Household Hazardous Waste Center

To aid residents in the proper and safe disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW) materials, the City of Durham operates a household hazardous waste collection center through a contract. This service is open to all Durham city and county residents. Commercial users are forbidden from using the HHW center.

Material/Chemicals Accepted at SWM Convenient Center


  • Aerosol cans
  • Fire extinguisher (dry chemical only)
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Garden chemicals and fertilizers
  • Gasoline
  • Household cleaners
  • Alkaline Batteries
  • Lithium-ion, Nickel metal hydride (NiMH), Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) rechargeable batteries
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Oil based paints (alternative disposal for latex paint (PDF))
  • Petroleum based products
  • Road Flares
  • Cooking oil, motor oil, and antifreeze *
  • Electronic waste *
  • Lead acid cell batteries (car battery)*

Materials/Chemicals Not Accepted at SWM Convenient Center

  • Commercially generated hazardous waste
  • Explosives and ammunition (contact the Police Department)
  • Medications, used needles or other medical waste
  • Radioactive materials, including smoke detectors
  • Unknown or unlabeled materials/chemical

Helpful Household Hazardous Waste Tips


How to Dry Latex Paint


  1. Mix in some kitty litter, sawdust, or sand and allowing it to dry out thoroughly in the sun.
  2. Stir the mixture to ensure that it is completely dried out.
  3. The paint and can may be thrown out with your trash as long as the lid is removed.
All oil based paints should be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.


Old Paint


Clean Small Mercury Spills


Learn how to clean broken thermometers and broken fluorescent bulbs (PDF).

Dispose of Smoke Detectors


Find out how to properly dispose of smoke detectors (PDF) online.

Commercial Hazardous Waste Disposal


The city’s HHW facility does not accept any materials from commercial users, schools,
apartments, or churches.