Dispose of household chemicals

Different recycling and disposal methods are needed for these special types of waste.


Project Status: When you need to do this

What you need to do

If you’re a building manager or have a lot of waste

Please contact us to discuss quantities for drop-off.

Before you start

Work out what you can and can’t bring to a chemical drop-off event.

What you can bring

  • solvents and household cleaners
  • paints and thinners
  • pesticides and herbicides
  • poisons
  • pool chemicals
  • motor oils, fuels and fluids
  • acids and alkalis
  • car batteries
  • household batteries and light globes (these can also be recycled at our customer service centres and libraries at any time or by booking a power pickup with RecycleSmart)
  • hobby chemicals such as photographic chemicals
  • printer ink and toner cartridges
  • gas bottles
  • fire extinguishers
  • fluorescent lamps
  • smoke alarms
  • cooking oils.

Only household quantities are accepted. Business-related and commercial quantities are not accepted. The maximum container size is 20kg or 20L per item, except for paint. Up to 100L in 20L containers of paint is accepted.

What you can’t bring 

Other household items including electronics, textiles, garden organics, furniture, whitegoods, metals and more are not accepted at Household Chemical CleanOut events. Recycle these at the next Recycle It Saturday drop-off eventbook a pick-up, or book a power pickup with RecycleSmart.

After you finish

Many chemicals collected on the day are recycled while others are treated for safe disposal. For example:

  • Paint is mixed with other solvents and used in cement manufacturing while the metal containers are recycled.
  • Gas cylinders have any remaining gas taken out while the steel in the bottle is recycled. However, many of the bottles are returned to the hire market – so they’re reused rather than recycled.
  • Lead, acid and plastic in batteries are recovered and recycled.
  • Fluoro tubes, which contain mercury, are crushed to isolate the phosphor powder from the glass. This powder is processed to capture any mercury, which is then sold for a range of industrial uses while the leftover glass and metal is put back into the recycling system.