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24 January 2019

What to Do with Hazardous Household Waste

What is hazardous household waste?

It includes paint, solvents, used oil, cleaning products, pesticides, fluorescent tubes, fire extinguishers, car batteries, other batteries, and medications, to name just a few. And we all have one or the other of these products at home.

Clearly, it would be better to reduce the use of hazardous household waste (HHW). In some cases, it is even possible to opt for more environmentally friendly products. However, if it is impossible to stop using HHWs, then the frequency of use should be reduced. It is similarly advisable, before buying a product, to ensure it is appropriate for your needs.


How to recognize hazardous household products?

The label on HHWs usually contains one or more of the following icons:


How to dispose of hazardous household waste?

Although throwing them in the garbage seems to make sense, hazardous household products warrant special treatment because of the risks they pose to human health and the environment. When thrown in the trash, HHWs heighten the risks to the safety of waste collectors in addition to interfering with the proper operation of collection, transportation, and unloading equipment. If these products end up in soil, lakes, and rivers, they can travel in many ways through groundwater as well as the air after evaporation. This can lead to contamination of soils and waterways, and the destruction of the ozone layer.

It is therefore important to dispose of HHWs in the right place, i.e. in a recognized drop-off point that receives hazardous household products. In this way, they are handled to limit their environmental impact by being recycled when possible or discarded safely.

Some retailers have established a recycling program to ensure that hazardous products are properly collected. You can also consult the search tool Ça va où by Recyc-Québec when you want to dispose of a product. Do not hesitate to contact your municipality to check if there are HHW collections.

The following websites can also guide you  and help you find a drop-off point near you:


The important thing to remember is that, by ensuring you dispose of HHWs properly, you can make a difference for the environment and work together to preserve it.


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