Home Toxics Information
Household Special Waste
Household Special Waste or HSW, refers to a wide variety of commonly generated household chemicals and other items that can be a problem to dispose of properly. HSW includes all types of paint, varnish, paint thinner, motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, lawn and garden products, cleaning products, pool and hobby chemicals, aerosols, etc. Throwing these items into the trash can pose a health and safety risk to trash collection personnel as well as cause harm to our natural environment. The best alternative is to use up the product completely or find someone who can use the remainder of the product.
Click the +/- symbols below to view or hide detailed information.
The Mid Michigan Waste Authority operates a drop-off program for Saginaw County residents to allow for safe and proper disposal of HSW items. These one-day drop-off events are open to all Saginaw County residents free of charge, and no appointment is necessary.
Here’s how it works:
- Free of charge.
- No appointment necessary.
- Household waste only.
To participate you must:
- Be a Saginaw County resident. Proof of residency is required.
- Bring material in original labeled containers.
- Bring material in 5 gallon or smaller containers. NO barrels.
- Per Federal/State environmental law, we cannot accept business waste.
- For safety reasons, containers are not returned.
Transport your containers safely:
- Keep products in original, labeled container.
- Do NOT pour products together into one container.
- Adequately seal all containers to prevent accidental spills.
- Place the products in a box, bag or other container.
- Secure the box in the trunk or rear section of your vehicle to prevent spillage in the event of sudden stops.
Acceptable HSW Items
- Used motor oil
- Windshield washer fluid
- Cleaning products
- Lead-acid batteries
- Fluorescent bulbs
- Smoke detectors
- Drain cleaner
Lawn and Garden
- Weed killer
- Pool Chemicals
Unacceptable HSW Items
- Business wastes
- Alkaline household batteries (safe to dispose of with regular trash)
Other HSW programs
The Saginaw, Midland and Bay County Health Departments also offer HSW services. Events are by appointment only and open only to residents of the sponsoring county. For Health Department event details, call your local department:
Mercury, common in home thermometers, thermostats and fluorescent bulbs, can harm human health and the environment if spilled.
DO NOT VACUUM up any spilled mercury. Instead, follow these steps:
- Use two pieces of paper and an eyedropper to scoop up mercury droplets.
- Place mercury in a plastic or glass jar.
- Put the paper used for clean up into a plastic bag.
- Bring the plastic bag and the contained mercury to a mercury drop off day or a household hazardous waste collection day.
A free booklet detailing how to properly handle home mercury spills is available from Saginaw County Department of Public Health (SCDPH) or MMWA. SCDPH can be reached at 989-758-3686 or www.saginawpublichealth.org.
A few facts regarding mercury according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality:
- CFLs contain less mercury than thermostats, switches, etc.
- One thermostat is equivalent to 1,000 CFLs.
- HHWs programs collect far more “bulk mercury” in paint cans, jam jars, etc., than any other mercury source.
- From 2001 to 2010, Michigan HHW/Clean Sweep sites collected more than 111,634 mercury devices and 5,237 pounds of bulk, elemental mercury.
Residential mercury drop off and thermometer exchange days are offered several times each year by MMWA in partnership with the Saginaw County Department of Public Health. You can also drop off CFLs at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot stores.
The thermometer exchange program is part of The Michigan Thermometer Exchange Program funded by General Motors Corporation and Saginaw Metal Castings Operation, and endorsed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The program is managed and distributed by the Michigan Association for Local Public Health.
For more on the health hazards of mercury and what you can do to protect yourself and your family, please visit www.michigan.gov/mercury for The Michigan Department of Community Health’s Mercury Information page.
The Listings on this website do not constitute an endorsement by Mid Michigan Waste Authority. The information provided is not all inclusive and is subject to change without notice.