Special waste is made up of products or items with substances that could be harmful to your health or the environment if not disposed of properly.

Examples of special waste include:

  • Batteries
  • Flammable liquids
  • Household chemicals
  • Paint

If you are a business, you must contact an environmental services company to dispose of special waste.

NYC residents can drop off non-commercial special waste at Special Waste Sites and SAFE Disposal Events. The waste must be generated from a residence inside New York City.

Each drop-off location accepts different items.

ItemSpecial Waste SiteSAFE Event
Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, and FreezersNoNo
AntifreezeNoYes
AsbestosNoNo
BatteriesYesYes
Cooking Oil or GreaseNoNo
ElectronicsYesYes
Fire ExtinguishersNoYes
Fluorescent Light Bulbs (less than 4 feet)YesYes
Gas and Helium TanksNoYes
GasolineNoYes
Household ChemicalsNoYes
Medical WasteNoYes
Motor Oil and Transmission FluidYesYes
Paint (Latex)YesYes
Paint (Oil-Based)NoYes
Thermometers and ThermostatsYesYes
Tires (up to 4)YesNo

If an item isn’t accepted by a Special Waste Site or a SAFE Event, or if you’re unable to drop off an item, you may have other disposal options.

    Special Waste Sites accept only non-commercial special waste from NYC residents. These sites are not available for businesses or waste generated outside of NYC.

    What You Need

    If you’re arriving with a vehicle, you must show a valid New York driver license and vehicle registration with a New York City address. The vehicle can’t have commercial plates.

    If arriving without a vehicle, you must show a picture ID and proof of residency, such as a utility or telephone bill that contains your name and New York City address.

    Hours of Operation

    Special Waste Sites are open from 10 AM to 5 PM every Saturday and the last Friday of the month. Sites are closed on legal holidays and may be closed during severe weather. Do not leave material at the site when it is closed.

    Locations

    The sites are generally located in DSNY garages and are sometimes not immediately visible. If you're having trouble finding it, please ask for a garage foreman or supervisor.

    Bronx
    Hunts Point at Farragut Street and the East River, next to the Fulton Fish Market.
    The entrance is on Farragut Street, off Food Center Drive.

    Brooklyn
    459 North Henry Street in Greenpoint

    Manhattan
    74 Pike Slip between Cherry Street and South Street, under the Manhattan Bridge.

    Queens
    DSNY Queens District 7 Garage in College Point
    30th Avenue between 120th and 122nd Streets, at the northwest corner of the garage
    Enter at 30th Avenue off College Point Boulevard and take a left after 122nd Street.

    Staten Island
    DSNY Staten Island District 3 Garage
    Foot of Muldoon Avenue, off the Muldoon Avenue exit (Exit 5) of the southbound West Shore Expressway (440)

    SAFE Disposal Events are held in the spring and fall in every borough.

    Only residential waste from New York City is accepted. Commercial vehicles aren't allowed at SAFE events.

    SAFE Disposal Events don't accept:

    • Commercial waste
    • Household appliances, including appliances with CFC or Freon such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers
    • Tires
    • Waste generated from outside New York City

    Learn more about SAFE Disposal Events.

    Fall 2021 SAFE Disposal Events

    SAFE Disposal Events are back in every borough this fall. On the day of the event, the site is open from 10 AM to 4 PM. This year, you must register online and provide your email address to attend the event.

    If you can’t register online, don’t have an email address, or are trying to register for a timeslot that is sold out, you may arrive at the event between 2:30 PM and 4:00 PM and follow instructions provided by staff.

    Manhattan - Sunday, September 19
    Union Square, North Plaza
    South side of 17th Street, between Park Avenue South and Broadway
    Cars approach from Park Avenue South and 20th Street
    Walk-in area available for residents taking public transportation
    Register for the event.

    Brooklyn - Sunday, September 26
    Floyd Bennett Field
    Flatbush Avenue/Marine Parkway
    Cars enter along Flatbush Avenue and make a left into the main entrance, immediately before the toll bridge
    Register for the event.

    Queens - Saturday, October 9
    Cunningham Park, Ball Field Parking Lot
    Cars enter on Francis Lewis Boulevard between Union Turnpike and Grand Central Parkway
    Walk-in area available for residents taking public transportation
    Register for the event.

    Staten Island - Saturday, October 16
    Midland Beach Parking Lot
    Father Capodanno Boulevard and Hunter Avenue
    Cars approach from Slater Boulevard
    Register for the event.

    Bronx - Saturday, October 23
    Orchard Beach Parking Lot
    Follow Park Drive to the end
    Register for the event.

    You can dispose of some special waste in regular trash or recycling if you follow specific rules. Some items may also be taken to a retailer or business that specializes in waste disposal.

    Appliances with CFCs

    Chlorofluorocarbon gas (CFC), also called Freon, is found in appliances that cool or chill, such as:

    • Air conditioners
    • Refrigerators
    • Freezers

    You must make an appointment to dispose of these appliances so the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) can remove the CFCs safely. Learn more on the CFC and Freon Removal page.

    Antifreeze

    Check if your local gas or service station will accept antifreeze if properly packaged. You can also contact a hazardous material or chemical waste disposal company.

    Asbestos

    You can't throw away asbestos in the trash. For handling, storage, and disposal of asbestos or items containing asbestos, contact a private hazardous or chemical waste company.

    Batteries

    Automotive and Scooter Batteries

    Bring automotive and scooter batteries to a retail store or service station that sells them. If you buy a new battery at the same time or within 30 days, the $5 tax on the new battery will be waived or refunded.

    You may be fined for putting automotive batteries in the regular trash or recycling.

    Rechargeable Household Batteries

    It's illegal to put rechargeable batteries in your trash or recycling.

    This includes batteries from:

    • Laptops
    • Cell phones
    • Digital cameras

    You can drop them off for free at many stores, including most Staples and Best Buy locations. Learn more on the Rechargeable Battery Recycling page.

    Non-Rechargeable Household Batteries

    You may put non-rechargeable alkaline household batteries in your regular trash.

    Cooking Oil or Grease

    Household Cooking Oil

    Pouring cooking oil or grease down the drain causes sewer backups.

    Dispose of cooking oil and grease by pouring it into a leak-proof container made of plastic or metal. Clearly label the container as containing cooking oil, then place it next to or in your regular trash.

    Learn more on the Cooking Oil and Grease Disposal page.

    Restaurant Cooking Oil

    Restaurants must use a private carter to dispose of their cooking oil.

    Electronics

    Certain electronics contain hazardous materials, including lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium.

    E-waste includes:

    • TVs
    • Monitors
    • Computers
    • Laptops
    • Small servers
    • Printers/scanners
    • Tablets/e-readers
    • MP3 players
    • VCRs/DVDs/DVR players
    • Fax machines
    • Video game consoles
    • Cable/satellite boxes
    • Computer mice
    • Keyboards

    You can learn how to dispose of unwanted e-waste on the Electronics Disposal page.

    For electric appliances that aren’t covered by the State’s e-waste law, such as microwaves, fans, or irons, you should remove the battery and dispose of them curbside following normal trash or recycling disposal rules.

    Fire Extinguishers and Compressed Gas Tanks

    Fire Extinguishers and Helium Tanks

    You can put fire extinguishers and helium tanks out for recycling collection, exchange them for full tanks when buying new ones, or take them back to where you bought them.

    If you put them out for collection, first empty them and remove the head. To empty an extinguisher, spray it into a damp paper bag.

    Propane Tanks

    The Department of Sanitation does not collect propane gas tanks, such as those used by gas barbecues, because they are pressurized and may explode when compressed in the garbage truck.

    You can:

    • Exchange a used tank when buying a new tank
    • Bring a tank to a hardware store or private propane dealer for reuse or recycling
    • Bring a used tank to a scrap metal dealer for recycling

    For a partial list of propane gas vendors, visit the Propane Tank Storage and Disposal page.

    Oxygen or Acetylene Tanks

    The Department of Sanitation does not collect pressurized oxygen or acetylene tanks because they can explode when compressed by garbage trucks.

    You should exchange old, pressurized oxygen and acetylene tanks when purchasing a new cylinder. If the retailer refuses to accept the old cylinder, or you aren't buying a new one, contact another dealer about correct disposal. Welding equipment and scrap metal dealers may accept old cylinders.

    Flammable Liquids

    Highly flammable liquids include:

    • Gasoline
    • Heating oil
    • Lighter fluid

    Never pour these liquids down the drain or in a sewer. Contact a hazardous material or chemical waste disposal company.

    Light Bulbs and Lamps

    You can double bag incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs and lamps and put them in your regular household trash. You can also drop them off at some home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, or Ikea.

    Bulbs longer than 4 feet are not accepted at Special Waste Sites and must be put in the garbage.

    Medical Waste

    To learn how to dispose of syringes and other medical waste, visit the Medical Waste Disposal page.

    Medicine and Prescription Drugs

    Refer to the printed material that came with your prescription medication for specific disposal instructions.

    If you do not have specific instructions, mix prescription drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. Then put them in a solid and non-descript container such as an empty can or sealable bag before putting them in your regular trash.

    You can also mail back unwanted medication or find additional drop-off locations.

    Motor Oil

    You can bring motor oil to any service station that changes oil or any retailer that sells oil. These locations are required by law to accept up to five gallons of oil per day, per person, for free.

    Paint, Paint Thinner, Turpentine, Household Chemicals, or Tar

    You can throw out small amounts of oil-based paint, paint thinner, turpentine, household chemicals, or tar in your regular trash. If you need to throw out more than a couple of cans, contact a private hauler or environmental services company.

    To dispose of these items with your regular trash, you must pour any remaining liquid into a black trash bag filled with kitty litter, newspaper, or other absorbent materials. This will help soak up the liquid and keep it from leaking. Put the empty, dry can or container in your recycling if it's made of metal, glass, or plastic. If the container isn't recyclable, discard it with your trash.

    To throw out more than a couple of cans of these liquids, contact a private hauler or environmental services company.

    Thermometers and Thermostats

    Find additional drop-off locations.

    Tires

    You can bring unwanted tires to any business that sells them. DSNY Garages are not accepting passenger car tires for disposal until further notice.

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