What is hazardous waste?


Hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, gases or sludges, and can be toxic, flammable or corrosive. These wastes can be generated by households as well as commercial and industrial operations.

The Water Quality District works with the Missoula Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Fire Department and Republic Services to offer household hazardous waste collection events for Missoula County residents and small businesses.

 Many household wastes can be disposed of throughout the year at various locations. Look through our year-round disposal guide for ideas or call the Water Quality District at (406) 258-4890. 

Common household hazardous waste includes:


  • Paints & Solvents
  • Automotive Fluids ( gas, oil & antifreeze)
  • Pesticides
  • Products with mercury. (thermometers, thermostats &  fluorescent lights)
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Pharmaceutical Disposal - Traditional waste water treatment does not remove or break down pharmaceuticals.  These drugs can be found at low levels in surface and groundwater.  Tor this reason, pharmaceuticals should never be flushed down the drain.
  • Sharps - Republic Services of Montana will take used needles (sharps) if you package them safely  for disposal.  For additional resources check out the Fact Sheet provided by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.


You can  reduce household hazardous waste by buying the smallest amount needed for the job and using alternatives that are less hazardous whenever possible!