When you are disposing of garbage other than food and paper at home, you might be surprised to find that much of what you are throwing in the trash is considered hazardous waste. Household hazardous waste consists of anything that is corrosive, flammable, explosive, or poisonous. These items cannot just be tossed in your garbage or blue bin, and in fact will be left at the curb by your friendly GTA garbage pickup.
And don’t think you can take the sneaky route and pour it down the drain, into the sewer, or flush it down the toilet. If caught doing so, you could face some pretty hefty fines. You can also cause damage to your plumbing, as many of these items are highly corrosive. So, what is a person to do when they have hazardous waste? Here’s our guide to properly dispose of hazardous household materials.
Before tossing household products in the garbage, always look at the label. If you spot any of the following symbols, then the product is considered hazardous:
Disposing of any of these things in the garbage, blue bin, or into the sewage system is not only illegal, but can also cause harm to the environment, local wildlife, and of course your neighbours and family members.
First, if you simply toss these items in the garbage, it puts waste workers at risk. It is possible for them to inhale the substances, or have chemicals leak onto their clothes or skin, which can lead to skin conditions. As well, it creates the risk for chemicals seeping into local soil, leaking into our waterways, or even being dispersed into our air.
Many of these hazardous items are in pressurized containers, which can increase risk for fire or explosions. If you try to dispose of hazardous waste down the drain or toilet, they enter the sewage system and can contaminate water, not to mention cause serious damage to the sewage system and your own plumbing.
If you still aren’t sure about an item once you read the product label, use this GTA guide for household hazardous waste:
You can place completely empty containers such as metal paint cans with lids removed in the recycling bin.
There are several options for disposing of hazardous waste safely. However, it depends on whether you live in a house or apartment and the type of waste. Here are the proper options:
This is a free service for homeowners, but it comes with some considerations including:
If you live in an apartment, co-op building, or condo, speak to your property manager or superintendent to find out what they recommend for hazardous waste disposal.
There are drop-off locations throughout the GTA, but they only accept certain materials, and you’ll have to risk damage to your vehicle in transporting them. You also might face a long lineup depending on what depot you choose. Avoid Community Environment Days, as these tend to be the busiest.
This is specific to pressurized cylinders, antifreeze/coolant, empty oil containers, and oil filters. They offer multiple sites throughout the GTA.
If you have old medications or used needles, you can drop them off at most local pharmacies. If this is all you have to dispose of, then this is the easiest option.
These guys have various locations in the GTA, but again are limited to what they take such as paints, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
These locations are quite varied, so you’ll need to search for the one closest to you. They only accept batteries.
This can prove to be the easiest and most convenient option when you have a lot of hazardous waste. You don’t need to worry about taking various types of waste to different services, meeting a minimum or maximum weight for the waste, or trekking to several locations using your own vehicle to dispose of the garbage.
Instead, you make a single call to set up a disposal bin delivery, you fill the dumpster and we take it away. No fuss, no muss. No need to worry about labeling and sealing containers, sorting, or special instructions for pickup. Although you have to pay for the dumpster rental that households rely on, it is worth it for larger jobs, such as prior to a move, during or after renovations, or if you tend to hold onto things too long.
For more information, contact our team at Scarborough Disposal today