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Household hazardous waste in Essex

Chemicals from a household

Friday 6 March 2020

Hazardous waste includes any material that may put human health or the environment at risk. If you have an item from your own household that is classed as hazardous waste, please follow the advice below.

Household asbestos

Asbestos is not accepted in your kerbside collection or at any Essex County Council recycling centre. Essex residents can request a collection of asbestos, if the asbestos is from their own household.

Household chemical waste

Household hazardous chemical waste products can be identified by checking the packaging for a black X inside an orange box, they include but are not limited to:

  • Oil-based paint
  • Varnishes
  • Paint stripper
  • Some wood treatments (creosote).
  • Garden chemicals (such as weed killer, insect killer and fertilizers)
  • Swimming pool chemicals (such as chlorine additives, pH adjusters and algicides)
  • Poisons (such as rat poison and mouse poison).
  • Flammable liquids (such as white spirit, paraffin and wood dyes).
  • Motoring products (such as antifreeze and brake or clutch fluid).

Chemical waste is not accepted in your kerbside collection and where possible should be used for its intended purpose. For chemical waste from your own household, a subsidised collection of up to 20 litres of household chemicals can be arranged from your home, however larger amounts will be chargeable. To request a collection please contact waste.management@essex.gov.uk and include a list of chemicals and the amounts of each, along with your address, phone number and email address.

Alternatively, reasonable amounts of household chemicals can be taken to any ECC recycling centre and given to a member of site staff for disposal. Please note, non-labelled chemicals need to be permanently marked as ‘Contents unknown’.

Household clinical waste

Clinical waste includes human or animal tissue, blood or bodily fluids, excretions, drugs or other pharmaceutical products, swabs or dressings and syringes, needles or other sharp instruments, that may put human health at risk.

Clinical waste is not accepted in your kerbside collection or at any Essex County Council recycling centre. Clinical waste produced by a healthcare worker during a visit to your home should be removed by them. For clinical waste that is generated at home by self-treatment, contact your local council for a collection:

Basildon clinical waste collection

Braintree clinical waste collection

Brentwood clinical waste collection

Castle Point clinical waste collection 

Chelmsford clinical waste collection

Colchester clinical waste collection

Epping Forest clinical waste collection

Harlow clinical waste collection

Maldon clinical waste collection

Rochford clinical waste collection

Tendring clinical waste collection

Uttlesford clinical waste collection

Dead animals

Household pets can be buried in your own garden or a vet can advise you on cremation options.   The PDSA and Blue Cross websites provide advice on disposing of a dead pet and some of the factors you will need to be aware of if you wish to bury the animal in your garden. 

For other animals including farm animals or horses burial at home is not generally permitted. You should seek the advice of your vet who will be able to provide details of local premises approved for the disposal of such animals, or contact the National Fallen Stock Company, a not for profit industry led community interest company offering collection services for farmers and horse owners.

Further information on animal disposal can also be found on the gov.uk website

Household fire extinguishers, gas canisters and gas cylinders

Fire extinguishers from your own household waste can be taken to any Essex County Council recycling centre. Before visiting a recycling centre, ensure the fire extinguisher is empty by squeezing the lever to ensure no pressure remains inside. Remove the extinguisher head to make it apparent that it is not charged. Please ask a member of site staff where to place the fire extinguisher.

Gas canisters, such as small (Maximum 500ml) camping gas canisters from your own household waste can be taken to any Essex County Council recycling centre. Before visiting a recycling centre, ensure the gas canister is emptied safely to ensure no pressure remains inside. Please ask a member of site staff where to place the gas canister.

Gas cylinders, such as Calor gas or Flo gas, are not accepted in your kerbside collection or at any Essex County Council recycling centre. Contact the company you purchased your gas cylinder from for advice.

Fireworks, ammunition and explosives

Spent or used fireworks, must be fully soaked in water and can then be placed in your kerbside general rubbish bin. Live fireworks, explosives and ammunition are not accepted in your kerbside collection or at any Essex County Council recycling centre. Contact the company you purchased your fireworks, explosive or ammunition from for advice.

Fuel

Fuel, including diesel and petrol is not accepted in your kerbside collection or at any Essex County Council recycling centre. Fuel should be taken to your local vehicle service centre or garage for safe disposal.

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is not accepted in your kerbside collection or at any Essex County Council recycling centre. You have an obligation to ensure Japanese knotweed does not spread from your land. The gov.uk website outlines how you can stop the spread of Japanese knotweed and provides advice on disposal.