New York City's harmful household products recovery program is already one of the world's largest. Now thanks to public support and much success, the program has just doubled in size.

The NYC SAFE (Solvents, Automotive, Flammables and Electronics) Disposal events, administered by the New York City Department of Sanitation and supported by Veolia, encourage residents to bring items such as pesticides, cleaning agents, mercury thermostats, paint, motor oil, electronics and medications.

A NYC SAFE event in Queens.

A NYC SAFE disposal event in Queens.


Richard Johnsen, Special Services Manager

"New Yorkers arrive on foot and in their cars and even take taxis to drop off their harmful household products," explains Richard Johnsen, special services manager, Veolia North America.

"Most of these materials are found in just about anyone's home and can be recycled, recovered or reclaimed. For instance, liquid wastes can be blended for fuel and energy recovery at our North American solvent recovery facilities. This is infinitely better than risking potential hazards to children and pets or possibly polluting the environment. There's a great reward in seeing people's faces as they drop off their material, knowing they've done the right thing."

Each year, the U.S. produces 530,000 tons of this type of waste. There are five easy ways to safely and properly dispose of it:

  1. Attend a collection event
  2. Drop off materials at local recycling facilities
  3. Take advantage of a mail-in program
  4. Participate in a take-back program
  5. Share unused materials with others

How not to dispose of HHPTransforming harmful household products and waste (HHP) into useful materials is part of Veolia’s commitment to the circular economy. In this economy, waste that is traditionally worthless is transformed into something valuable, creating new revenue streams and protecting the environment.

NYC SAFE Disposal

To support the NYC Department of Sanitation's SAFE Disposal program, which includes collection events and drop-off sites, Veolia provides environmental specialists, equipment, material and expertise to properly manage the HHP collected.

New York City removed over 400 tons of harmful household products from the waste stream last year, demonstrating how harmful waste can be safely removed and turned into something useful. Cities with effective programs like this aid in the sustainability of the earth’s resources and contribute to the circular economy.

For those in the NYC area, upcoming SAFE Disposal events will be held at:

  • Sunday, August 23 - Manhattan: Union Square Park
  • Saturday, September 12 - Staten Island: Midland Beach Parking Lot, Fr. Capodanno Blvd.
  • Saturday, September 19 - Queens SAFE Event: Astoria Parking Lot

In addition to supporting one of the world's largest harmful household products collection efforts in NYC, Veolia has helped more than 2,500 U.S. communities manage their HHP.

For more information on the New York City SAFE Disposal program, check out this video interview from ABC's New York Viewpoint.

Thanks for your interest in the safe disposal of harmful household products. We're happy to help answer your questions on how to protect your community. To help us make sure you get the right answer as fast as possible, please provide some additional information below.

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