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Residential Disposal of Hazardous Materials

Disposing of Hazardous Substances

Ammunition, Explosives and Fireworks
Contact Chief Deputy Hamilton at the County Sheriff's Department (388-4579).

Used anti-freeze is accepted by some radiator service centers for a small fee.  Call a radiator service center near you.  Anti-freeze is also accepted at the County HHW Collection Program.

Call the New York State Asbestos Hotline at 457-2072.

Automobile Fluids
Fluids such as anti-freeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid and gasoline (motor oil is the exception, see "Oil, Motor") can be brought the County HHW Collection Program.

Batteries, Auto
Used auto batteries should be returned to the service station or battery retailer when a new one is purchased.  State Law requires that any auto battery purchased without a return will be charged a $5.00 surcharge. This surcharge will be refunded if you bring in your used battery within thirty days.  Used batteries can always be returned to locations where batteries are sold or to metal scrap dealers.

Batteries, Button
Some button batteries contain silver oxide and are often used in hearing aids and some jewelry. They can be returned to many jewelers. Other button batteries contain cadmium which is a hazardous material but can be disposed of in the trash in small quantities. They can also be recycled at the Technology Surplus Store (377-2200) for a small fee.

Batteries, Household, Non-Rechargable (Alkaline)
Most household batteries (Alkaline type) are not environmentally hazardous and can be thrown in the trash safely. Battery companies have voluntarily revised their manufacturing process to eliminate the use of mercury. If you would like to recycle them to save landfill space and recover their component materials you can take them to the Technology Surplus Store and they will recycle them for a nominal fee.

Batteries, Rechargeable
A recently passed state law requires any retailer who sells rechargeable batteries to accept them back for recycling.

Batteries, Lithium
Lithium batteries are hazardous and are not rechargeable, as distinguished from lithium ion batteries, and thus not accepted by retail battery collection programs. These batteries are sold as longer lasting non-rechargeable batteries, but can only be recycled for a fee - Technology Surplus Store (377-2200).  It is recommended that these batteries not be purchased.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors - See Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

Cell Phones
Cell Phones can be returned to any Cell Phone Service Provider Store (like Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Moble, etc.) They are also accepted at most places that take electronics.

Electronics, Computer Components & Televisions
Computers, monitors and other computer peripheries as well as TVs and many other electronics can be brought to the Schenectady County Compost Facility and Recycling Center (permit required) or to a number of other area locations including the Technology Surplus Store (377-2200) off of Route 5 west of Scotia or Computer Advantage (631-4303) in the Crosstown Plaza.  Additional information can be found on the Electronic Recycling page.

Household Chemicals (Cleaners, Lawn and Garden Chemicals, Gasoline, Kerosene, Solvents and Pool Chemicals and Photo Chemicals, etc)
The best way to manage legal, usable household chemicals is to use them up according to the directions on the label.  If you do not have a use for them, check with family, neighbors and friends or community organizations. This is a better alternative than bringing them to a household hazardous waste facility. However, they are accepted at the County's HHW Collection Program.

Lighting, Fluorescent
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that you screw into lighting fixture like a regular lightbulb can be brought to any Home Depot or Lowe's Store at no charge. Fluorescent tubes, including straight tubes and various shapes such as U-shaped or circular can also be brought to the Technology Surplus Store (377-2200) or Wolberg Lighting (381-9231) for a small fee.

Lighting, Normal
Incandescent bulbs should be thrown in the trash.

Lighting, Other
Other types of lighting, such as high intensity discharge, halogen, and neon lighting can be brought to the Technology Surplus Store (377-2200) for a fee.

Needles, Home Generated Medical (Sharps)
Hospitals in NYS are required by law to accept medical needles from residents. 

Oil, Heating or Lubricating
Any waste heating oil or lubricating oil can be disposed of at the County's HHW Collection Program.

Oil, Motor
Used motor oil can be returned to any service station or major oil retailer at no charge.  Law allows retailers to designate a service station that will accept waste motor oil for them.  They are required by law to accept it under most circumstances without charge.  Please be considerate of station owners and only bring in motor oil while they are open and do not leave it without talking to an attendant.  Report uncooperative stations to your regional Environment Conservation Officers (ECOs) at 357-2047.

Determine if paint is water or oil based by reading the label. Paint is water based if the label says that it is water or latex based paint, or it cleans up in water.  Paint is oil based if the label says it is flammable or directs cleanup with turpentine or other solvent.

Latex paint may be donated to Schenectady not-for-profit groups. Make sure the paint is not sandy and does not smell bad.  The can should also be at least 1/2 full.

If there is only a small amount of Latex in the can, dry it out by adding absorbent material such as kitty litter, sawdust, or commercial spill absorbent.  Let it sit outside to dry. Once it is dry, place in the trash.  Empty paint cans can also be brought to the County Compost Facility and Recycling Center on Hetcheltown Road in Glenville for recycling. The cans can have a thin skin of dried paint. Do not rinse paint down the drain or onto your lawn. The can also be placed in trash.

Oil based paint should be given away or brought to the County's HHW Collection Program.

Propane Cylinders
Larger propane cylinders (20 lbs. or grill size) are refillable at (or returnable to) stores that sell them in exchange for a new cylinder. Cylinders are accepted at the Colonie Landfill on Route 9 in Latham (783-2827) for a minimal charge. One pound camping stove cylinders can be brought to the County's HHW Collection Program.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors made by BRK or First Alert can be delivered back to the Company. For details and instructions call 1-800-323-9005. All smoke and carbon monoxide detectors contain small quantities of radioactive material. They can be thrown in the trash but no more than one in any waste collection.


Used needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp medical objects are called "sharps." Such items must be disposed of in a separate manner from regular waste. This is done to protect landfill, recycling and waste-to-energy facility operators. This waste is also treated differently in that it must be sterilized or burned to kill any infectious diseases before disposal.

Schenectady County residents who use sharps at home should dispose of them according to the following guidelines:

Store sharps in a sharps container that you can get at a pharmacy or in a thick plastic bottle, such as a detergent bottle. Keep the cap on the bottle and clearly label the bottle "Sharps" with a waterproof marking pen.

When ready to deliver, tape the cap onto bottle.

Deliver to one of the locations identified below.


Do not put sharps in with recyclables.

Do not put sharps in unlabeled bottle or container.

Do not put sharps in a glass container.

Do not clip needles.

Do not put sharps in the trash 

Sharps Disposal Locations:

Ellis Hospital
1101 Nott Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
Drop-Off: Call 243-4025 for Environmental Services Supervisor. Entrance G Floor Garage Waste Disposal Area by Parking Garage.

Ellis Health Center
600 McClellan St.
Schenectady, NY 12304
Mon-Sat. 9am -1pm
(518) 347-5133
Will also accept outside of posted hours by appt.
Drop-Off: Service Entrance at rear of Hospital - Ring Bell Below Picture of Syringe

Bellevue Women's Center
2210 Troy-Schenectady Rd.
Niskayuna, NY 12309
(518) 346-9513
7 days a week 8am-4pm
Drop-Off: Receiving Area

Sunnyview Hospital & Rehabilitation Center
1270 Belmont Ave.
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 382-4554
Wed. 8am-10pm
Drop-Off: Room B5

Baptist Health Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Inc.
297 N. Ballston Ave.
Scotia, NY 12302
(518) 370-4700x117
Thurs. 8am-11am
Drop-Off: Rear of Bldg. at the loading/receiving dock

Schenectady County Glendale Home
59 Hetcheltown Rd.
Scotia, NY 12302
(518) 384-3627
Mon-Fri 7am-3pm
Drop-Off: Receiving Entrance

Kingsway Arms Nursing Center, Inc.
323 Kings Rd.
Schenectady, NY 12304
(518) 393-4117
Wed. 8am-12pm & 2pm-4pm
Drop-Off: Front Lobby

The Dutch Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
1940 Hamburg Street
Schenectady, NY 12304
(518) 370-5051
Mon.-Fri. 7:30am-3:30pm, Closed Holidays
Drop-Off: Business Office Reception Area

Northwoods Rehab. and Ext Care Facility - Hill Top
1805 Providence Ave.
Niskayuna, NY 12309
(518) 374-2212
Tues. 1pm-3:30pm
Drop-Off: Facility Coordinator (Nursing Supervisor) Office