Hazardous household waste disposal

Service information


Paint has to be disposed of in a specific and responsible way to prevent any harm to the environment (for instance it should never be poured down the drain). Where possible, please buy water based, low toxicity paints.

If the paint you no longer need is of good quality and could be used by someone else, please donate it to a friend , neighbour, local charity or anyone who could make use of it.

Emulsion (water-based) paint

Part used tins of water-based paint can be disposed of in your normal burgundy rubbish bin, as long as it has been fully dried out first. This is because of restrictions on the disposal of liquids and to avoid the risk of paint dripping out of
collection vehicles.

It’s easy to dry your water-based paint out :

  1. Add some sand, sawdust, paint hardener or soil,
  2. Stir and leave it to set away from children and animals in a well-ventilated area,
  3. When it is fully hardened put it in your wheeled bin with the lid off.

This should not be done with solvent or oil-based paint i.e. those that you need to clean brushes with white spirit, turpentine or a solvent-based brush cleaner, lead-based paint, or any other liquid chemicals.

Solvent-based paint

Solvent-based, oil-based or lead-based paints and other liquid chemicals need to bedisposed of in a different manner. You should dispose of these types of paint at Blackburn or Darwen Household Waste Recycling Centres .

Empty paint cans

Empty paint cans, including spray cans, can also be taken to either the Blackburn or Darwen household waste recycling centre

  • Metal cans should be placed in the ‘scrap metal’ container.
  • Plastic cans should be placed in the ‘waste to landfill’ container (or can be put in your burgundy rubbish bin).

Harmful household chemicals

Our homes contain potentially harmful household chemicals everyday products like bleach, oven cleaners, and weed killers. Please keep yourself , your friends/family as well as pets, wildlife and plants safe by disposing of them responsibly.

Household chemicals should never be poured down the sink or toilet or dumped.

Please don’t put them in your burgundy rubbish bin either as they could leak and interact could explode or form a deadly gases.

Identifying harmful household chemicals

Look at the product label. Almost all household chemicals will have instructions on the label for how to properly dispose of them. Always read labels and follow the instructions to ensure their safe disposal.

Harmful hazardous household chemicals include any product that:

  • is poisonous or toxic
  • can catch fire
  • is likely to explode
  • can mix with other chemicals and cause a dangerous reaction
  • can eat away (corrode) other materials

You can take all of the items below except petrol to your local household waste recycling centre. The centres have separate containers to ensure these items are disposed of as hazardous waste.

Common household chemicals that are, or might be hazardous waste include:

  • batteries - (some shops have recycling bins where you can drop off these items)
  • pesticides (weed and insect repellents and killers)
  • stains and varnish
  • paint and paint thinner
  • cleaning products
  • motor oil, fuel, and other automotive chemicals and materials
  • hair dyes, perms, and other products
  • oven cleaner
  • drain opener
  • mercury thermometers
  • fluorescent light bulbs

Always take care to store hazardous waste materials carefully and safely out of the reach of children and pets. Keep them from spilling, leaking, or mixing with other chemicals.

Clinical wastes

Clinical waste is any waste which poses a threat of infection to humans. Clinical waste is mainly produced by hospitals, health clinics, doctors' surgeries and veterinary practices, but also arises from some residential homes, nursing homes and private households.


Drugs should be returned to your doctor or pharmacist for safe disposal


Needles, syringes, scalpels and other blades - please arrange a collection via your doctor.

Materials containing bodily fluids (urine, blood, faeces).

This is waste (not including sharps) whose collection and disposal is not subject to special requirements in order to prevent infection, such as dressings, linen, disposable clothing, bed linens, incontinence pads, stoma bags.

Materials containing bodily fluids; incontinence pads, nappies etc should be double bagged and placed out with your domestic waste, on your usual day of collection.

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