Purchase, Storage & Disposal Tips


Do you know what to do with leftover used cooking oil and grease?

Never wash cooking fats, oil or grease (FOG) down the drain, as they can cause the sewer line to back up into your home. If the drain clogs and causes a sewer line blockage it may cause the back up to flow onto the street and into the storm drains which flow to our bayous and eventually Galveston Bay. This material is harmful to the our waterways and the creatures that live there.
Recycle it Instead!

The Harris County Household Hazardous Waste Facility provides a free residential FOG drop-off site for easy disposal. FOG items can be recycled into bio-diesel fuels, a feed additive for animals, and other processes that save natural resources. Please do NOT mix FOG with any other items, such as automotive waste (no auto oils or lubricants) because if these are mixed they cannot be recycled. Also, please bring your FOG in a container that we can keep. This service is for residents of Harris County only. No restaurants will be serviced. 



Some of the HHW items used and stored in our homes can react with one another if they are mixed. Some can even damage the garage floor if they spill. We want to make sure your health, home, and the environment are not damaged by these materials. A few ways you can do this is by purchasing only the amount needed, store them properly, and properly dispose of them when they are no longer wanted or have become contaminated.

Be a Good Consumer

Research the type product(s) you need to effectively perform the job and choose the one that is best. Only purchase the amount you need for the job. Read the product labels carefully and consider purchasing the more environmentally safe product. Before you commit to buying a large container of a product, purchase a smaller container first so you can use it and make sure it is the right product for the job.


  • Read the product label for information regarding proper use and follow all safety precautions.
  • Make sure you wear all safety items specified on the label (gloves, glasses, etc.) to protect you from chemical exposure.
  • Only use the recommended amount - more is not always better!


  • Keep the lid tightly closed and place the containers in an area where they will not be affected by heat, cold, or moisture.
  • Keep the product in its original container. If you need to transfer some of the product to another container, make sure the new container is properly labeled with the product information.
  • Store similar products together and do not store flammables (gas, oil, paint thinners, etc) next to pool chemicals or bleaches.
  • Store pool chemicals in a well ventilated location and never mix pool chemicals together. Also, never add products to an empty pool container.
  • Never mix any household cleaners together. Some may contain chemicals that will react with one another causing harmful fumes or a fire.
  • Strong acids, like battery acid or pool acid (Muriatic Acid), may corrode or damage their container. They can even damage the garage floor. It might be wise to place these in a plastic pan so you will have a secondary container if the original container breaks.


Some products that you think may not be harmful could actually be dangerous to you, your pets, and the environment. Always check the products label to see if it has proper disposal information listed.

Bring HHW that you no longer want or use to your local HHW Collection Facility to dispose of them responsibly. If you have a product in good condition that you no longer want, ask a neighbor or a family member if they can use it.

Here are some other tips:

Latex paint is water-based and, therefore non-hazardous and non-toxic. The Harris County HHW Facility does not accept empty paint cans or latex paint that is solidified. Latex paint can be solidified by adding kitty litter or another absorbent material. Once the paint has dried, the cans can be safely disposed by placing them in bags with your household trash.

Used oil and oil filters can often be recycled at local auto-parts stores. Log on to Earth 911,http://www.earth911.org/ - or call 1-800-CLEAN UP to find a used oil collection center near you.

Recyclable batteries like Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad) batteries are accepted at some local electronics stores. Log on to http://www.call2recycle.org/locator/  to find a rechargeable battery collection center near you.

Car batteries and other lead-acid batteries are accepted at many metal scrap yards. These scrap yards may even pay you a nominal amount for these batteries!