Safely disposing of etchant and other electronics hobby waste

Thread Starter


Joined Sep 28, 2008
I've heard of a variety of ways of disposing of used etchant. Some people just flush it directly down the drain. Others, who are more concerned with the impact they're having on the environment (or at least their drains) fall somewhere on a spectrum of disposal methods -- from, at least trying to neutralize the etchant before dumping it, to evaporating it and encasing the residue in concrete and then throwing it in the trash, to taking it to a disposal facility.

But, for the last option, the question becomes: which disposal facility? Who will dispose of etchant for you? How do you find such disposal facilities?

One of the more interesting suggestions I've heard is to take the etchant to your local fire station, and they'll supposedly dispose of it properly for you. I haven't tried that yet, but today I found an interesting website that I thought I'd share with you:

If you're in the US, you can just type in your zip code and the type of material you want to dispose of, and it'll show you a list of the nearest recycling facilities for that type of material. Very handy.

I typed in "copper" for the material, and found the addresses and phone numbers of a number of "nonferrous metals" recycling facilities near me. I'd suppose they would be good places to get rid of used solder wick, odd bits of solder, etc.

The site is also good for finding battery recycling facilities. Apparently, Radio Shack will recycle used batteries for you.


Joined Oct 3, 2010
Just save it up until you die or move. Let your kids or your landlord worry about it.

Joking, but really I don't know. My city has a hotline (311) I can call to ask questions like this. They have to give you a free safe option or else you'll just dump it down the runoff drain in the street. That's why there used to be so many tires under overpasses & such, because you had to pay to dispose of them - I guess lesson learned. It costs more so send a truck around gathering up tires and then recycling them than it does to just establish a designated tire drop zone.