable plastic and seal with duct tape; the sharps or needles can then be disposed of with your household trash.

PA DEP on hazardous waste

Mercury-containing Items

Quantities of Mercury greater than those found in household thermometers and small switches should be stored in tightly sealed containers. The PA DEP will collect these quantities - call 412-442-4000 and ask for the Emergency Response Program.  This only applies to mercury from households and schools - businesses need to utilize a mercury recycler.
PA DEP on mercury thermostats



PRC HHW Collections


Latex paint is not a hazardous waste. It can be mixed with kitty litter, dried and disposed of with your household trash.

These are hazardous and should be disposed of properly. Oil-based paint can be brought to local HHW collection.



PRC HHW Collections
PA HHW Collections By County
Commonwealth Computer Recycling LLC

Growers, pesticide applicators and licensed pesticide businesses in selected Pennsylvania counties are eligible for Chemsweep Pesticide Disposal Program.

Pharmaceuticals/Prescription Drugs/Personal Care Products

The environmental impacts of and proper disposal methods for pharmaceutical and personal care products is a developing issue. Currently, PRC and its partners are able to offer pharmaceutical collection events in PA as funding allows

For more information on this subject and a link to the Federal government's current disposal guidelines, please visit the EPA's Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products website.

Product Stewardship Institute
Polystyrene Packaging Material Appliance Warehouse

Plastic Bags

Drop off locations

Radioactive Materials Call your nearest PA DEP office and ask to speak with someone in Radiation.

Smoke Detectors

General Information
Many companies will take back their obsolete smoke detectors- contact the manufacturer for details

One smoke detector per week can be placed into your home trash.

Waste Vegetable Oil


ReFuel Pittsburgh

Disclaimer: The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) has provided this information in good faith.Website addresses and other information are provided solely for convenience and ease of reference. PRC disclaims all responsibility for the content and accuracy of information available through such websites or for the continuing accuracy of website addresses, which may change over time and without notice.PRC does not make any warranty, express or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represent that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.

Information presented in this guide is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. Some of the information on this server may contain live references (or pointers) to information created and maintained by other organizations. Please note that PRC does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness or accuracy of these outside materials.

PRC welcomes suggestions on how to improve this guide and correct errors.

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