Disposing of Household Hazardous Materials

So it’s time to clean the basement here at the Lemur house. Among the various other junk, there are several cans of paint, varnish, turpentine, and other sundry nasties that we’d like to properly dispose of. In addition, I’ve also got a worthless air compressor that I picked up on the cheap when the company car’s tires were in the habit of going flat; unfortunately, it’d take what seemed like 10-15 minutes to fill a single tire. This compressor, at any rate, has a lead acid battery inside, so I suspect it’s probably best not to just send it out with the normal household trash.

I suspect that the procedures for dealing with this stuff vary from municipality to municipality, but would any of you dopers have a clue as to where might be a good place to start making phone calls?

Call the operator (Company ofrCity Department) responsible for waste collection and disposal.
Knoxville TN has a central waste transfer station where you can take hazardous waste items on Saturday AM.
Labeled if possible as to hazardous material, or “UNKNOWN.”
No questions asked other than contents or hazard. Larger cities may have more that one such location.
Remove the battery and trash the compressor only. Many garage/service shops will accept old lead-acids for disposal.

Google your city or your county and “hazardous waste” to see if you come up with a phone number, address or a Web site for for your local hazardous waste dump.

My county has a nice place that you can literally just drive through with your old paint, batteries, tires, appliances, computers, etc and they take them right out of your car for you.

If you can’t find a place like that in your area on the Web, give the city a call and they will tell you where to go.