Matches Put in Garbage Dispose of Matches Responsibly Never dispose of unused matches in any waste container or down the drain (including the sink and/or toilet). Unused matches can spark fires when striking another surface, creating an unsafe environment for waste workers. Soak matches in water for an hour, remove from water, and place matches in the trash container. Allow Used Matches to Cool Dispose of burned matches ONLY after they have fully cooled down. If possible, soak the matches in water prior to disposal. Ways to Reuse Matches are Compostable Not only is the wood compostable, but the sulfur and magnesium found in matchsticks also help in chlorophyll production for plant growth.