To ensure the safety of our employees & the public visiting City facilities, we are taking the following COVID-19 precautions: all individuals must wear a mask or facial covering upon entry to City and have a temperature check prior to entry when visiting City facilities.
Follow these simple NO-CONTACT drop-off procedures when visiting Environmental Service Center.
- 1. Before making the trip, package your items accordingly: Keep items in their original containers, when possible; Place broken or leaking containers inside a second container. (i.e. glass for corrosives, metal for flammables); Prevent injuries & chemical reaction by not tossing items together in a bag; Place items upright in a box for transport; Fuel: transport in closed non- returnable containers.
- 2. Transport all items in your trunk rather than the passenger compartment of your vehicle. Ensure it is clear what items are meant to be dropped off by limiting the other items in your trunk.
- 3. Keep windows rolled up and have ID and utility bill ready to show.
- 4. Open your trunk. SWM employee will remove the pre-sorted container and close your trunk.
- 5. Safely exit the facility and have a great day.
We appreciate your cooperation as we work together to protect and keep Houston safe.
Note: Rules and guidelines apply to both the North and South locations with the exception of times of operation.
Accepted Items at both ESC's
- Aerosol Cans
- Batteries (Lead Acid & Rechargeable only, i.e.: car and motorized vehicles & equipment batteries; lithium - ion (Li-ION); nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH); nickel cadmium (Ni-CD). Batteries mentioned are accepted at both ESC locations and Westpark. Alkaline batteries and batteries not listed will not be accepted.You may safely dispose of 9V and 6V batteries by taping their terminals, sealing them in a plastic bag, and then tossing them in the trash.
- Brake Fluid
- Car Waxes
- Computer Equipment and Components
- Cooking Oil
- Drain Cleaners
- Electrical Appliances (small)
- Electronic Scrap
- Fluorescent Bulbs
- Helium Tanks (5 gallon maximum)
- Household Chemicals
- Lawn Equipment (all fluids removed)
- Metal Polish
- Metal/Wire Clothes Hangers
- Motor Oil
- Paint (Latex & Oil Base) - 25 gallons maximum
- Paint Stains/Thinners
- Pest Strips
- Pool Chemicals
- Power Steering Fluid
- Propane Tanks (5 gallon maximum)
- Telephone Equipment
- Thermostats (Mercury Based Accepted)
- Tires (5 tires per residence, per month, no commercial vehicle tires)
- Transmission Fluid
- TVs (do not breakdown/strip; see weight limit & restrictions)
Household hazardous waste or residential electronic scrap items should not be placed on the curb or in your automated container for garbage collection or tree waste/junk waste pickup.
Residential electronic scrap items accepted for recycling include:
- VCR/DVD/Blu-Ray players
- Stereo Equipment
Items Not Accepted at the ESC
The ESC can accept most household hazardous wastes. However, there are some materials the ESC is not authorized to accept which includes the following:
- Businesses Waste
- Foam Rubber Sheets
- Freon Containing Appliances
- Large Appliances
- Medical Waste
- Oxygen Tanks
- Packing Peanuts
- Propane and Butane (gas) Cylinders
- Radioactive Waste
- Smoke Detectors
Limits and Quantities
- City of Houston residential customers only; no business waste
- Vouchers (must be purchased in advance by participating communities; non-Houston residential customers only)
- Total weight of materials not to exceed 100 lbs
- No individual item to exceed 50 lbs
- Individual household quantities only
- No area wide or commercial quantities
- HHW Materials: ½ pickup truck load, 1 trunk load or approximately 100 pounds total weight
- Paint: 25 gallons per visit
- Tires: 5 tires per residence, per month, no commercial vehicle tires
Safety Tips for Handling & Transporting Materials
- Keep items in their original containers, when possible
- Place broken or leaking containers inside a second container. (i.e. glass for corrosives, metal for flammables).
- Prevent injuries & chemical reaction by not tossing items together in a bag
- Place items upright in a box for transport;
- Fuel: transport in closed non- returnable containers
- Dry paint may be placed in the trash.
- If a container has no label and its contents are known, please place a label on the container clearly stating the contents.
The ESC is not responsible for damage caused by faulty packaging.
For your safety and to make the collection of materials less costly and more efficient, if you have a product that is still usable, consider giving it to someone who can use it.
Do not transport chemicals in the passenger compartment of your vehicle; put them in the trunk.
Before moving or transporting certain chemicals (especially those not typically used in the average household), it is helpful to search online for their chemical nature. Simply shaking, agitating or exposing to heat could cause an explosion. Picric Acid which is a dangerous explosive and toxic chemical (especially dangerous in crystal form) can be found in some homes and garages. This type of commercial grade chemical should only be handled by highly trained chemical waste companies. The ESC will not accept chemicals of this nature. Remember to be safe... for yourself and for your loved ones.
Every Friday from 9 am – 12 pm, household chemicals and paint that were brought to the ESC for disposal, but appear to be in good condition are made available for citizen reuse. Citizens may take away these items at no charge. A signed liability waiver will be required before removing materials from the site. There is a limit of six (6) chemical items and a cart load of paint per week.
This service is only available at the ESC South location.
ReStore (Craft Items, Books, Post Consumer & Industrial Scrap)
The ReStore, which acts as a book swap, a recycling information library, as well as a repository for craft items and post consumer and post industrial scrap (useful for art projects), is now located at the ESC- South. Items can be dropped off at Westpark and the ESCs during normal service times. Items can be taken away from 9am – 12 noon every Friday during the Reuse Chemical Take-Away.
This service only available at the ESC South location.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to bring identification?
A: Yes, a recent water bill must be shown as proof of residency.
Q: Does it cost to drop off my household chemicals?
A: No, it is a free service for residents of the city of Houston.
Q: Do I have to unload my household hazardous waste at the ESC?
A: No, the ESC staff will unload them for you. You never have to get out of your vehicle.
Q: Can I bring chemical waste from my business?
A: No, only household chemicals are accepted.
Q: Will you make presentations to my school or my civic association?
A: Sure! For an educational presentation and a tour of the ESC please call 832-393-7766. The ESC’s auditorium will hold approximately 40 people.
Houston-Area Depository and Recycling Locations
Neighborhood Depository/Recycling Centers
Neighborhood Recycling Drop-off Locations
Environmental Service Center (ESC) Locations
Proper disposal of materials is key to a healthy, clean environment. Visit each link for additional information.
Anti-Freeze || Batteries || Fluorescent Lights || Lawn/Garden Chemicals || Medical Waste
Mercury || Paint || Pharmaceuticals || Used Oil