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Frequently Asked Questions
User Fees = $15 per vehicle, for up to 10 gallons or 20 pounds of hazardous waste.
If you bring more than 10 gallons or 20 pounds you will be asked to pay an additional fee.
We accept cash or check. Please make your hazardous waste check payable to "NRSWMD."
Carpooling is encouraged. If you and your neighbors collectively have less than 10 gallons or 20 pounds of materials and you carpool in one vehicle, you’ll only be charged $15.00 total.
*Note: User fees apply to residential customers only. Businesses participating in the Small Quantity Generator program will be charged directly by our hazardous waste vendor based on materials and volumes. Pre-registration is required at least 2 weeks in advance. See FAQ: "Who Can Participate" for more information.
What is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)?
By definition, household hazardous waste is corrosive, flammable, toxic, or reactive. When you are purchasing household products, be sure to read the labels carefully and avoid items with any of these properties.
Corrosive substances will destroy or irreversibly damage other substances they come in contact with. They can damage eyes, skin, and tissue, with exposure resulting in chemical burns. Inhalation or ingestion can damage the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
Look at the Label
Words such as “causes severe burns on contact” or “can burn eyes, skin, throat” indicate a product is corrosive.
Flammable substances can burn or ignite, causing fire. Solids, liquids, and gases can all be flammable. Flammable materials should never be used or stored near sources of heat, flame, sparks, static discharge, or in unventilated areas.
Look at the Label
Words such as “don’t use near heat or flame,” “combustible,” and “do not smoke near this product” indicate a product is flammable.
Toxic substances are capable of causing injury or death through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption. Many household cleaning products are toxic. In fact, cleaning products were responsible for almost 10% of all toxic exposures reported to Poison Control Center in 2000.
Look at the Label
Words such as “harmful or fatal if swallowed” or “use only in well ventilated areas” indicate a product is toxic.
Reactive substances can spontaneously ignite or create poisonous vapors when mixed with other products. They can also explode when exposed to heat, light, sudden shock, or pressure.
Look at the Label
Fortunately, with the exception of fireworks, most current consumer products are not reactive. The word reactive will likely appear on the label.
These products often have one or more of the following properties:
- Flammable: easily ignited or set on fire
- Corrosive/Caustic: can cause burns or destroy living tissue through contact
- Explosive: may explode if exposed to heat or pressure
- Toxic: may cause injury or death if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through skin
When no substitute product is available, purchase only the quantity of product that you need to complete the job at hand. If you end up with leftover product despite your best intentions, donate it to a friend, relative, or community group that might need the item for their own purpose.
Who Can Participate?
Residents of Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, Nashua, Pelham, and Windham can participate in any of NRPC's Household Hazardous Waste collection events.
For residents outside of these communities, please refer to the NH Department of Environmental Services listing of the household hazardous waste collections taking place throughout the state.
Small quantity business generators are eligible to participate in the Nashua Region Household Hazardous Waste program. Please read the following carefully to determine if your business is eligible.
Is my business a Small Quantity Generator?
Your business is a small quantity generator (SQG) if it generates in each and every calendar month:
- Less than 100 kilograms or 220 pounds of non-acute hazardous waste;
- Less than 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of an acutely hazardous waste; or
- Less than 100 kilograms or 220 pounds of any residue or contaminated soil, waste, or other debris resulting from the cleanup of a spill of any acutely hazardous waste.
If you have questions about whether your business is a SQG, please contact NH Dept. of Environmental Services Small Quantity Generator Program.
If your business qualifies as a small quantity generator, please read this fact sheet about participating in a household hazardous waste collection event.
What will it cost to participate?
Businesses participating in the Household Hazardous Waste program will be charged directly by the hazardous waste vendor. Costs are based on the type and quantity of waste you are disposing of. The Nashua Regional Planning Commission does not set pricing for business participants.
How do I register to attend an event?
SQG business participants must contact Emma Rearick (603.417.6570 x 6578 or email@example.com) at least 2 weeks prior to the event to pre-register. This will allow time for you to obtain the proper paperwork and information needed to participate. If you arrive at a collection event without pre-registering you will not be able to participate.
What Can I Bring?
- Fluorescent Tubes & Bulbs -- click for pricing on 2-8ft fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs are universal waste and some transfer stations accept these items from their residents. Please check here to determine if you can recycle them at your local transfer station instead of bringing them to a HHW collection.
|Fluorescent Bulb Pricing/Invoice
For large quantities of bulbs, use this form.
- Household Batteries -- we do NOT accept automotive batteries. Read our Battery Guide to learn which batteries are accepted. Please check here to determine if you can recycle certain batteries at your local transfer station.
- Oil-based Paint & other finishes -- stains, lacquer, shellac, urethane, varnish, wood preservatives. We do NOT accept latex paint.
- Lead Paint
- Solvents & Thinners -- paint thinner, acetone, brush cleaner, mineral spirits, strippers
- Automotive Products -- brake and transmission fluids, car wax. We do NOT accept automotive batteries.
- Antifreeze -- antifreeze is a universal waste and some transfer stations accept antifreeze from their residents. Please check here to determine if you can recycle antifreeze at your local transfer station instead of bringing it to a HHW collection.
- Fuels -- gasoline, kerosene, camping fuel, butane, lamp oil, used cooking oil
- Cleaning Solutions -- ammonia, bleach, all purpose cleaners, metal polishes, oven cleaner, drain cleaner
- Pesticides & other Garden Chemicals -- fertilizer, weed killer, rodent killers
- Adhesives -- glue, caulk, solvent-based cement & silicone
- Photo Chemicals -- photo fix, developer
- Pool Chemicals
- Aerosols -- spray paint, over cleaner
- Mercury Containing Devices -- thermostats, thermometers, switches. Please check here to determine if you can recycle mercury devices at your local transfer station instead of bringing them to a HHW collection.
- Driveway Sealer
- Creosote -- liquid only, no wood or other materials covered in creosote
- Electronics -- Due to fluctuations in the recycling market, we are suspending our electronics recycling program until further notice. Please contact your local transfer station or landfill for information about how to recycle electronics in your municipality.
- Latex Paint -- Latex paint is not accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collections. Click here for information on disposing of latex paint.
- Fire Extinguishers -- Return free of charge to ASAP Fire Company, 90 Progress Avenue, Tyngsboro MA 01879, phone: 978-649-4945
- Ionizing Smoke Detectors -- Ionizing smoke detectors contain radioactive material and must be returned to the manufacturer. Smoke Detector Manufacturer Mailing List
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors -- Most carbon monoxide detectors do not contain radioactive material and can be put in the trash after removing the battery.
- Radioactive Compounds -- Consult the manufacturer.
- Used Oil -- As long as the oil is not mixed with anything else, you may be able to bring it to your local transfer station - call your municipality to inquire or search here for a participating store.
- Auto Batteries -- The municipalities of Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Litchfield, Merrimack, Nashua, Pelham, and Windham accept auto batteries from their residents at their transfer stations or landfills. Auto batteries can also be recycled at a participating store.
- Propane Tanks & Compressed Gas Cylinders -- The municipalities of Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Litchfield, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, Pelham, and Windham accept propane tanks from their residents at their transfer stations or landfills. Check with your local municipality to see if there are any restrictions on the size of propane tanks that are accepted.
- Explosives & Shock Sensitive Materials -- Call 911 immediately if you realize that you have explosive chemicals in your home. Do not attempt to move or transport them. They can blow up from simply being handled.
- Wood or other materials covered in Creosote -- Contact your local landfill or transfer station.
- Asbestos -- Nashua residents--bring to landfill. All other residents--see NH DES List of licensed contractors
- Medications -- Do NOT flush medications! Many local police stations provide drop boxes for the public to dispose of unwanted prescription medications. Most are open to anyone, not just residents of that community. If you have questions about using the prescription drug disposal boxes, please contact the local police station.
The Drug Enforcement Administration also periodically sponsors medication collections. Click here for details.
If you cannot participate in a collection or use a police station drop box, place medications in your household trash following these guidelines by NH DES.
- Amherst — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby; for more details click here.
- Hollis — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby; for more details click here.
- Hudson — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby; for more details click here.
- Litchfield — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby
- Merrimack — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby; for more details click here.
- Milford — Milford does not have a drop box. Contact Sergeant Andrew Fowle for information about potential collection events at (603) 249-0630.
- Nashua — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby
- Pelham — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby
- Windham — Prescription Drug Disposal Box located in Police Station lobby
- Sharps & other Medical Waste -- Medical Sharps - Proper Disposal in the Home
Collection Events FAQ
FOLLOW THESE STEPS FOR PROPER DISPOSAL:
1. Do not put these items in your household trash. They contain mercury, lead, cadmium, and other substances that are hazardous to human healthy and the environment.
2. Check with your municipality to see if they can accept these items. In many cases it is less expensive to dispose of them through your municipality than it is to bring them to a house-hold hazardous waste (HHW) collection. Help keep HHW disposal costs down.
3. Cathode ray tubes are NOT accepted at HHW collections. All other items can be brought to a HHW collection if they cannot be disposed of through your municipality. For more info visit www.nashuarpc.org/hhw or call 603-417-6570.
4. If you have a broken mercury thermometer, you may bring it to the hazardous waste collection events. Be careful when cleaning up and transporting the mercury because mercury vapors are toxic. Make sure to double-wrap the mercury-containing elements in plastic so that vapors cannot leak out. Label the container with a description of the materials contained, making sure to note the presence of liquid mercury. Click here for instructions for cleaning up a small mercury spill.
Alternative products do exist, such as motor oil made from saturated fats, wiper fluid made from bio-matter, and brake fluid made from vegetable oil. Unfortunately, these products are often difficult to find. NRPC surveyed a number of auto parts stores in the region and none carried these products. It is up to us as consumers to begin asking for these products. If there is enough demand, stores will stock them.
NRPC was able to find one environmentally friendly auto product that is available locally. SIERRA Antifreeze is made from propylene glycol, which is less toxic than ethylene glycol, the standard ingredient in antifreeze. SIERRA can be purchased at NAPA and Ace Hardware.
Given the number of products that rely on battery power, it’s important to know how to properly dispose of batteries once they have died. The following is a list of battery types you are likely to find around the house and the appropriate way to dispose of them.
Battery Recycling Locations
Name ~ Zinc Carbon or Zinc Chloride
Name ~ Alkaline Manganese
Name ~ Lithium Batteries
Name ~ Alkaline Manganese Button Cells
Name ~ Zinc Air Button Cells
Name ~ Silver Oxide Button Cells
Name ~ Nickel Cadmium (Ni-CAD)
Name ~ Sealed Lead Acid
Name ~ Lithium Ion
Lithium-ion batteries can cause fires if the terminals touch metal or another battery. Please place each battery in its own plastic bag or cover the metal connections with clear packing tape, electrical tape, or duct tape. Bring to a participating transfer station or an HHW collection.
Name ~ Nickel Metal Hydride
|Fluorescent Bulb Pricing/Invoice
For large quantities of bulbs, use this form.
Benefits of CFLs
- CFLs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- CFLs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- This adds up to money savings for you!
Why Recycle CFLs?
- CFL bulbs can break when thrown in the trash, releasing mercury into the
environment. Recycling CFL bulbs prevents the risk of mercury release.
- When recycled, many components of the bulb are reused, including glass & metal.
- NH law prohibits mercury containing bulbs from being placed in landfills.
How to Recycle CFLs
- Bring unbroken bulbs to your local transfer station. Please contact your local transfer station to determine if you can recycle bulbs there instead of bringing them to a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
- Bring unbroken bulbs to a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
Why is Mercury Used in CFLs?
- Mercury is an essential element to allow CFLs to be an
efficient light source.
- The amount of mercury used in CFLs has fallen over 20% in the past few years. There is an average of 4 mg of mercury in each bulb, compared to 500 mg in old thermometers.
- No mercury is released from CFLs when they are intact or in use.
Why is Mercury Harmful?
- Mercury can damage the central nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, and other organs.
- Exposure over long periods of time or heavy exposure to
mercury vapor can result in brain damage and death.
- Mercury is particularly toxic to infants, young children, and pregnant women.
CFLs Can Actually Decrease Mercury in the Environment
- Electricity use is the main source of mercury emissions in the US.
- The EPA estimates the US is responsible for the release of 103 metric tons of mercury emissions annually. More than half of these emissions come from coal fired electrical plants.
- CFLs use less electricity than incandescent bulbs. As a result of this decreased electricity demand, CFLs reduce the amount of mercury in the environment.
|Fluorescent Bulb Pricing/Invoice
For large quantities of bulbs, use this form.
FACTS & FIGURES
- According to the US Fertilizer Institute, annual revenue for the fertilizer business is $10 billion.
- The US is the second largest consumer and producer of fertilizer behind China.
- The US agriculture industry uses roughly 800 million pounds of pesticides annually.
- Roughly 90% of US households use pesticides of some form. Homeowners in the US use roughly 70 million pounds of pesticides annually on their lawns.
- When fertilizers enter a water body, they promote the increased growth of aquatic plants. As these plants die, the dissolved oxygen content of the water decreases, which suffocates and kills fish.
- The algae that proliferates as a result of fertilizer contamination in water bodies can be toxic. Blue-green algae, for example, can cause rashes, nausea, and respiratory problems in humans and can kill livestock and pets that drink affected water.
- When pesticides are dumped down the drain, septic, or sewer, they contaminate the water supply, harming humans and wildlife.
- Each year, 110,000 pesticide poisonings are reported to poison control centers in the US and 23,000 people go to the emergency room as a result.
- Test your soil regularly. It’s the only way to know what’s already there. If you have sufficient amounts of nutrients then you don’t need more.
- Know the nutrient needs of your plants. Providing more nutrients than a plant needs will not help it to grow and will likely be unused. Unused fertilizer can wash into lakes, rivers, and streams, and leach into ground water.
- Pay attention to time. Only apply fertilizer during periods when plants will use it.
- Skip store bought fertilizer. Use compost or plant debris instead. Placing dried leaves on top of garden plots in the fall creates great fertilizer by spring.
Ants ~ red chili powder at entry points
Fleas & Ticks ~ scatter pine needles, fennel, rye, or rosemary on pet beds
Flies ~ keep a well watered pot of basil nearby
Insects on plants ~ soapy water on leaves then rinse
Mosquito repellant ~ citronella candles
Rodents ~ “Havahart” or other humane live animal traps
Slug/snail/nematode repellant ~ onion and marigold plants
What to Do?
If you are discarding pesticides and fertilizers on the ground, into a storm drain, or even placing them in the trash in a sealed container, you are disposing of them improperly.
- Use it up. The best way to dispose of fertilizers and pesticides is to use them as they were intended. Avoid overuse by purchasing the smallest amount possible to complete your job.
- Control erosion. Be extra cautious when applying fertilizer and pesticides on slopes. Control runoff into streets and storm drains to prevent surface water contamination.
- Store fertilizer and pesticide properly. Keep these products under a shelter and off the ground so they can’t be washed away by the rain. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for proper storage.
- Contact the manufacturer. Some companies offer programs to take back outdated products or empty containers.
- Do not rinse empty pesticide containers or place them in with household recycling. Instead, bring empty containers to an HHW collection.
ATTEND A HHW COLLECTION
If you do find yourself with products that you cannot use, bring them to a Household Hazardous Waste collection. See the reverse for a complete schedule. Accepted items include herbicides, fertilizers, insecticides, No-Pest strips, pesticides, and rodent killers.
Latex Paint Disposal Guide
How do I know if my paint is latex?
# Look for Key Words—if your paint is latex, it will have the words “latex,” “water-based,” or “acrylic” on the can. Non-latex paint will say “oil based” or “alkyd.”
# Check Clean-up Instructions—if you can’t find the words “latex,” “water-based” or “acrylic,” check the label for clean-up instructions. Latex paint cleans up with soap and water. Oil-based paint requires cleanup with paint thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits, or solvent.
What if I still cannot tell if it is latex?
If you cannot read the label, assume the paint is oil-based and bring it to a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
How do I dispose of unwanted latex paint?
Latex paint is not accepted at Household Hazardous Waste events, but you can safely and easily dispose of it yourself. Liquid latex paint cannot be thrown away. Instead, dry it out using the following techniques. Once dried, latex paint and cans may be taken to your local transfer station or landfill for disposal.
# If the paint can is less than 1/4 full, harden the remaining paint using an absorbent material such as kitty litter, newspaper, or sawdust.
# If very little paint remains, remove the lid and allow the paint to air dry.
# For larger quantities of paint, line a cardboard box with plastic and fill with a thin layer of paint (about 1 inch deep). Add shredded newspaper and allow paint to harden. Repeat this process one layer at a time until all of the paint has hardened. You can also purchase a commercial waste paint hardener at your local home improvement store to help dry latex paint.
Why can’t I bring my latex paint to a household hazardous waste collection?
Today's latex (water-based) paint has a very low level of toxicity and is not considered household hazardous waste when dried. Disposing of it at a household hazardous waste collection day is very expensive. Therefore, we ask people with unwanted latex paint to use other options to dispose of it.
Styrofoam is difficult for municipalities to handle as a recyclable material because it is bulky and hard to store. No municipal facilities in the NRPC region are currently able to recycle Styrofoam materials.
Many packaging companies (UPS, Mailboxes etc.) gladly take packing peanuts and Styrofoam materials for reuse. Give your local packaging store a call to see what their policy is. If you have some storage space, keep these materials for reuse yourself. You can also contact the parent company when you receive a new item that is packaged in molded Styrofoam bricks (like a DVD player, or coffee maker) to see if the materials can be mailed back for reuse. Finally, avoid Styrofoam altogether and instead opt for more environmentally friendly cornstarch peanuts (they simply dissolve away in water) or paper shreds.
As a result, it can be very expensive to safely dispose of HHW, so few municipalities have the facilities, training, or funding to host their own collections or to process materials on site. By working together through the District, municipalities are better able to afford to offer collection events.