Chemical Disposal

Household Hazardous Waste

Chemicals which you no longer have use for or have past their ‘use by’ date are potential dangers to humans and pets. Many cannot be poured down the sink or put in the rubbish bin because they can damage waterways, vegetation and soil.

Identification of household hazardous waste
The first step to eliminating household hazardous waste is to identify typical items, and whether they can be disposed of down the drain or taken to the resource recovery facility. The tables below can further assist you in this identification process. Some items may be capable of disposal into drains however, products marked as safe for drain disposal should be diluted at least 50 times with water and should not be disposed of into storm water drains or septic tanks.

In the kitchen Recovery facility Drain
Dishwashing powder/blocks No Yes
Drain cleaners No Yes
Floor care products No Yes
Insect sprays Yes No
Metal polish with solvent Yes No
Oven cleaners Yes No
Window and ammonia based cleaners No


In the Bathroom Recovery facility Drain
Aftershave, perfumes and other lotions No Yes
Bathroom and tile cleaners No Yes
Depilatories No Yes
Hair care products No Yes
Nail polish and remover Yes No
Toilet bowl cleaners and disinfectants No Yes
In the workshop Recovery facility Drain
Acetone Yes No
Aerosol cans Yes N/A
Glue (solvent based) Yes No
Glue (water based) Yes No
Hobby and craft supplies Yes No

Where to dispose of household hazardous waste
City of Nedlands residents can drop off their unwanted products to the following location:
JFR (Jim) McGeough Resource Recovery Facility
Cnr Lemnos Street and Brockway Road, Shenton Park
Open 7.30 am - 3.45 pm Monday to Friday, 10 am - 1 pm weekends, 7.30 am - 1 pm public holidays
Ph: 9384 2544

Typical chemicals that can be taken to the resource recovery facility include:

  • Household products marked as poisons.
  • Pesticides and organic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, miticides, fungicides and fumigants.
  • Solvents including brake fluid, thinners, mineral turpentine, white spirit, creosote, degreasers, antifreeze, dry cleaning fluids, engine coolants, radiator inhibitors
  • Photography chemicals such as fixers, bleachers, neutralisers and developers.
  • Acids such as hydrochloric, sulphuric, nitric, hydrofluoric, phosphoric, oxalic, acetic, pH decreasers (pool acids) and cyanuric acid (pool stabiliser).
  • Alkalis such as caustic soda, sodium hydroxide, drain cleaner, lime, oven cleaner, sodium bicarbonate, soda ash, caustic cleaners and pH increasers (pool alkalis).
  • Oxidisers such as calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite, swimming pool chlorine and sanitisers, bleach and bleach based cleaners, ferric chloride, sodium metabisulphite, hydrogen peroxide, other peroxides and bromine.

Preparation of chemicals for transport to resource recovery facility:
Prior to transport, certain precautions must be taken in preparing the items:

  1. Keep the chemical in the original container with the label intact.
  2. Make sure containers are not leaking.
  3. Each container is to be individually wrapped and sealed in clear plastic bag so that the label can be easily seen without removing the bag.

Disposal of certain waste:

1. Disposal of Paint

  • Paint quantities in their original container can be recycled free of charge by delivery to the JFR (Jim) McGeough Resource Recovery Facility. These paints are reused and on sold to consumers.
  • Smaller quantities of paint can be disposed of using the following method. Remove the lid and allow the remaining contents to dry out, or pour the contents into a flat shallow tray.  Paint hardener products are also available from hardware stores.  Once the paint is dry, place the tin and paint into the rubbish bin.

2. Disposal of Gas Cylinders

Pressurised gas cylinders cannot be disposed of in garbage trucks or at landfills, as they present a danger when compacted. Therefore they must be collected separately. Cylinders can be refilled many times in their life. Options for refilling or safe disposal include:

  • Kwik Gas Cylinder Exchange Service: This is a national cylinder swap service, where you swap your empty cylinder for a new or refurbished filled one. Retail locations are across Australia in selected service stations such as Quix and Mobil outlets, Bunnings Warehouse and others including caravan parks and convenience stores, call to confirm that they are accepted.
  • Swap'n'Go: Swap any Large, Medium or Camper BBQ Gas Bottle at your local centre. Located at participating Ampol, Mobile, BP, Kennards Hire, Shell Mitre10 and BOC outlets.
  • BOC / CIG, Matheson, Linde, GasTech, Air Liquide, LAA or Liquid Air cylinders should be returned to the manufacturer so that no further rental will be charged to the customer.
  • Diving tanks should be returned to the manufacturer, most likely via dive centres or re-fillers.
  • Household type gas cylinders are also accepted at a small cost at JFR (Jim) McGeough Resource Recovery Facility. Information about the manufacturer should be marked on the cylinder. Cylinders without any identifiable markings should be returned to the original source / agent. Re-fillers may be able to provide further information.

3. Disposal of Radioactive Materials
Radioactive materials and commercial qualities of waste cannot be disposed of at JFR (Jim) McGeough Resource Recovery Facility. For waste including radioactive materials (i.e. old smoke alarms and exit signs), contact the Radiation Health Branch of the Department of Health on (08) 9346 2260, or visit

4. Disposal of Motor Oil
Oil is a valuable and finite resource. Each year, more than 500 million litres of motor oil is sold in Australia. It takes only one litre of oil to contaminate one million litres of water and a single automotive oil change produces 4 to 5 litres of used oil. Used oil is hazardous. Lubricating oil picks up a variety of hazardous contaminants when used in engines and transmissions including lead, dioxins, benzene and polycyclic aromatics. Leaving used oil sitting in your garage is a potential fire hazard. To disposed or used or unwanted motor oil:

  • Ask at your local petrol station, many will take used motor oil for recycling
  • JFR (Jim) MCGeough Resource Recovery Facility accepts domestic quantities

5. Disposal of Commercial Quantities of Waste
Any business seeking to dispose of chemicals used for commercial or industrial purposes should contact a chemical collection service provider in the Yellow Pages.

Consider safer alternatives
Proper disposal of hazardous waste can be expensive and available disposal is limited. Reducing the amount of hazardous material in our community by choosing to buy and use safer household products provides a valuable tool in mitigating this problem. For a list of safer alternatives visit the Natural Alternatives to Synthetic Chemicals and Australian Conservation Foundation Greenhome Guide.

Household Hazardous Waste Program
Natural Alternatives to Synthetic Chemicals
Green Home Action for a Better World
Household Chemical Waste brochure
Disposal of unwanted household hazardous waste


Household Hazardous Waste Program

Natural Alternatives to Synthetic Chemicals

Green Home Action for a Better World

Household Chemical Waste brochure

Disposal of unwanted household hazardous waste