Special Wastes

Hazardous Waste

What is hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment. Characteristic hazardous wastes are materials that are known or tested to exhibit one or more of the following four hazardous traits:

  • Flammable: capable of being easily ignited and of burning quickly
  • Reactivity: capability of reacting chemically
  • Corrosivity: tending or having the power to wear away gradually by chemical action
  • Toxicity: containing or being poisonous

Where can I dispose of hazardous waste?

For disposal options, please contact your local government or waste hauler. A calendar of scheduled Hazardous Waste Events is posted on DEQ's website. 

How can I minimize the use of hazardous chemicals?

  1. Use safer alternatives when available.

  2. Read the labels and try to avoid items that say danger, caution, or toxic.

  3. Buy only what you need and will be able to use.

  4. If you have leftovers materials, give them to a neighbor or community club who might be able to use them.

  5. Take any unused, leftover waste to a Hazardous Waste disposal site or event for proper disposal.

Where can I find more information on hazardous waste?

For more information contact your local government, waste hauler, or visit the DEQ website.

Medical Waste

What is medical waste?

Medical waste includes discarded biologic products, such as blood or tissues, removed from operating rooms, morgues, laboratories, or other medical facilities. The term may also be applied to bedding, bandages, syringes, and similar materials that have been used in treating patients, as well as animal carcasses or body parts used in research. Medical waste is not limited to the medical field and may also include household generated wastes.

Where can I learn more about medical waste?

You can contact your local government, local waste hauler, or go to DEQ's website.

Can’t I just throw my needles in the garbage?

No, it is illegal in the state of Oregon to dispose of medical sharps in the garbage. All medical sharps must be put in an approved sharps container. To find out more about obtaining a sharps container you can contact your waste hauler, local government, pharmacy, or health department. You can also visit DEQ's website.