Proper Disposal in Polk
Household chemical and electronic waste from Polk County residents is accepted at no additional fee at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the North Central Landfill. Businesses, nonprofit groups or entities other than residential households are not eligible for this service.
Federal law requires businesses to properly dispose of all hazardous waste. For information on commercial hazardous waste disposal options, to learn more about the Small Business Disposal program or to simply learn more, contact our office at (863) 284-4319 or visit www.polkwastewise.net.
Why is proper disposal so important?
HHWs can be harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment. They can contaminate water supplies and should never be thrown in the trash, poured down the drain, storm sewers or on the ground. Never leave hazardous products within the reach of children or pets.
What are Household Hazardous Wastes?
Household hazardous wastes (HHW) are products that contain ingredients that are flammable, corrosive, combustible, toxic and/or reactive. HHWs include, but are not limited to:
- Auto and Boat Batteries: Bring old car batteries to the HHW facility or check with local “buy-back” centers for recycling. By law, all stores should accept and recycle old car batteries when a new one is purchased.
- Household Batteries: Common household alkaline batteries, such as As, Cs and Ds, no longer contain mercury and are safe to dispose of with regular garbage. Rechargeable batteries still contain toxins and need to be recycled. Local electronic stores also offer disposal options.
- Fuel and Gas Cylinders: Containers of fuel or gas up to five gallons can be taken to the HHW facility. Propane and other flammable gases can cause explosions or fires when disposed in the garbage and are accepted by the HHW facility.
- Filters, Used Oil and Antifreeze: Motor oil is banned from landfill disposal so it cannot be placed in your garbage. Motor oil can contaminate water supplies if improperly disposed. County residents should recycle used motor oil and antifreeze at the HHW facility.
- Pesticides: Use as directed or take to the HHW facility. Empty pesticide containers can be thrown away with your household garbage.
- Mercury and Fluorescent Lights: Fluorescent tubes and CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, which need to be disposed of through the HHW facility. Check with local home improvement stores for additional disposal options.
- Flares: Marine and roadside flares can cause fires when disposed of in the garbage. Take to the HHW facility.
- Paint: Take to a HHW drop-off area (limit of 20 gallons a year). Alternatively, latex paint can be dried out and thrown away with your household garbage. Remove lid and add sand, cat litter or sawdust to absorb liquid. Leave uncovered in garbage.
- Used Cooking Oil: Used cooking oil can harm septic tanks and clog sewers. It can also be used to make a variety of products including new fuel. Take to the HHW facility.
Never leave hazardous products within the reach of children or pets.
Storage and Transport Safety for Disposal
- Do not mix chemicals together
- If containers are in poor condition, pack securely in a sturdy box or bucket when transporting. Do not pack in plastic bags
- During transport, place containers in a well-ventilated trunk or truck bed
What are E-wastes?
E-wastes, or electronic wastes, often come in the form of obsolete electronics like computers, monitors, printers, televisions, VHS players, etc. There may be an opportunity for recycling TVs, computers and electronics or their parts. Residents may drop off e-wastes at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection facility to be recycled or disposed.
Note: There is a limit of five components per visit.
Are Biohazard Wastes and Medications accepted?
Polk Waste and Recycling does not accept the following materials:
- Biohazardous waste
- Hypodermic needles
- Unused or expired medication
|December 2, 2023||8 a.m. to noon||Chain-O-Lakes S/W Complex||210 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven|
|February 3, 2024||8 a.m. to noon||Lakeland Solid Waste Parking Lot||602 Evelyn Avenue, Lakeland|
|March 2, 2024||8 a.m. to noon||Public Works Utilities||300 N 5th Street, Haines City|
Used Sharps Collection Program
What are Sharps?
Sharps are items having the potential to puncture or lacerate. These include syringes with attached needles and disposable lancets. If not disposed of properly, sharps can cause many problems:
- They puncture solid waste containers, putting workers along collection routes and at the landfill at risk of injury or disease.
- They threaten public safety.
- They may be contaminated with hepatitis, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and other serious or fatal diseases.
What Should I do with Used Sharps?
Sharps are NOT accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste facility.
The Florida Department of Health in Polk County has a voluntary program for residents and visitors with medical conditions that require the use of syringes with attached needles or disposable lancets. If you have a medical condition which requires the use of injected medication, please take advantage of this FREE program.
The program is only for private individuals who give themselves or a family member shots. Healthcare professionals and businesses are regulated by other agencies and are not allowed to participate.
How does the program work?
- Visit a collection site listed closest to you.
- Request a sharps container from the receptionist.
- Take the container home and place it out of reach of children.
- Place used syringes or lancets into the sharps container immediately after use.
- Do not overfill or force needles into the sharps container. The containers are only puncture resistant, not puncture-proof.
- When the container is 3/4 full, permanently close the top.
- Leave the sharps container with an authorized employee at one of the collection sites listed on this brochure for proper disposal.
- Obtain a new sharps container from the receptionist.
- Throw loose sharps in trash
- Put sharps in recycling
- Flush sharps down toilet
KEEP SHARPS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
|Auburndale Health Department||1805 Hobbs Road, Auburndale||Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.||(863) 519-7910|
|Bartow Fire Department||110 E. Church Street, Bartow||Daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.||(863) 534-5044|
|Bartow Environmental Health Office - Florida Department of Health||2090 E. Clower Street, Bartow||Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.||(863) 519-8330|
|Haines City Health Department||1700 Baker Avenue E., Haines City||Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.||(863) 519-7910|
|Lake Wales Fire Department||253 West Central Avenue, Lake Wales||Daily (drop off all hours)||(863) 678-4203|
|Lakeland Health Department||3241 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland||Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.||(863) 519-7910|
Hazardous Waste Collection Program for Small Businesses
As a business owner, operator or employee, you may be generating waste materials that can harm people and the environment. Businesses that generate small amounts of hazardous waste, usually 25 gallons or less in a month, can use the Hazardous Waste Collection Program for Small Businesses. This program provides a convenient disposal option to qualified businesses to properly recycle or dispose of their hazardous waste. All hazardous wastes must be stored properly and disposed of at a designated hazardous waste management or recycling facility. Hazardous waste should never be allowed to evaporate, disposed of with trash, or poured into septic tanks, down storm drains or onto the ground. You can download the registration form here or call (863) 284-4319 for more information.
Can My Business Participate?
Your business can participate in this program if it is classified as a conditionally exempt small quantity generator (CESQG) of hazardous waste, which means:
- You produce less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste each month (about 25 gallons)
- You have less than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste on site (about five 55-gallon drums)
To determine if you are a CESQG, estimate the waste you produce each month and inventory the hazardous waste you currently have onsite. If you meet these guidelines, you may take advantage of the Hazardous Waste Collection Program for Small Businesses. Contact us for other disposal options, including hazardous waste transporters.
Types of Wastes Accepted
|Acids||$7.15||gal||Hydrochloric, muriatic, photographic fixer. Call for pricing on nitric and perchloric acids.|
|Adhesives, Flammable||$4.34||gal||Roofing tar, glue|
|Aerosols, Non-pesticide, Non-corrosive||$0.50||unit||Brake cleaner, carb cleaner, paint|
|Aerosols, Pesticide, Corrosive||$2.66||unit||Raid, oven cleaner|
|Ballasts, Non-PCB||$1.00||unit||Must have "PCB-free" label|
|Bateries, Lead-acid||$1.00||unit||Vehicle, UPS (battery backup)|
|Batteries, Rechargeable (NiCad, NiMH)||$ -||unit|
|Caustics (bases), Liquid||$8.63||gal||Sodium hypochlorite (bleach), sodium hydroxide, photographic developer|
|Caustics (bases) Solid (1-gal containers)*||$6.34||1-gal||1-gal containers: Sodium hydroxide pellets|
|Drywall mud/stucco/grout/etc. (non-flammable)||$2.00||gal|
|Flammable Liquids, Halogenated||$5.51||gal||Paint strippers, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, trichloriethylene|
|Flammable Liquids, Non-halogenated||$2.91||gal||Paint thinner, lacquer thinner, xylene, acetone, toluene, mineral spirits, methyl ethyl ketone, kerosene|
|Flammable Solids, Bulk (5-gal container)*||$130.00||5-gal||Shop rags contaminated with hazardous waste, paint still bottoms ($347.10 for 55-gal drum)|
|Fluorescent Lamps, 4', U-Tube, HID, CFL||$0.50||unit||Limited to no more than 400 pieces at a time|
|Fluorescent Lamps, 5'-8'||$1.00||unit||Limited to no more than 400 pieces at a time|
|Lead-backed Foils (1-gal container)*||$15.00||1-gal||Lead foils in container|
|Oil Filters||$0.25||unit||Drained used oil filters|
|Oil, Used||$0.25||gal||Motor oil, hydraulic|
|Oil, Used with water||$0.36||gal||Motor oil, hydraulic|
|Pesticides (1-gal containers)*||$13.00||1-gal|
|Resins (not containing amines or isocynates)||$4.34||gal||2-part epoxy resins without amines or isocynates|
|Resins/Catalysts (with amines)*||$12.84||1-gal||1-gal containers: Part A or B epoxy resins with amines|
|Resins/Catalysts (w/isocyanides)*||$11.80||1-gal||1-gal containers: Part A or B hardeners/catalysts with isocyanides|
*Prices are subject to change without notice. Contact us directly on pricing for waste types not listed and other container sizes.
Container Sizes and Amounts
All containers must be in good condition and properly labeled with the contents. When necessary, wastes will be packaged into Department of Transportation approved containers at an additional cost to you. Hazardous waste will be accepted in containers up to five gallons in size and no more than 1,000 pounds at one time. Call us for containers over five gallons. Used oil will be accepted in containers up to five gallons and no more than 55 gallons at one time.
Registering for the Program
If your business is classified as a CESQG you must complete a registration form. This form is available online here or by calling (863) 284-4319 ext. 203 to request a packet.
After your registration form is reviewed, a Polk County employee will call you and may need to schedule an onsite visit. This visit is done to confirm the types of wastes you generate at your facility and to ensure that your facility is classified as a CESQG. At that time, you will be provided with a disposal cost estimate.
Scheduling an Appointment
Appointments must be made in advance and can be scheduled Monday through Friday (except Wednesday). If your facility requires an onsite visit, your appointment can be made during that time.
Disposal fees are based on the type and quantity of waste you bring to the facility. You will be charged for the full volume of each container, regardless of how full the container is.
DO NOT MIX DIFFERENT WASTE TYPES
- Transportation must be provided by your business. A CESQG is allowed under the law to transport their own waste.
- On your appointment date/time, deliver your waste to 5 Environmental Loop South, Winter Haven, FL 33880. Follow the signs to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Staff will inspect each container of waste, comparing it to your inventory sheet. They will provide you with the final cost of disposal. Payment must be made by cash, check or credit card at the time of disposal.
- Once payment is made, you will be provided a Hazardous Waste Disposal Receipt for your records. You will want to retain this receipt for at least three years. (Per Florida Administrative Code 62-730.030(3))
- If it is later determined the waste material dropped off was not what was represented by your company, you may be contacted for reimbursement of additional disposal costs.
For more information call Polk County Waste and Recycling at (863) 284-4319.