The best solution to Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is to avoid purchasing harmful and dangerous chemicals in the first place. If you already have HHW please read on for information on handling it safely and disposing it responsibly.
What is Household Hazardous Waste?
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is defined as any household products that contain corrosive, toxic, flammable, or reactive components. This class of waste does not include hazardous waste material that is generated at a place of business (commercial hazardous waste).
For information on identifying, storing and handling Household Hazardous Waste please refer to RCBC’s Toxic Toolkit Guide. Also, check out this list of Common HHW Materials!
When incorrectly disposed of, HHW is harmful people, pets, wildlife and our water. Please avoid pouring substances down the drain or on the ground, discarding them into the storm sewer or placing them in your garbage can. Municipal sewage systems and private septic systems do not filter or remove these products from our wastewater, allowing the possibility of hazardous substances to enter our waterways. Special handling and treatment should be taken for proper disposal.
Where to Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste?
A comprehensive Household Hazardous Waste program for RDNO residents is operated at Interior Freight and Bottle Depot located at 4205 24 Ave Vernon. More information on this depot including hours of operation are listed at: interiorrecycling.com. When dropping materials off please inquire with Interior Freight and Bottle Depot staff to ensure your materials are safely received.
Also, some HHW materials including household paint, flammable liquids, specified pesticides, motor oil and antifreeze are accepted at additional locations through provincial stewardship programs. You can search for locations on the BC Recyclepedia App on the RDNO What Goes Where page.
The RDNO HHW Program will not accept large quantities of HHW at one time from a single resident. An acceptable amount for one resident to bring is maximum one banker box in size.
The HHW collected and managed by Interior Freight & Bottle Depot are carefully placed into drums, or palletized and stored prior to shipping to an approved disposal facility in accordance with regulations (e.g. Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Hazardous Waste, WorkSafe BC). Signage is posted to assist customers, and 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. Please follow all signage and staff direction.
Remember: A product is hazardous if the words Danger, Warning or Caution appear on the product label. Hazardous material can be toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive or any combination thereof. Improper disposal of HHW can be hazardous and can pose an environmental risk.
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. Unlabelled products may not be accepted.
- 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.
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