Every week, Halton residents fill their Blue Boxes and Greencarts and place them at the curb for recycling and composting. Sometimes, if you are doing a big clean up, you will put your large items out for bulk collection or bring them to the Halton Waste Management Site for disposal.
But what about those “other” items? The ones that accumulate in your garage, in cupboards and drawers in your kitchen, laundry room, or even in your basement. What do you do with all of your household hazardous waste such as household cleaners, garden chemicals, old paint, batteries and medications?
Did you know, there are over 40 items that are considered to be household hazardous waste and must be disposed of or recycled properly. In Halton Region, household hazardous waste is not accepted at the curb, but you have options to dispose of it — for free!
You can bring it to:
- Halton’s Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at the Halton Waste Management Site
- Special Waste Drop-off Days in your local municipality
- Approved Take it Back! Halton locations such as Halton’s Battery Recycling Depots
To help residents collect and transport their household hazardous waste materials there is a new box in town!
At the Halton Waste Management Site’s 20th Anniversary, Halton Region began a pilot project for an Orange Box. Interested residents were given an Orange Box (the same size and style as a Blue Box) to collect, store and safely transport household hazardous waste material from their homes, to an approved location. The Orange Box is not collected at the curb.
The Orange Box comes with an acceptable materials sticker which shows you what items are actually hazardous waste that need to be disposed of properly. For example, expired medication, vitamins and old perfume are actually considered household hazardous waste! All of those items should actually go in the Orange Box, along with your other hazardous waste.
Many people often wonder why you can’t put hazardous waste in with the garbage. Well, household hazardous waste can injure waste collectors and can damage the environment if disposed of improperly. In one of our previous blogs on batteries, it was mentioned that almost 50-70% of heavy metals found in landfills can be attributed to single-use AA or AAA batteries that you have in your house. That’s a lot of contamination for a such a small item!
Besides protecting the environment, one of the best reasons all of these items shouldn’t go in the garbage is because household hazardous waste is recyclable! In fact, over 75% of all hazardous waste that is collected by Halton Region is recycled into new products.
For example, 100% of all the motor oil received at the Halton’s Household Hazardous Waste Depot is recycled into new oil. Paint that is dropped off is recycled into new paint! Even the empty oil containers are recycled into new products like composite decking and railway ties.
In 2011, 40,000 residents came to the Halton’s Household Hazardous Waste Depot to drop off their used or unwanted hazardous waste materials. The Depot collected almost 800,000 litres of material, and most of it was recycled!
In the past, residents have transported their household hazardous waste in containers like cardboard boxes and milk crates — you name it. Unlike those transportation boxes, the Orange Box is leak proof. It has no holes in the bottom, so hazardous waste inside is contained. But please do not pour hazardous waste directly into the Orange Box — keep materials in their original container.
The Orange Box is also a good reminder for residents to bring it in when it’s full. Without that reminder, those shelves, cupboards and drawers will be wasted space full of hazardous waste for who knows how long!
If you live in Halton Region and are interested in participating in the Orange Box pilot project, please visit Halton’s Household Hazardous Waste Depot Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and ask for an Orange Box. You will fill out a short survey to get started and be a part of the pilot. There are 1,000 Orange Boxes in this pilot project, so get one while quantities last!
Together we can all reduce, reuse, recycle and protect our environment from household hazardous waste!