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Household hazardous waste - packaging and labelling

When you bring your household hazardous waste to our drop-off locations, it must be properly packaged and labelled.

This is for your safety, and the safety of our staff who collect and handle your leftover chemicals. It also protects against spills and prevents the mixing of chemicals.

Hazardous waste will have symbols like this on the container:

Household Hazardous Waste Symbols Example
An Example of a Properly Labelled HHW container

An example of an item that has been properly packaged and labelled

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How to properly package and label your waste

Place leftover chemicals in sealed container

Place your leftover chemicals in a sealed, spill-proof container. Use the original container if possible. When you keep materials in their original container, our staff will know how to safely handle the contents.

If you have to use a different container:

  • Pick a sturdy leak-proof container
  • Avoid plastic containers like pop bottles or milk jugs
  • Make sure your container has a lid and it's on tight

IMPORTANT: Do not mix chemicals together.

Ensure the lid is secured

Make sure the lid is on tight.

Label the container

Label the container clearly. If the label is unreadable or missing, or you can't use your original container, add a new label.

Drop off items at designated locations

Drop off your materials at one of our drop-off locations.

Old chemicals can be processed safely

Workers who remove, transport and process your old chemicals can now do it safely.

Why proper packaging and labelling is important

When chemicals are not packaged correctly or labeled, it can cause a lot of problems:

  • Spills that cause environmental damage
  • Explosive reactions or explosions
  • Dangerous fumes that could seriously injure or kill

When your chemicals are packaged and labelled, you reduce the risk to your personal safety, the safety of others and the environment.

Learn more about this program and the importance of following the steps above in our two-part video series:


Storing hazardous waste at your home

If you must store chemicals in your home for a short time, it's vital to store them safely and properly. Look for instructions on your product labels. Look for directions that come with the packaging of your product.

Look for symbols on the label that show flammable, corrosive or toxic hazards. If you are in doubt, ask your retailer for a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS provides key safety details.

Practical suggestions for safe storage

Flammable liquids
Store flammable liquids preferably outside in a metal cabinet or in an unheated area. Never store near an open flame or spark. Flammable liquids include gasoline, camp stove fuel, paint thinner and lamp oil.

Corrosive materials
Store corrosive materials in a place such as a plastic tub or tray where the product can't spill out if the container leaks. Examples of corrosive materials are drain cleaners, bleach and acids.

All household hazardous waste
Store all household hazardous waste out of the reach of children and pets. In some cases, a label may recommend not storing one product with another. Take care to separate the products into different storage areas.