How to recycle Household Hazardous Waste

Did you know that nail varnish is considered Household Hazardous waste and shouldn’t be disposed of in any of your kerbside bins? No, neither did we! So, we’ve listed more household items that need specialist disposal (and where you can take them).

May 19, 2022

Household hazardous waste (HHW) refers to the products used in and around the home that are flammable, toxic, explosive or corrosive. If not disposed of correctly, HHW can pose a threat to health and the environment. The Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program has nine metropolitan facilities where you can drop off unwanted household chemicals free of charge. 

To find your local collection facility, go to:

Items that can be dropped off include:

  • Acids such as brick cleaners, stain removers and pool chemicals
  • Cleaning products & pool chemicals
  • Aerosol cans
  • Batteries
  • Engine coolants
  • Fertilisers
  • Non-Halon fire extinguishers (red)
  • Flares Light bulbs & fluorescent tubes
  • Gas cylinders
  • Hair dyes
  • Nail polish
  • Paint & varnish – all types plus paint stripper, paint thinner, paint containers, turpentine
  • Petrol & flammable liquid
  • Chemicals & poisons such as insecticides, herbicides, weed killers, cockroach baits, rat poison
  • Shoe polish
  • Smoke alarms

Most HHW facilities will accept 'unknown chemicals' if they are in a secure, sealed, chemical-resistant container.

Domestic waste only and a limit of 20kg or litres per material type applies.

Alternative recycling solutions for some Household HazardousWaste items:


How to dispose of leftover paint


How to recycle light bulbs


How to recycle household batteries

The following waste materials are NOT covered under the HHWProgram:

Safety tips for transporting household hazardous waste

It is important to take the following precautions when transporting household hazardous wastes:

  • Handle HHW carefully - avoid direct contact with your skin and wear gloves.
  • Place hazardous waste containers in plastic tubs or trays to capture any spills or leaks.
  • Keep corrosive chemicals away from poisons.
  • Place containers in the corner of your boot and pack the sides so they will not tip or roll around.
  • If transporting in a hatch back car keep at least one window open for ventilation.
  • If possible, do not transport hazardous wastes with children or animals in the car.
  • Double wrap old containers in leak-proof plastic bags.
  • At the hazardous waste depot ask depot staff for help to remove your HHW from the car.
  • If you any HHW without a label but you know the contents –add a note to the container.
  • Tell depot staff of any containers with unknown contents.


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