City Officials Issue Public Reminder about Dangers of Improper Disposal of Dangerous Materials in Household Trash

City Officials Issue Public Reminder about Dangers of Improper Disposal of Dangerous Materials in Household Trash

TROY, NY (July 25, 2022) – Mayor Patrick Madden and officials with the city’s Department of Public Works are highlighting the potential dangers to city employees created by residents throwing away hazardous materials in household trash.

On Wednesday, July 20th, City Sanitation employees observed heavy smoke escaping from the trash compactor of a city-owned garbage truck. Employees soon discovered hazardous acidic liquid concealed in a black garbage bag. The acid had dissolved waste material in the truck’s trash compactor. The Troy Fire Department was called who hooked out the acid container, emptied the truck’s trash and hosed down the material.

In April of 2022, the Troy Fire Department was called to extinguish a fire inside a city-owned garbage truck caused by large rechargeable batteries that had been concealed in garbage bags and thrown away.

Mayor Madden said, “For the third time this year, the city had a fire in our municipal garbage trucks caused by hazardous chemicals and other items illegally concealed and thrown away. This creates a serious risk of bodily harm to our hard-working employees and is completely unacceptable. I urge the public to refrain from throwing away dangerous materials in their household trash and instead use authorized hazardous waste disposal programs available free to Troy residents.”

Commissioner of General Services Chuck Wojton said, “Dangerous materials and corrosive liquids placed in curbside garbage cans pose a unique risk to our Sanitation staff. This most recent incident – involving hydrochloric acid concealed in a black garbage bag – could have easily resulted in a serious injury or other more severe outcome for our Public Works employees. Please think twice about improperly disposing of harmful chemicals and other materials and instead sign up for upcoming household hazardous waste disposal dates.”

The public is asked to review the list below of items that are PROHIBITED from being thrown away in curbside garbage cans. If any of the items listed under “safety hazards” are found in residential/commercial trash barrels, property owner will be subject to significant fines.


  • Hazardous waste
  • Chemicals
  • Propane tanks
  • Large Batteries
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Volatile chemicals
  • Acids

All the above items can safely be disposed of at household hazardous waste (HHW) disposal events. For more information on upcoming HHW dates, visit


  • Explosives
  • Ammunition


  • Sharp objects (knives, broken dishware, broken glass, blades) should be wrapped carefully in cardboard and tape before being thrown out.
  • Medical needles and sharps must be disposed of at the Police Department Central Station (55 State Street). Do not place these items in the trash.
  • Unused medications can be disposed of at authorized drug collection sites, including at local pharmacies. An Rx drug disposal unit is available at the Troy Police Department Central Station (55 State Street). Special pharmaceutical disposal bags are also available at the Mayor’s Office at City Hall (433 River St) during regular business hours. Do not flush unused prescription drugs down the toilet.
  • Branches/brush should be bundled and placed curbside for collection by DPW. Yard materials (leaves, yard trimmings, etc.) should be placed in brown paper bags for collection by DPW. More, visit
  • Recyclables should be placed in a blue recycling bin and placed curbside for pickup during your weekly collection day. More, visit
  • Clothing/textiles can be recycled using available drop stations located around the city. More, visit
  • To report dead animals, please contact Animal Control at (518) 270-4411


Press Contact:
John Salka, Communications Director
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131

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