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Household Hazardous Waste

Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, flammable, or reactive components are defined as household hazardous waste (HHW).

Do not:

  • pour down the drain or on the ground
  • dump into the storm sewer
  • discard into the garbage
  • bury

Municipal sewage systems and private septic systems do not filter or remove these products from our wastewater, allowing hazardous substances to enter our waterways. Burying these items can lead to groundwater contamination.

Where to Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste

Beginning December 15, 2015, residents of the RDNO will be able to drop off household hazardous waste (HHW) free of charge year round during regular Interior Freight and Bottle Depot hours of operation. The Eco Depot replaces the RDNO Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up which had previously taken place annually in the fall. Funding for establishment of the Eco Depot at Interior Freight and Bottle Depot was provided by the RDNO through the Federal Gas Tax Program administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. The Eco Depot will provide residents with a convenient, year round drop off location for HHW. They will no longer have to store this material in their basement, garage or shed until the next HHW Round-Up.

Eco Depot Project Description

Eco Depots, otherwise known as ‘One Stop Drops’ are constructed in communities to reduce the amount of driving to various depots to drop off various recyclable items, to increase the convenience and thereby improve participation in recycling, and to decrease the management costs of handling a wide variety of products and materials by agencies responsible for product end of life.

In 2008, during the review of the Regional District of North Okanagan’s (RDNO) Solid Waste Management Plan, the Eco Depot concept was studied and a policy developed for the RDNO. In 2015 a Request for Proposals was issued to two local recycling depots who already collect a variety of waste products from paper to paint as part of Provincial Stewardship Programs. Interior Freight and Bottle Depot’s (Interior Recycling) submission was found to be most acceptable and therefore they were awarded the contract to build infrastructure and to supply Eco Depot services. Prior to this process the RDNO was informed that our application for Federal Gas Tax funding to build an Eco Depot was accepted. $29,500 of the funding was used to build the Eco Depot at Interior Recycling’s depot. The RDNO entered into a five year contract with Interior Recycling to host and operate the Eco Depot as well as with Terrapure to provide pickup and disposal services for the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW).

Previously the RDNO hosted annual HHW roundups where a number of the Stewardship agencies collected such items as paint, oil, and batteries alongside the collection of HHW that the RDNO disposed (under contract with local HHW disposal companies). The RDNO wished to move away from an annual roundup and improve opportunities for daily diversion of HHW. The local private depots were willing to take on the management of additional materials in order to attract more customers as well as to divert more hazardous waste from landfills.

Material Management

The materials collected and managed by the Eco Depot are packaged, baled, stored and shipped in accordance with regulations (e.g. Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Hazardous Waste, WorkSafe BC) and safety training. Signage has been posted to assist customers, however Depot staff are available to assist when needed. Eye wash, spill kits, first aid kits and hand washing sinks are available for emergencies and incidents.

The following HHW items are handled, or soon will be handled, at the Eco Depot:

  • adhesives
  • aerosols
  • asbestos
  • compressed gas
  • corrosive liquids & solids
  • fire extinguishers
  • flammable liquids & solids
  • glycol
  • mercury
  • non regulated liquids & solids
  • organic peroxide
  • oxidizing liquids & solids
  • paint related material
  • PCB ballasts
  • toxic liquid & solids
  • waste tar/ grease
  • waste oil & oil filters
  • water reactive solids
  • zinc powder

A product is hazardous if the words Danger, Warning or Caution appear on the product label. Hazardous material can be toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive or any combination thereof. Improper disposal of HHW can be hazardous and can pose an environmental risk. Residents are encouraged to take their HHW for proper disposal.

Residents should take precautions when transporting HHW for disposal:

  • Make sure containers have a tight fitting lid to prevent leaks,
  • If possible, keep the material in the original container so it can be easily identified,
  • Place your items in a sturdy box and keep the box upright to prevent spills, do not pack materials in plastic bags, and
  • Transport HHW in the trunk of your vehicle, away from children, food or pets.

For more information about how and where to dispose of household hazardous waste, call the BC Recycling Hotline at 1.800.667.4321 or visit the Recycling Council of British Columbia website.