Preparing hazardous materials
Garbage and recycling
Guide to hazardous waste
› Preparing hazardous materials
How to prepare and bring household hazardous waste to Metro events and hazardous waste facilities.
Whether you are bringing your household hazardous waste to Metro’s facilities or to a neighborhood collection roundup, prepare and transport your materials properly. This will minimize risks to you, your family, property, and Metro staff from accidental spills or dangerous mixing of materials.
- Keep products in original containers when possible. If a product does not have its original label, label it yourself if you’re sure of the contents. This will help staff dispose of your materials safely.
- Don’t mix products together. Dangerous reactions can occur when some materials are mixed.
- Make sure products are properly sealed to prevent leaks and spills. If a container is leaking, secure it in a secondary leak-proof container.
- Pack containers in sturdy boxes in the trunk of your vehicle, away from the driver, passengers and pets. Cardboard boxes work well.
- Containers and boxes, including gasoline cans, cannot be returned to you, so make sure you don’t need them for future use. Please do not put items in plastic bags.
- Always store products in a secure place, away from children, pets and heat, sparks or flames.
How much can you bring?
Do not bring containers larger than five gallons and limit your load to 35 gallons. If you need to bring more than 35 gallons, please call Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000 to make arrangements.
Syringes, IV tubing with needles, scalpel blades, etc., from residential users are accepted when disposed of in a red, state-certified sharps container. Containers can be purchased at either facility and exchanged for free when full. Metro does not accept sharps from businesses.Learn more
Small amounts of asbestos will be accepted only if it is from a household, not from a business, and it is double-bagged and properly marked. A maximum of ten pounds of friable or non-friable asbestos will be accepted at Metro's permanent facilities (please do not bring asbestos to a neighborhood collection event). Materials cannot be greater than three feet in length. Metro will also accept asbestos containing materials in which the fibers are bound in a tar-like or petroleum based material (roofing tar, for example). Larger amounts and business-generated material must be taken to the Hillsboro Landfill.
Waste Management Northwest provides information about asbestos disposal services at the Hillsboro Landfill.More
These items don’t need to be brought to a hazardous waste facility for disposal or recycling:
Antifreeze recovery systems with recycling containers are available from many automotive supply retailers. Used antifreeze is recyclable at Metro’s solid waste and recycling transfer stations and through some private recyclers.
Cans of dried paint and empty containers
Remove lids from empty paint containers and allow them to dry out. Clean, empty metal paint cans and lids can be recycled at the curb. Clean, empty plastic paint buckets can also be recycled at the curb, but the lids cannot.
Empty aerosol cans
Empty cans may be recycled through your residential collection service. Use up contents whenever possible. Aerosol cans that are not empty should be disposed of as household hazardous waste.
Used motor oil can also be recycled at the curb with other materials in the Portland metropolitan area. Pour into an unbreakable, see-through container with a screw-on lid (milk jugs work well). If you do not have curbside recycling collection you can bring used motor oil to Metro's solid waste and recycling transfer stations and to some businesses in the region. Used oil filters should be disposed of at the hazardous waste facility.
When you arrive
Remain in your vehicle when you arrive at the facility or neighborhood collection site. A technician will unload your materials and you’ll be on your way. And, please, no smoking.