Disaster Preparedness: Managing Household Hazardous Waste

By Andrea Davis on September 28, 2023

When you think of disaster situations, it’s likely that your first thought is not what might happen if your paint thinner and disinfectant come into contact. For many, understanding household waste management itself can be overwhelming.

Don’t fret, because we are here to answer your burning questions and make sure you’re well equipped with the knowledge you need.

What is Household Hazardous Waste?

Most hazardous products will be labeled, but some examples include the following:

  • Adhesives, sprays, paints, pesticides
  • Cleaners, bleaches, disinfectants
  • Appliances (large and small)
  • Technological and electronic devices (large and small)
  • Polishes
  • Batteries (non alkaline)

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Hazardous waste should never be set out or mixed with general household waste. There are a few reasons for this. Regulations prohibit disposing of these types of materials in landfills like Granger’s, which are meant for household waste. Additionally, tossed hazardous waste can easily harm employees who are handling it.

Then what to do with hazardous waste? Michigan.gov has a list of resources that make it easy to find drop-off locations with tabs for specific hazardous waste materials.

Local counties and governments often have collection days or events to add ease of access to disposal. Read on for some of these resources that can be found in Granger’s service territory.

Local Opportunities

Lansing Area
Ingham County offers drop-off disposal twice a week, May through September. Residents can drop off hazardous waste Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-6 p.m. For more information and directions visit here.

Fowlerville Area
Livingston County provides hazardous waste collection by appointment and also has scheduled collection events. Sign up and information can be found on their website here.

The Village of Fowlerville website gives updates on collection events in the area and provides links to sign up here.

Jackson Area
The Jackson County Conservation District provides information and sign-up for upcoming hazardous waste collection events on their website here.

Cedar Springs Area
Guides for understanding and disposing of chemical, medical and needle waste materials are linked on Grand Rapids’ website near the bottom of the page here.

Kent County also provides a map of different locations and drop-off opportunities here.

Alma Area
The City of Alma and St. Louis provides an annual collection by appointment event with details here.

Emergency Collection

In the case of an emergency or disaster, visit your local government’s website and contact established facilities for more information on proper cleanup and collection opportunities. Don’t attempt to clean hazardous leaks or damage, as hazardous materials are more likely to mix and create hazardous reactions after a disaster.


Proper day-to-day management of household hazardous waste products can be the difference between a bad situation and a disaster. With your newfound knowledge, you should be better equipped during a natural disaster to ensure you’re managing and disposing of these products safely.