SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Union County residents can safely dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other designated items, from old mercury thermostats to automobile tires, by bringing them to the next free Household Hazardous Waste recycling event on Saturday, August 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The event will take place at the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus (1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains).

Residents only need to drive to the site with their household special wastes and workers at the site will unload the vehicles. The Union County Police Bomb Squad will also be on hand to collect unwanted ammunition and fireworks from residents.

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The August 4 event continues Union County’s “Mercury Bounty” take back program through a partnership with the company Covanta. Covanta provides a $5.00 Home Depot gift card to any resident who turns in a mercury-containing thermostat.

Household hazardous waste accepted at the recycling event includes:

  • oil-based paint and varnish,
  • antifreeze,
  • aerosol cans,
  • pool chemicals,
  • pesticides and herbicides,
  • solvents and thinners,
  • fire extinguishers,
  • motor oil and oil filters,
  • gasoline,
  • batteries,
  • thermostats,
  • fluorescent bulbs (unbroken), and
  • mercury switches.

Please note that latex, or water-based paints will not be accepted. Residents should dry the paint out and discard with their regular garbage. Only materials in original or labeled containers will be accepted. No containers larger than five gallons will be accepted. There is a limit of eight automobile tires (without rims) per household.

The household hazardous waste collection will be held rain or shine for all Union County residents only, not for businesses. Proof of Union County residency is required. For more information, call the Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889. For a complete list of the materials that will be accepted on August 4 as well as all recycling event dates and locations, visit