Household Hazardous Waste

Definition

A product is considered Household hazardous waste (HHW) if it bears one of the symbols shown here, or if words such as Danger, Poisonous, Caution, or Warning appear on the label. Hazardous products cannot be disposed of in regular garbage, they require special disposal. Some examples are:

  • Propane tanks (large & small)
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Motor oil & other automotive fluids
  • Pool chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Batteries (rechargeable & non-rechargeable)
  • Paints, stains, finishes

Note: empty, dry paint cans go in the garbage with covers removed

What To Do With HHW?

Bring your household hazardous waste one of the permanent HHW depots for proper disposal. The depots are located at the management centres in Lawrencetown and Kentville and there is no disposal fee. The depots are open Monday-Friday 8am–4pm and Saturday 8am–noon.

The depots are designed to accept residentially generated HHW, no commercial waste please.

HHW Facts

  • Households are the single largest class of hazardous waste generators.
  • The volume of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) produced in any single home may not be great — some estimate in the range of 20 to 40 litres per year. Collectively however, there are very large quantities of HHW generated which have the potential to greatly damage your community’s environment.
  • Studies estimate that a municipality with 100,000 homes will generate over two million litres of HHW each year.
  • One litre of motor oil can contaminate two MILLION litres of drinking water.

Why Do These Products Require Special Disposal?

  • Septic systems are prone to failure if HHW are disposed of in them. HHW poured down the drain may also corrode the plumbing system.
  • Sewage treatment plants are not constructed to handle HHW. Therefore most of the HHW put down the drain goes untreated and may end up in rivers and in lakes contaminating our drinking water.
  • Local landfills are not designed to handle HHW. These wastes further contaminate landfill leachates (leachate is the liquid runoff that forms when water passes through decomposing landfill waste). This leachate may eventually seep off site and pollute groundwater and surrounding soils.
  • Improper management of HHW may pose risks to refuse collectors and landfill operators. There have been incidents where workers suffered eye injuries, chemical burns and other medical problems as the result of HHW in regular garbage. Chemicals have even reacted in garbage trucks, leading to fires that have destroyed equipment.
  • Burning hazardous wastes may simply distribute them over a larger area.

Valley Waste–Resource Management
The Municipalities of Annapolis, Kings, Annapolis Royal, Berwick, Kentville, Middleton and Wolfville:
Partners in Waste Reduction