Hazardous Waste


The average household throws 15.5 pounds of hazardous materials into the trash each year. Household hazardous materials are disposed of in other ways too. Certain products, such as used oil, are sometimes poured down storm drains and many products end up going down the sink drain into septic systems or sewers.

Flammable or reactive household chemicals can release toxic fumes or even explode if they are mixed together in the trash, causing fires or injuries. Dumping solvents into septic systems or landfills may contaminate ground and surface waters, ruining drinking water and killing fish and wildlife. Pesticides can damage sewage treatment plants, and oil poured into storm drains can flow directly into streams and ponds.

Don't let these things happen in your community. Be a good neighbor.


COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS 3 Tube To learn more click here.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs have overwhelming advantages compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs. Switching to compact fluorescent lights is an easy way to save money, reduce energy consumption and limit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars.

There is, however, one tradeoff and that is that compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, a highly toxic heavy metal, and have to be disposed of carefully, especially if they're broken. As of Jan. 1, 2008 New Hampshire banned the disposal of any "mercury-added" (see "What Are Mercury ..." below) product, including spent compact fluorescent light bulbs and "button-cell" batteries, in landfills, transfer stations or incinerators. So now, instead of throwing those lightbulbs in your household trash, you'll have to recycle them, either through your municipality or a participating retailer. The City of Keene accepts compact fluorescent light bulbs for recycling from Keene residents free of charge during operating hours- Monday through Friday 7am-3pm and Saturday 8am-1pm.

Please note that if a compact fluorescent light bulb breaks it needs to be handled carefully. Don't vacuum a broken bulb- that will spread it through the house, mercury could become airborne, and then the vacuum cleaner will be contaminated. Instead, ventilate the room and leave it for 15 minutes. Then, put on some disposable gloves and use cardboard and duct tape to pick up small pieces and powder, seal everything in a screw-top jar, and store the jar in a safe place until you can dispose of it at a household hazardous waste collection. The City of Keene offers 24 household hazardous waste collections per year. These will resume in the Spring of 2009.


Look in any storage cabinet in your home. Do you see products such as paint thinner, spot remover, oven cleaner, furniture polish, drain opener, pool chemicals and hair spray? These products are hazardous because they contain chemicals that are corrosive, explosive, reactive, flammable or toxic.

When you look at these products you might not immediately recognize hazardous products by their name. When you see words like pesticide, acid, fungicide, caustic, herbicide, or solvent, you know they are hazardous. But, sometimes the name may not tell you anything about the product. Read the label, especially the instructions, carefully.

Unfortunately, the absence of these words does not guarantee the product is without hazards. For example, methyl alcohol (found in some glass cleaners) can cause blindness if ingested, but may not require a warning if it makes up less than 4% of a product. Additionally, health effects from long term exposure may not even be considered in the labeling requirements.


As of January 1, 2008, the disposal of mercury containing products at landfills, transfer stations and incinerators is prohibited. This means these items may not be disposed of as a solid waste with the "normal" garbage. The ban covers products including:

  • Thermometers
  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Thermostats
  • Mercury button cell batteries
  • Switches and relays

Homeowners and businesses alike are subject to this ban. However, the ban does not include the recycling of these items at our facility and we encourage consumers to bring them for recycling along with their other recyclables. Legal disposal options include:

  • Collection and Recycling at Municipal Facilities
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events has ended for the year. Thank you. See you in the spring.

The City of Keene Transfer Station and Recycling Center currently accepts fluorescent lamps and we also accept and recycle other mercury containing products.
For a more comprehensive list of common mercury-added products and recycling options, visit the N.H. Pollution Prevention Program website.


Air Freshener
  • Simmer cloves and cinnamon in boiling water.
  • Leave opened box of baking soda in room
  • Set out a dish of vinegar

Chrome Cleaner

  • Use baking soda and a dry cloth

Drain Opener

  • Use a plunger or mechanical snake
  • Pour 1/2 cup washing soda into drain, then pour 2 cups boiling water into drain. Flush drain weekly with boiling water

Furniture Polish

  • Mix 2 parts vegetable oil and 1 part lemon juice. Apply, rub in, wipe clean..

Laundry Presoak

  • Make paste of washing soda and water; apply to dirty spots.

Metal Cleaner

  • Make paste of salt, vinegar and flour. Start with 1/4 cup of salt, add enough vinegar to dissolve, add flour to create damp paste.

Porcelain Cleaner

  • Make paste from baking soda and water; apply to stain, let set, rub clean, rinse.

Septic System Cleaner

  • Use professional service every 2 to 3 years.
  • Chemical treatments don't work; some can actually harm your system.

Ant Control

  • Mix 2 tablespoons boric acid, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 cup water. Soak paper towels, place on dishes, set our for ants.
  • Pour line of cream of tartar where ants enter.
Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner
  • Clean stains immediately with club soda.
  • Sprinkle cornstarch on rug and vacuum
  • Use soap-based, non-aerosol rug shampoo.

Flea & Tick Repellent

  • Scatter pine needles, fennel, rue, or rosemary on pet's bed.
  • Feed pet brewer's yeast, vitamin B or garlic tablets.

Insect Spray For Plants

  • Blend 6 cloves crushed garlic, 1 minced onion, 1 tablespoon dried hot pepper and 1 tablespoon pure soap in 1 gallon hot water. Let sit 1 to 2 days; strain and use.


  • Sew dried lavender or cedar chips into small cloth bags and place with clothes.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • Mix 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/3 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon warm water.

Silver Polish

  • Soak silver in 1 quart warn water containing 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and a piece of aluminum foil.

Window Cleaner

  • Use 1/2 cup vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water.
  • Use lemon juice and dry soft cloth.
  • Use newspaper to dry glass.

Hazardous Waste

A Great Opportunity to Clean
Toxic Wastes from
your basement, workbench,
garage, and cupboards.

All collections run 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

If you live in a community that is not listed below and have material you want to dispose of, you can access the collection for a nominal fee of between $20 - $55 depending on the quantity

Also, Check out our reuse center for items such as good quality paint or various cleaning products. Perfect for a small job and best of all, it's FREE!


What To Bring

What Not To Bring

Products marked toxic, poison, corrosive, irritant, hazardous, flammable, danger. If you think it's hazardous, bring it up.
  • Empty Containers (can be recycled)
  • Latex Paint
  • Ammunition
  • Fireworks
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Make-up & Toiletries
Other Information: Containers must be labeled as to their contents. No containers larger than 5 gallons will be accepted. Maximum 10 gallons Household Hazardous Waste per collection.

Collection takes approximately 10 minutes from time of arrival


QUESTIONS: Please call 352-5739
Sponsored by The City of Keene