One person CAN make a difference.

Dealing with old cleaning supplies, paint and used oil can be a hassle.

They cannot be thrown in the trash or washed down the drain. 

Check out where hazardous waste is collected in your area.

The wildlife in our lakes and rivers will thank you!

How do I identify a potentially dangerous product?

  • A product is considered hazardous if it is:

  • Flammable : capable of catching fire easily,

  • Corrosive: capable of irritating or eating away at living tissue,

  • Reactive: reacts violently with air, water, or other chemicals, or

  • Toxic: poisonous to living organisms.


What types of products might have hazardous characteristics?

  • Examples of flammable products include many solvent-based materials such as varnish strippers, enamel paints, and driveway sealants.

  • Some household items that may be corrosive include acidic or caustic cleaners such as toilet bowl cleaner, oven cleaner, and drain opener as well as batteries, especially car batteries.

  • Reactive type chemicals can include strong peroxides, ammonia, chlorine based products, and mothballs.

  • Toxic materials include antifreeze, pesticides, and wind shield washer fluid.


Is there a good way to spot potentially dangerous products?

  • The most effective way to spot potentially dangerous household chemicals is to read the label. Manufacturers are required by law to inform consumers of any possible risks to human health. Additionally information concerning potential risks to the environment are also included.

  • Signal words to look for:

  • CAUTION- the product is mildly toxic (1 oz. to 1 pt. is the fatal dose) or a possible skin irritant.

  • WARNING- the product is moderately toxic (1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. is the fatal dose) or can cause skin injury with prolonged contact with skin or has a moderate chance of catching fire or reacting with another chemical.

  • DANGER- the product is highly flammable, explosive, and/or reactive or is capable of causing injury on contact with eyes or skin.

  • POISON- the product is extremely toxic (a taste to 1 tsp. is the fatal dose).


Is there a way to safely dispose of dangerous household chemicals?

  • There are several safe and easy ways to dispose of many of your unwanted items.

  • Used oil, oil filters, anti-freeze, and automotive batteries - Call the Used Oil Hotline at 1 (800) 287-9013 or visit TN Used Oil Page for a listing of local collection sites.

  • Latex paint should be used up, given away, or dried up and disposed of in your regular garbage. Use kitty litter, sawdust, or shredded paper to speed the drying process.

  • Oil-based paint should be used up, given away, or carried to county paint collection facility (if available).

  • Computers and televisions can often be recycled locally through your local solid waste department or through a private recycler. Check the phone book for electronic recyclers.

  • Batteries - Alkaline batteries may be disposed of with your regular garbage.

  • Rechargeable batteries and cell phones can be recycled. Find a collection site near you by visiting the Call2Recycle website. Also, several home improvement stores take power tool batteries. Lead acid batteries can be recycled locally through your solid waste department or at many automotive retail stores (ie. AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, Napa).

  • Ink jet cartridges can be recycled at most office supply stores and post offices.

  • Regular household cleaners should be used up or can be washed down the drain. If you are on a septic tank, you may want to only pour out small amounts at a time.

  • Propane cylinders can be recycled locally through your solid waste department.

  • Smoke detectors should be returned to the manufacturer. Look for the address on the device.

  • Explosives and ammunition should safely be disposed of by contacting your local police and fire departments.

  • Needles and sharps should be placed inside a sturdy plastic container with a screw on lid (such as a laundry detergent or fabric softener bottle) and disposed of in your regular garbage. Bend the tip of the needle to prevent puncture.

Information from:



Litter is defined by Tennessee law as perishable animal and vegetable waste, garbage, perishable and nonperishable solid waste and tobacco products.


Section 39-14-503. (a) Mitigated criminal littering is littering in an amount less than or equal to five pounds (5 lbs.) in weight or seven and one-half (7.5) cubic feet in volume. 

  • criminal littering is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00)

Section 39-14-504. (a) Criminal littering is littering in an amount more than five pounds (5 lbs.) in weight or seven and one-half (7.5) cubic feet in volume and less than or equal to ten pounds (10 Ibs.) in weight or fifteen (15) cubic feet in volume.

  • littering is a Class B misdemeanor, up to a $500 fine

  • In addition to the penalties established in this section, the court shall require a person convicted under this part to remove litter from the state or local highway system, public playgrounds, public parks or other appropriate public locations for not more than eighty (80) hours. The court, in its discretion, may also a person convicted under this section to work in a recycling center or other appropriate location for any stated period of time not to exceed eight (8) hours.

Section 39-14-505. (a) Aggravated criminal littering is littering:

  • In an amount exceeding ten pounds (10 lbs.) in weight or fifteen (15) cubic feet in volume; or

  • In any amount for any commercial purpose

  •  Aggravated criminal littering is a Class A misdemeanor, except in the following circumstances, in which case it is a Class E felony, up to a $1,500 fine.


Tennessee Toll-Free Litter Hotline

Tennesseans who are tired of trash along state roadways now have a new tool to report litter bugs. The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced today a new toll-free litter hotline, 1-877-8-LITTER (877-854-8837). The litter hotline is part of the new statewide anti-litter campaign, StopLitter™. The hotline provides a way for Tennesseans to report people they witness littering along the state’s roadways, such as a person throwing a paper cup or cigarette butt out of a window, or an item falling from an unsecured load.

“The new toll-free litter hotline gives citizens the ability to Stop It,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “Now anyone who witnesses a person littering can report it and trigger action to improve the quality of the environment and the cleanliness of our roadways. Tennessee has some of the best roads in the nation. With everyone’s help, we can have some of the cleanest, too.”

Citizens who witness a litter bug in action can call 1-877-8-LITTER (877-854-8837). Callers will reach a recording that asks them to provide information about the vehicle. The information that will be requested includes:

  • license plate number (Tennessee plates only)

  • type and make of the vehicle

  • day and time the incident occurred

  • location where the incident occurred

  • the type of item tossed or blown from the vehicle

TDOT will mail a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle along with a StopLitter™ car trash bag or portable ashtray and other anti-litter information. The letter is a gentle reprimand reminding the recipient that littering is against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $1500.


Click here for more information.

Click here for a complete list of the TN Litter Laws