Disposing of garbage here in the city can be a complicated venture. Thankfully, the city has tried to demystify the process for us. While there appears to be an updated list of acceptable “recycle” items, it is also important to remember that many of our household items can neither be recycled or placed in regular garbage. These items are considered to be Household Hazardous Waste (HHW).

HHW materials are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment if they are not handled properly. These products must not be put in the garbage, poured down your drain/toilet or poured in sewers. Part of the “HHW Drop Off” program will ensure that these items are recycled or reprocessed into new materials. Materials that can’t be reused or recycled are safely disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Don’t know what to do with something? Go to the Waste Wizard (Toronto.ca/recycle) and use their online search tool.

1. Personal care products

  • Alcohol-lotions (aftershave, perfume, etc.)
  • Medication. Note: most pharmacies will take your unfinished or expired medication.
  • Nail polish remover
  • Syringes, medical sharps

 

2. Household cleaning products

  • Abrasive powders
  • Ammonia based cleaners
  • Bleach Carpet and upholstery cleaners
  • Disinfectants
  • Drain cleaners
  • Floor and furniture polish
  • Metal cleaners
  • Oven cleaners
  • Silver polishes
  • Window, glass, plastic cleaners

3. Other 

  • Air fresheners
  • Batteries
  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)

 

 

4. Pesticides, garden products 

  • Ant, mouse, rat, roach poisons
  • Fertilizers
  • Fungicides
  • Insecticides
  • Weed killers (herbicides)

 

5. Paints*, solvents, glue 

  • Automotive spray paints
  • Latex and water-based paints
  • Paint strippers
  • Primers
  • Rust removers
  • Stains, finishes
  • Thinners, turpentine
  • Wood preservatives

*Note: Empty paint cans with lids removed and empty aerosol cans, with caps discarded, go in your Blue Bin for recycling.

 

6. Car, garage products 

  • Anitfreeze
  • Car battery and battery acid
  • Brake fluid
  • Body filler
  • Car wax and solvent
  • Fuel (gasoline, diesel, kerosene)
  • Motor oil (new and used)
  • Oil filters
  • Windshield washer fluid

 

HHW materials must be dropped off at special depots. Find a list of locations here. If you live in a condo your building may have a drop off location on site. If they don’t, perhaps offer that suggestion to property management.