Hazardous Waste – What NOT to Put in Your Trash

When household items are unused, broken, or expired, it’s easy to just throw them in the nearest trash can. But did you know that the average household has over 20 hazardous waste items in the home? Hazardous waste can be dangerous to throw away – for the environment and other people. Here’s a great list of what items should and should not be thrown away in your Queen City Disposal trash bin.

Acceptable for your QCD trash bin:

Alkaline batteries – Alkaline batteries are the common household types found in remotes, clocks, flashlights, smoke detectors and other wireless devices. They do not contain mercury and therefore are non-hazardous and can be thrown away in your trash. To be safe, when disposing of them, collect used batteries in a container that won’t cause a spark, such as a plastic tub, and prevent any fire risk by taping 9-volt terminals before tossing. 

Latex paint – If the paint can is empty – you can dispose of it in your regular garbage. If there is still paint remaining – it should be completely dried up before throwing it away. Use kitty litter, sawdust, or shredded paper to speed the drying process. Do NOT throw away undried paint, as the paint can leak and the chemicals from the paint can contaminate the environment. Latex paint can now be accepted separately at the main landfill site on Dover Road when the scales are open.

NOT acceptable for your trash bin:

Used motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze – Visit The Tennessee Department of Energy & Conservation Used Oil Page for a listing of local collection sites. There are several convenience centers and transfer stations in the Clarksville – Montgomery County area that accept these items. 

Car batteries – Auto batteries should not go in the trash because of the chemicals contained inside. The good news? Almost 97% of the lead in a used 12-volt battery can be recycled. Take your battery to an auto shop or a car battery supplier (see list above for local collection sites in the Clarksville area), and they’ll recycle them for free. Today, 99% of all car batteries in the US are recycled.

Refrigerators, air conditioners, and other cooling devices must be taken to the Bi-County Solid Waste Management Landfill at 3212 Dover Road. Freon and other hazardous gases will be removed and the device will be recycled. 

Electronic waste – Computers and televisions and other electronic devices are accepted at the Bi-County Landfill (3212 Dover Road) when the scales are open for recycling.

Ink jet cartridges can be recycled at most office supply stores and post offices. Please call first to make sure they are currently accepting used cartridges.

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

Rechargeable batteries and cell phones – Rechargeable batteries (such as Lithium-Ion, Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Zinc) and used cell phones can be recycled at the Bi-County Landfill. Local home improvement stores, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot have drop-off areas for rechargeable batteries and cell phones as well. See all Clarksville locations here

Light bulbs – Compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) bulbs can be disposed of in the marked containers at local home improvement stores, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. 

Unused or expired drugs – Prescription drugs should not be thrown away because their chemicals can seep into the soil and water supply. Search takebackyourmeds.org for a drug take-back event in your area. If you’re unable to locate a take-back in your area, follow the FDA’s tips for safely disposing of your medications.

Needles – These should be placed inside a sturdy plastic container with a screw on lid (such as a laundry detergent or fabric softener bottle) and labeled (ie ‘ Sharps Disposal Container’) and disposed of at your local Hazardous Household Waste event. Bend the tip of the needle to prevent puncture. 

Chemicals – Strong household cleaners like bleach, pesticides, solvents and corrosive chemicals should never go in the trash. Chemicals should always be treated with extreme care because of their potentially harmful impacts to the land, water and humans they come into contact with. Please store these chemicals in a plastic container and drop them off at your area’s next Hazardous Household Waste Collection event. Click here to see the 2020HHW collection event schedule. 

For more information about the transportation of household hazardous waste click here.


  • We recognize that the Coronavirus outbreak has tremendous unknowns and could cause unanticipated service disruptions or unusually high call volumes. We at Queen City Disposal have developed and implemented business continuity plans to ensure our operations run effectively as possible. We greatly appreciate your patience and trust in Queen City Disposal.

Queen City Disposal is a locally owned and operated business. Our mission is to ensure the delivery of a cost-effective and environmentally sound solid waste management system. 

Contact us today and let’s talk trash! 
Queen City Disposal
50 Reynolds Street
Clarksville, TN  37040
Phone: 931-896-1500 
Email: info@queencitydisposal.com