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. Each accepts different items.

ItemSpecial Waste SiteSAFE Event
Aerosol Cans (full)NoYes
Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, or FreezersNoNo
Bleach or Other Corrosive CleanersNoYes
Cooking Oil or GreaseNoNo
Creams, Lotions, Sunscreen, or Face WashNoYes
Fire ExtinguishersNoYes
Fluorescent Light Bulbs (less than 4 feet)YesYes
Gas, Helium, Oxygen, or Propane TanksNoYes
Gasoline or Heating OilNoYes
Glues or AdhesivesNoYes
Lawn Fertilizer or Garden CareNoYes
Lighter FluidNoYes
Medical WasteNoYes
Motor Oil or Transmission FluidYesYes
Paint (Latex)YesYes
Paint (Oil-Based)NoYes
Thermometers or 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 only accept non-commercial waste from NYC residents.

    The sites will not accept your waste if:

    • The waste is non-residential
    • The waste wasn't generated in NYC
    • You aren't an NYC resident
    • You are a business

    Vehicles with commercial plates other than rentals will be turned away.

    When you arrive at the drop-off site, you must show:

    • A valid ID
    • Proof of NYC residency, such as a phone or utility bill

    Drop-Off Sites

    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.

    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.

    Hunts Point at Farragut Street and the East River (next to the Fulton Fish Market)
    Enter on Farragut Street, off Food Center Drive.

    459 North Henry Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11222
    Follow Kingsland Avenue to the end. The site will be on the left.

    74 Pike Slip between Cherry Street and South Street (under the Manhattan Bridge)
    New York, NY 10002

    DSNY Queens District 7 Garage
    30th Avenue between 120th and 122nd Streets (northwest corner of the garage)
    College Point, NY 11354
    Enter at 30th Avenue off College Point Boulevard and take a left after 122nd Street.

    Staten Island
    DSNY Staten Island District 3 Garage
    1000 West Service Road
    Staten Island, NY 10314
    Foot of Muldoon Avenue, off the Muldoon Avenue exit (Exit 5) of the southbound West Shore Expressway (440)

      You can dispose of your special waste at SAFE Disposal Events (Solvents, Automotive, Flammable, Electronics). SAFE Events are held in the spring and fall.

      Only residential waste from New York City is accepted. You must bring a valid ID and proof of NYC residency, such as a phone or utility bill.

      Commercial waste and commercial vehicles are not allowed at SAFE Events.

      Learn more about SAFE Disposal Events.

      Items Accepted

      • Automotive products
        • Antifreeze
        • Car batteries
        • Gasoline
        • Motor oil
        • Transmission fluid
      • Batteries
      • Cleaning products
      • Corrosive liquids
      • Cosmetics or beauty products
        • Hair developer
        • Nail polish
      • Electronics
      • Fire extinguishers
      • Flammable liquids
      • Gas, helium, oxygen, or propane tanks
      • Ink or toner cartridges
      • Lawn and garden care products
      • Light bulbs (compact fluorescent or tubes)
      • Medical waste
        • Medication
        • Sharps (syringes, lancets)
      • ​Paint
        • Paint cans
        • Spray paint
      • Thermometers and thermostats

      Items Not Accepted

      • Appliances with CFC or Freon
        • Air conditioners
        • Dehumidifiers
        • Refrigerators or freezers
      • Asbestos
      • Commercial waste
      • Cooking oil or grease
      • Tires
      • Waste generated from outside New York City

      Upcoming SAFE Events

      There are no SAFE Disposal Events scheduled at this time. Please check back later.

      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.


      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.


      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.


      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.

      Lithium-Ion Batteries

      Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries found in electric bikes and scooters, cars, laptops, tablets, phones and common household devices. 

      Lithium-ion battery fires have caused deaths, serious injuries and devastating damage to property around the city. It’s important to follow proper storage, charging, and disposal guidelines for these types of batteries. Visit the Lithium-Ion Battery Safety page to learn more.

      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 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.


      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
      • Bring a tank to a SAFE Disposal Event

      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.

      You can also bring oxygen and acetylene tanks to a SAFE Disposal Event.

      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

      You can double bag incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs 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.

      Lamp and lighting fixtures (without the light bulbs) can be recycled.

      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.

      To report a used oil take back program refusing to accept oil, send an email to info.sqg@dec.ny.gov. Make sure to include the name, location, and any other relevant details about the refusal or other issues (such as charging fees for acceptance, no signage, etc.).

      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.


      You can bring unwanted tires to any business that sells them.

      In addition, Special Waste Sites will accept up to four tires from passenger vehicles. DSNY District Garages will also accept up to four car tires Monday through Saturday, 10 AM - 5:30 PM, except holidays. Tires do not have to be removed from rims. 

      DSNY facilities will only accept tires from NYC residents with a valid New York State driver's license and a valid New York State vehicle registration both with New York City addresses. No commercial vehicles are allowed.

       Was this information helpful?   Yes    No