Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Disposal in RI

We all have hazardous waste lurking in our homes such as oven cleaner, window cleaner, flea collars, pool chemicals, nail polish remover, propane tanks, oil based paint in rusty old paint cans. Anything that has a skull and crossbones on the label, or the words “flammable”, "poison", "hazardous", "danger", “contents under pressure” or cautions you to properly ventilate the area while cleaning, is household hazardous waste and must NOT be thrown in with your trash.

Rhode Island's Disposal Solution

RI Resource Recovery Corporation’s (RIRRC) Eco-Depot for household hazardous waste (HHW) program is a free service for Rhode Island residents who wish to dispose of their HHW safely and properly. RIRRC holds 19 collection events per year in various locations throughout the state.  For additional information including a list of collection events or to schedule an appointment please visit or call 942-1430 x 3241.

The Eco-Depot HHW program ONLY accepts residential hazardous waste such as:

  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Fertilizer
  • Aerosol cans (spray paint, hair spray, etc.)
  • Gasoline
  • Insecticides
  • Drain Cleaner
  • Fluorescent light bulbs/tubes and other mercury-containing items
  • Oven cleaner
  • Used motor oil and oil filters
  • Propane tanks, empty/full (No larger than a 20 lb. tank)

If the product you wish to dispose of is marked DANGER or POISON, this indicates that it is toxic, corrosive or extremely flammable. WARNING or CAUTION indicates that the product is slightly toxic. Disposal of all of these products pose a threat to human health and the environment if not handled correctly.

When possible, please bring hazardous waste in the original containers or label all products you bring to an Eco Depot collection. Never mix hazardous wastes.

Paint Recycling and Disposal

What to do with paint and paint like products?

Latex and oil base paints, stains, primers, sealers, and varnishes are accepted at RIRRC’s Eco-Depot collection events as well as PaintCare’s paint recycling drop-off sites. PaintCare drop-off sites accept up to five gallons per visit. For a list of drop-off sites, visit PaintCare’s Drop Off Site Locator.

Unlike oil-based paints that require special handling, latex and other water- based paints, stains and varnishes are not considered hazardous waste. If your cans are still near-full, you may want to first try giving them away by posting them for free on sites like Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace or your local Buy Nothing group. Unused paint can be donated to Habitat for Humanity.  If a free exchange isn't an option, these paints are safe for disposal in regular household trash, but need to be hardened for the safety of workers and equipment. If there isn’t too much paint left, just leave it out with the lid off to dry out. If there is a significant amount left, you can use paint hardener (about $2 at a home improvement store), saw dust, or even kitty litter to harden the paint prior to disposal.

Mercury- Containing Devices

What to do with fluorescent light bulbs, thermometers, thermostats?

Fluorescent light bulbs and other mercury-containing items can be disposed of at an Eco-Depot event for household hazardous waste (HHW). If you are looking to dispose of Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (the “spiral” or “twisty” CFL bulbs), Home Depot and Lowe’s also have convenient collections for these at all of their stores. Please note that they only want the CFLs; regular-sized florescent light bulbs should be brought to an Eco-Depot collection event.  Additional statewide disposal options for fluorescent bulbs can be found on our A-to-Z search tool.

What to do with rechargeable and single use batteries?

Rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, Ni-Zn, Li, Li-Ion, and Pb from toys, cell phones, laptops, and other electronics) should be brought to an Eco-Depot collection.  Single-use batteries, including alkaline and carbon-zinc types, are not classified as household hazardous waste (HHW) and are safe for disposal in the trash. Prior to 1996, some single-use batteries did contain mercury, but this is no longer the case so they are safe for disposal in the Central Landfill.

Recycling options for single-use batteries are limited. There are a handful of mail-in recycling programs in the U.S., all which require a fee.  Below is a list of companies which offer mail-in programs. This list shows company name, website and phone number.  Please click the website for more information. Please note that we do not endorse any one of these companies over another, or over any other companies not listed here. For more information on battery recycling click on


Mail-in Program









Batteries Plus


Big Green Box