Healthy Homes - Garage


Health and safety tips

  • Never run power equipment inside an enclosed garage.
  • Do not idle cars or trucks inside the garage.
  • Do not use fuel heaters or generators indoors.
  • Keep pesticides and other chemicals out of reach of children.

Green tips

  • Reduce pesticide use by adopting Integrated Pest Management practices to control pests.
  • Properly dispose of your used motor oil, antifreeze, and other automotive wastes.
  • Consider cool roofs, such as green planted roofs or white reflective roofs, when building a new home or replacing an existing roof to reduce the temperature in your garage
  • Insulate your water heater and turn down the thermostat to 120ºF.

Where can I dispose of motor oil?

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management has a list of used oil recycling stations and convenience centers. Put used oil in a clean plastic container with a tight lid.  Do not mix it with anything.  Paint, gasoline, solvents or antifreeze will make the used oil unsuitable for recycling.  Take it to a collection center near you.

Used oil collection centers will accept up to five gallons a day from do-it-yourselfers.  To find used oil collection center near you, call toll free: 1-800-287-9013 or search your location with TDEC’s Used Oil Program using Earth 911. Used oil filters can also be recycled at a used oil collection center.  If recycling is not available in your neighborhood, dispose of the oil filter in your garbage only after it has been properly drained and bagged.

Did you know....?

Did you know that linseed oil, a product commonly used to refinish wood, can spontaneously burst into flames when left on rags or paper towels? A towel that is crumpled up into a ball allows the oil to heat up as it dries.  This causes a chemical reaction that leads to fire.

Rags that have absorbed oils such as linseed oil or turpentine should be kept in well-covered metal cans and thoroughly dried before collection or transport to an appropriate household hazardous waste disposal site.

How do I properly dispose of household hazardous waste?

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation conducts mobile household hazardous waste collection events throughout Tennessee each year.  Any Tennessee citizen can participate in the mobile household hazardous waste collection service.  Check the collection schedule to determine a convenient event for you.  If you live in Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, or Shelby Counties, you may take your hazardous waste to the collection site located in your county.

Only household hazardous wastes are accepted for disposal.  No commercial, institutional or agri-business waste will be accepted.  The day of the event, load the unwanted materials into your trunk or the back of your truck.  For safety, don't mix materials, keep them in their original containers, double package any leaking containers, and place any breakable containers in a box, cushioned with newspaper.  When you get to the event you will be asked what county you live in and how you learned about the event.

How do I dispose of used antifreeze?

Antifreeze is accepted for recycling at many of the do-it-yourself used oil collection sites in Tennessee. Used antifreeze is also accepted by Tennessee's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. To find a collection center near you, call toll free: 1-800-287-9013 or search your location at Earth911.

What about pesticides?

Pesticides are accepted as part of TDEC’s household hazardous waste collection events. Check the collection schedule to determine a convenient event for you. If you live in KnoxHamiltonDavidson, or Shelby Counties, you may take your household hazardous waste to the permanent collection site located in your county.


Additional resources

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
Household Used Oil Program
Household Hazardous Waste Program

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Smoking and Tobacco use
Pest Management
Home Fires

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Presticide Safety Tips

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Energy efficiency resoures

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Help Yourself to a Healthy Home