Special Waste Drop-Off Day

I was talking with my neighbour and the conversation drifted to fall cleaning, and what to do with an old TV sitting in their basement. As a staff member of Halton’s Waste Management Services team, this is one of the questions we get a lot!  What do I do with my old electronics?

Getting rid of those old electronics is easier than you may think — in fact, you can drop off old television sets and other electronics, as well as any household hazardous waste, at Halton Region’s Special Waste Drop-off Days.

There is even an event coming up this Saturday September 24, 2011 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the Burlington Closed Landfill, located at 291 North Service Road, Burlington.

Thousands of Halton residents have attended these drop-off days over the past few years, and many have wondered how these events are organized, and what exactly happens to the material after you drop it off. Well, I’m going to give you a quick run down of how the day unfolds.

The event is organized by Halton Region staff who try to make sure the day goes as planned, from start to finish.  The most challenging part is organizing traffic flow to make it easy for you to navigate the site.

Roll-Off bin full of TVs

Bright and early on a Saturday morning, huge tractor trailers are set up, and staff arrange pylons and signs to make sure the 800 to 1,100 cars coming through know where to go and what to do. This is our job for the majority of the day — along with avoiding car pile-ups and fender-benders!

Electronics that your drop off are collected and organized as directed by Ontario Electronic Stewardship.  The material is taken to a recycling facility where they are assessed and either refurbished or taken apart and recycled.  All valuable commodities are separated, such as copper and aluminum, which are then sold to their respective markets for recycling.  Halton is committed to ensuring all electronic materials remain within North America for processing.

Drums for HHW collection and transportation

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) refers to household chemicals that cause permanent damage to the environment if not properly handled and disposed of. So before you throw away the cleaning products in your laundry room or under the sink, have a second look at them for corrosive, explosive, poisonous or flammable symbols, and then dispose of them properly.  This program is supported by Stewardship Ontario.  At the Special Waste Drop-off Day, HHW is separated into different metal drums inside transport trailers, so chemicals don’t mix together and cause fires or explosions.  They are then either reprocessed or disposed of in a safe manner.

After years of working these events, I have a few tips for you to make your visit easier and quicker:

  • Try to come early to avoid the last minute rush at the end of the day.
  • The best way to organize the material in your trunk is to group electronics together and group household hazardous waste together. Then you can just open your trunk and staff can easily take out the items!
  • Pay close attention to signs and directions to avoid having to back-pedal or go through the line again; no one wants to do that!

See you on Saturday, September 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Burlington!

About Andrea Graham

I currently work in the Waste Management Services division for Halton Region as the Administration Technician. This involves data management and analysis, and financial administration of the waste collection and processing contracts. I am determined to travel the world, and you may see me scooting around town on my Vespa.
This entry was posted in E-waste, Household Hazardous Waste, Product Stewardship and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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