Household chemicals are hazardous and should never be put in your recycling or garbage bin at home. If chemical waste is not handled correctly, it can have a serious impact on the environment. Household chemicals should be disposed of responsibly through specialised recycling and safe disposal services.
Household chemicals should never be put on the kerb for council collection or poured on the ground, down the drain or toilet, or into sewers. Chemicals that are disposed of improperly can make their way into the environment, putting wildlife, waterways, and human health at risk.
Keep these out of your waste and recycling bin
Household chemical waste and hazardous materials include:
- household cleaners
- automotive products
- garden chemicals
- pool cleaners
- gas canisters/bottles
- fluorescent tubes and globes
Most councils will accept these items at designated collection points, however, it may vary. Please check with your council beforehand to find out what items can be taken to their listed depot or chemical clean-up day.
Hazardous waste disposal in Victoria
Each year, around 40 chemical collection events are hosted by councils around Victoria. Residents can drop off unwanted household chemicals for free at these events, which are licensed to accept toxic chemicals and staffed by trained specialist chemists.
Items accepted at these events include:
- acids and alkalis
- full or partially full aerosol cans
- cleaners – ammonia-based
- cooking oil
- fire extinguishers
- floor-care products and waxes
- glues – water-based and solvents
- nail polish and remover
- paint stripper, thinner, and turps
- pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
- photographic chemicals
- rat poison
- wood preservatives and finishes (oils and varnishes)
Garden and pool items
- herbicides and weed killers
- insect spray/pesticides
- lawn mower fuel
- pool chemicals
- brake fluid
- car body filler
- car wax
- fuels such as petrol, diesel, and kerosene
- transmission fluid
For more information and to confirm the items that are accepted, visit Sustainability Victoria's website.
How to dispose of other chemicals and hazardous waste
As asbestos is classed as a hazardous material it may only be disposed of at certain locations in Australia. Find out how to safely dispose of asbestos.
Old and unwanted medicines around the home are a household hazard and can be dangerous if consumed when they are expired, not prescribed for you, or within reach of children. To find out how to safely dispose of unwanted medicines.
Farm chemicals can be disposed of through the ChemClear Program.
If your business has large quantities of farm chemicals to dispose of, visit Business Recycling to find a suitable service near you.