Household hazardous waste

Household hazardous waste includes items that are corrosive, flammable, explosive, toxic or poisonous and include everyday household items such as bleach, garden and pool chemicals and cleaning solvents . Use this page to find out how you can safely store and dispose of hazardous household waste in Brisbane. 

Storing household hazardous waste

You must take care with the storage of chemicals and other household hazardous waste items to make sure you do not:

  • injure or poison someone if they drink, inhale or come into contact with the hazardous waste item
  • endanger yourself and/or your property if chemicals ignite, explode or release toxic fumes in the event of fire
  • receive a fine for damaging the environment if chemicals leak while being stored or handled.

Safe disposal of household hazardous waste

As a general rule, DO NOT dispose of household hazardous waste in your general waste or recycling bin, unless we specify below that you can do so. It's not safe!

Household hazardous waste can cause fires in bins and garbage trucks creating a safety hazard for truck drivers and the general community and environment.

Use the safe disposal methods information below to dispose of your household hazardous waste correctly, or participate in a free Brisbane City Council household hazardous waste drop-off day.

For advice about asbestos disposal, carefully read our Asbestos page.

Find out what to do if you break a compact fluorescent light bulb or tube.

Safe disposal methods for potentially hazardous household waste

Household general waste bin (red lid)

The following items can be placed in your household general waste bin (red lid).

Bathroom
  • Cotton buds
  • Hair care products1
  • Medicines2
  • Wet wipes
Kitchen
  • Cooking oil
  • Floor care products
  • Metal polish with solvent
Other
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs or fluorescent tube (must be wrapped tightly in newspaper or put in the original box) 
  • Fibreglass resins
  • Ink cartridges (only if empty)2
  • Paints and mediums (but only small, dried quantities)1
  • Smoke detectors

1 Hair care products and paints/mediums - Dry and solidify liquids before placing into your household general waste bin (red lid) by mixing with an absorbent material such as kitty litter, soil or grass clippings. Alternatively, pour liquids onto newspaper and cover with absorbent material. You can place empty hair product containers and paint tins with minimal paint residue into your recycling bin (yellow lid).

2 Ink cartridges - Where possible recycle ink cartridges via the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark recycling program. Cartridges are made up of different materials (including plastic, metal, foam, ink, toner) and using a collection location helps ensure recoverable materials are not sent to landfill. Find your nearest Cartridges 4 Planet Ark collection location/box.

Resource recovery centres (outside of scheduled free drop-off days)

The following items can be taken to Council's resource recovery centres outside of scheduled free drop-off days.

Garage
  • Car batteries (lead acid type only)
  • Motor, sump and gear oil
Other
  • Batteries1
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Empty gas bottles (maximum of six bottles of up to nine kilograms)
  • Paints and mediums (maximum of 20 litres per container and 100 litres per customer per visit)

1 Batteries - Planet Ark also offers free battery recycling options.

Sewer (via toilet or sink)

DO NOT put chemicals into septic tanks or down stormwater drains. This can cause damage to the environment.

DO NOT put wet wipes marked as 'flushable' in the sewer. Put them in your general waste bin instead.

The following materials can be disposed of via your household sewer (via toilet/s or sink/s).

Bathroom

Mix chemicals with water before placing in sewer. 

  • Aftershaves, perfumes, other locations
  • Bathroom cleaners and disinfectants
  • Hair care products
  • Medicines (small quantities only)1
​​​​Kitchen
  • Drain cleaner/disinfectant
  • Window and ammonia-based cleaners
Garage
  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield washer solution

1. Medicines - While it is acceptable to dispose of small quantities of medicines to the sewer, it's best to return them to your local pharmacy.

Free household hazardous waste drop-off days 

Brisbane City Council holds free drop-off days for household hazardous waste at its four resource recovery centres throughout the year.

Eligibility criteria

  • All items for household hazardous waste disposal must remain in their original containers and not be mixed.
  • A 20 litre limit per customer per visit applies for each chemical or product, except for paint and engine oil (hydrocarbon oil) where up to 100 litres per customer per visit is accepted. Due to workplace health and safety requirements, paint and oil containers must not exceed 20 litres per container.

Acceptable household hazardous waste

The following items are accepted at these free drop-off days.

Kitchen
  • Insect sprays
  • Floor care products
  • Metal polish with solvent
Garage
  • Anitfreeze
  • Car batteries
  • Brake fluid
  • Motor, sump and gear oil
  • Petrol and marine fuel
Garden
  • Fungicide/insecticide
  • Herbicides and weed killers
Other
  • Batteries (household and lead acid batteries)
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Dry cleaning solvents
  • Electronic waste
  • Fibreglass resins
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes
  • Gas bottles (must be empty, a maximum of six bottles of up to nine kilograms)
  • Ink cartridges1
  • Paints and mediums (maximum of 20 litres per container and 100 litres per customer)
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Smoke detectors
  • Swimming pool chemicals

1 Ink cartridges - Where possible recycle ink cartridges via the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark recycling program. Cartridges are made up of different materials (including plastic, metal, foam, ink, toner) and using a collection location helps ensure recoverable materials are not sent to landfill. Find your nearest Cartridges 4 Planet Ark collection location/box.

Scheduled upcoming drop-off days

Events list

Sat 3 Sep 2022, 7:30am
Free

It is important to dispose of household hazardous waste safely. Household hazardous waste includes everyday products. These can include bleach, garden and pool...

Chandler Resource Recovery Centre, Chandler

Sat 3 Dec 2022, 7:30am
Free

It is important to dispose of household hazardous waste safely. Household hazardous waste includes everyday products. These can include bleach, garden and pool...

Nudgee Resource Recovery Centre, Nudgee

What to do if you break a compact fluorescent light bulb or tube

Compact fluorescent light bulbs and tubes (CFL) contain small amounts of mercury. Mercury-containing products are considered to be household hazardous waste.

If you break a CFL:

  • turn off ceiling fans and air conditioning units
  • put on a dust mask and use a utensil to collect broken glass and powder and put them in a plastic bag
  • wipe the area with a damp paper towel and put the paper towel in the plastic bag and seal it
  • dispose of the sealed plastic bag in your general waste bin 
  • avoid leaving any bulb fragments or clean up materials indoors
  • ventilate the room.

Do not use a vacuum to clean up as this can disperse the mercury.

More information

For more information about household hazardous waste, contact Council.

For trade waste enquiries, contact Urban Utilities

Last updated: 6 July 2022
Topics: waste

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and their unique relationship with their ancestral country. We pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of Brisbane, and recognise their strength and wisdom.