Special Waste

Hazardous Waste
Motor Oil
Cooking Oil

E-Waste
Medical Waste
Paint

Hazardous Waste

In Rhode Island, you can bring all of your household hazardous waste to the Eco-Depot, a free drop-off at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation’s facility at the Central Landfill in Johnston. It’s fast and easy. Load the materials, in their original containers and clearly labeled, in your vehicle and fill out the inventory form stating what you are bringing and the quantity. When you arrive at the drop-off, trained personnel will unload the materials and collect your inventory form. You don’t even need to get out of your car!

You must book an appointment to drop off your Household Hazardous Waste. To schedule a date and time please call the Eco-Depot at 942-1430 ext. 241 or schedule online here. This service is for Rhode Island household hazardous waste only.

To learn more about what can be brought to the facility and directions, please download the Eco-Depot pamphlet.

Motor Oil

Used motor oil is a large source of pollution in our State's waterways. Every year Rhode Island "do- it-yourselfers" discard an estimated 1.4 million gallons of motor oil. Much of this oil goes down storm drains, on the ground or in the trash and then to the landfill. Used motor oil contains lead and other toxic substances which can contaminate ground and surface waters. Just one gallon of oil can foul the taste of 250,000 gallons of drinking water. Most people don't realize that motor oil never wears out: it just gets dirty! Recycling cleans the oil so it can be used again. Nearly 25% of used motor oil from "do-it-yourselfers" is now being collected in Rhode Island. With the inception of the oil recycling program, in 1988, Warwick residents have recycled over 200,000 gallons of motor oil, making Warwick the largest Municipal generator of used motor oil in the state. However, this is only a "drop in the oil pan" compared to the number of gallons discarded.

Recycling Used Motor Oil Is as Easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Drain the oil into a suitable container with a tight fitting cap which can be used over and over. Drain the oil from the oil filter into the same container. Never mix other liquids with used motor oil.
  2. Take the oil and oil filter to the Oil Recycling Igloo at the Department of Public Works (925 Sandy Lane) which is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 2:30 pm.
  3. From there, the motor oil and filters will be recycled at an approved recycling facility.

Cooking Oil

Turn Grease Into Fuel
The program encourages residents to bring their local waste cooking oil to be recycled rather than to pour it down the drain, where it can damage septic or sewer systems; Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) is a leading cause of clogs in municipal sewer systems. Grease that's collected is converted into biodiesel fuel credits for needy families. The Westerly, RI students who created the program estimate that Warwick's 36,000 households and more than 100 restaurants have the potential of generating 200,000 gallons of biodiesel per year. Credits will be distributed through the city's Department of Human Services, in collaboration with West Bay Community Action. Four of the city's fire stations presently serve as collection sites for waste cooking oil, with plans to expand to other locations, including area businesses, as the program grows. Participating stations are:

  • Station Four, 1501 West Shore Road
  • Station Five, 450 Cowesett Road
  • Station Six, 456 West Shore Road
  • Station Eight, 1651 Post Road

E-Waste

E-Waste (electronic waste) is one of the fastest growing segments of our nation's waste stream; as technology advances the volume of e-waste grows rapidly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, trashed computers, TVs and other gadgets make up the fastest-growing municipal waste stream in the U.S.  As much as 80% of electronic waste goes out with the trash, while only about 20% is properly recycled. Monitors and televisions cannot be put into landfills because of their lead content and other electronic equipment also contains heavy metals including mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Computers under five years old and other working electronics can generally be reused, while older computers and broken electronics are generally recycled. Warwick's E-waste drop-off program, located at the Municipal Recycling Facility, has been in place since 2009. Since the program's inception, the city has diverted over 1,600,000 pounds of e-waste from the landfill. Residents may drop off e-waste at Warwick's Municipal Recycling Facility, located at 111 Range Road, free of charge Monday - Saturday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm (Closed Saturdays, January - March)

What is accepted in Warwick's e-waste program?

  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Computer Monitors
  • Mice and keyboards,
  • Printers
  • Modems

Anything other than what is listed above is not accepted in Warwick's e-waste program. This includes items like cell phones, printer cartridges, small household appliances, servers and stereo equipment.

Medical Waste

Disposing of Hypodermic Needles (Sharps)
Sharps are needles and lancets that you use at home to inject yourself, your child, or your pet with medicine. Needles that are not thrown away properly are dangerous because used needles sometimes injure innocent people. Safe sharps disposal is important to: 

  • Provide an environmentally safe option for disposing of sharps.
  • Prevent injury to humans and animals.
  • Keep sharps out of household trash and recycling bins.
  • Prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Remove used needles from circulation and prevent the sharing of needles.

It is important to remember that sharps are only a problem when they are not handled properly. To help you properly dispose of your needles and lancets, make sure that you are disposing of your sharps the right way. Please follow these simple rules:

  • Do keep containers in areas that are child and animal proof.
  • Do use a container that is puncture-resistant and is not see-through.
  • Do place full, sealed containers in your trash bags with the rest of your household trash.
  • Don't put sharps in soda cans, glass containers, or milk cartons.
  • Don't put sharps containers in your recycling bin.
  • Don't flush needles or lancets down the toilet. (Sharps that are flushed down the toilet may end up on our beaches and riverbanks.)

Home Generated Medical Waste Disposal Guide
The RI Department of Environmental Management and the RI Department of Health have created a guide for safely disposing home generated medical waste. Please click here to download the guide.

Paint

Follow these tips to prevent paint waste:

  • Buy only what you need. Don’t buy a gallon when a quart will do the job. One gallon of paint usually covers 300 - 400 square feet.
  • Use it all. Use the extra paint for small projects or just put an extra coat on.
  • Donate the paint. Someone else may be able to use your leftover paint. Check with neighborhood organizations, scout groups, friends, and neighbors.
  • Combine your leftovers. Mix leftover latex paints together to use as a base coat or primer. This mixture is perfect for jobs that won’t show. You may even end up with a color you like.

If you are still left with old paint that you need to get rid of, please follow these easy steps:

Latex Paint (Full Cans)
If you only have water-based (non-hazardous paint) like latex, it is still safe for disposal in regular household trash, but needs to be hardened for the safety of workers and equipment. If there isn’t too much paint left, just leave it out with the lid off and it will dry without having to add anything.  If there is a significant amount left, you can do this with paint hardener (about $2 at a home improvement store), saw dust, or even kitty litter. Once the paint is hardened, you can place it in the trash. If the paint is not hardened before placing in the trash, there is a possibility of the contents of the can spilling onto your driveway. Please do not recycle paint containers. If the can contains paint, you should uncover the can and let the inside dry to a solid. Adding kitty litter or sawdust will speed up the drying process. Once the contents have solidified, you may dispose of the can and its contents with the trash (lids must be left off).

Latex Paint (Empty Cans)
If the can is completely empty, you should uncover the can and let the inside dry. The empty can should then be left uncovered and placed in the recycling bin.

Oil-Based Paint (Empty or Full Cans)
Oil-based paint is considered a hazardous waste. If the can contains paint, you should contact the Eco-Depot @ 942-1430, ext. 241, to schedule a drop-off appointment. Do not dispose of the paint in the trash! If you have other household hazardous waste, such as paint thinners, pesticides, solvents, pool chemicals, cleaning materials, etc., you can schedule an appointment to drop them off along with your oil-based paint at the Eco-Depot. Drop-offs at the facility take less than 15 minutes. No long lines, no long waiting!

To schedule an appointment at the Eco-Depot, click here.