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The MPCA provides assistance for program managers and operators of household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities, which collect, manage, and properly dispose of hazardous wastes from households. Some HHW programs are also licensed to accept hazardous waste from businesses classified as "very small quantity generators." Program managers and operators must ensure that their facilities comply with environmental and worker protection laws and regulations.

In addition to keeping hazardous chemicals out of municipal waste streams and the environment, HHW programs provide education on how to purchase, use, and store household chemical products, and offer useable products for reuse.

The MPCA provides technical and administrative assistance, including:

  • program development and operation
  • contract administration for household hazardous waste management  
  • safety and education training for county staff
  • licensing programs to accept business waste
  • outreach and educational materials

Standard operating procedures and general guidance for HHW program managers:

Local units of government — including cities, counties, townships, school districts, colleges and universities, fire departments, watershed districts, and certain nonprofit organizations — may use the state hazardous waste disposal contract by applying to be cooperative purchasing venture members. For more information, see the Department of Administration's CPV webpage.


Annual reports are due April 1. Submit your program's report online:

Training requirements

Managers of HHW collection facilities must ensure all staff complete the required training on how to prevent and control hazards. Training must cover protecting health and safety; categorizing, storing, and transporting hazardous materials; and more.

Some of the required training will be available online. Certificates will be emailed to each attendee that has demonstrated full completion/viewing of an online training.

  • Hazard categorization training – Covers proper identification and categorization of hazardous substances. Includes contractor protocols, hands-on exercises, and manuals. Required for new staff and annually for current employees.
  • U.S. DOT and HazMat security training – Covers the U.S. DOT regulations on transporting hazardous materials, including hazard classifications, packaging standards, and haz-mat security. The course meets DOT training requirements for HHW staff preparing shipments for highway transport and/or using a licensed haz-mat contractor. Required for new employees and every three years for current staff.
  • MnDOT training refresher – Focused on new protocols and requirements specific to highway transport of HHW. Required annually for staff that package and label hazardous waste for highway transport and/or sign manifests.
  • OSHA safety and health initial training – Covers safety topics related to processing HHW, including safety plans, emergency procedures, hazards, protective equipment, minimizing risk, spill response, decontamination, and medical monitoring. Required for new employees.
  • OSHA safety and health annual refresher training – A review of the initial safety training plus a critique of incidents that have occurred in the past year and other relevant topics. Required annually for current staff upon completion of the OSHA initial training.

Managing waste paint

Under Minnesota law, paint manufacturers must work to reduce paint waste, promote paint reuse and recycling, and provide for the collection, transport, and processing of paint for recycling and reuse. Many county HHW programs collect paint from residents. PaintCare supports those programs and provides additional collection sites at retail locations.

PaintCare covers the cost of paint storage bins, paint transportation and recycling, and public outreach and education.

Retailers and trade painters should visit the PaintCare web site for information on specific services. Painters that generate no more than 220 pounds (or 22 gallons) per month of waste oil-based paint and other hazardous waste can operate as very small quantity generators. Learn more: