- How much do I have to pay to drop off HHW at the RDN?
RDN HHW tipping fees based on the weight of the load. Also, there are surcharges for items that are very costly to dispose of.
- Why do I have to pay to drop off HHW at the RDN?
Our program fees and surcharges help to offset high cost of HHW disposal. We will monitor our costs as the program matures to ensure our fees are as low as possible.
The reality is that HHW is very expensive to dispose of properly. There are a few factors that contribute to this cost:
- HHW must be handled by transported by certified and highly trained workers.
HHW is shipped off Vancouver island to the mainland where the content of every container is consolidated by its product type. The HHW is then transported to facilities in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan where it is treated and recycled or disposed of.
- Why doesn't the RDN accept recyclable HHW items like paint or motor oil?
There are a few reasons why the our HHW program is limited to only non-recyclable HHW items:
- Our 2020 Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) identified the need to collect non-recyclable HHW to supplement the existing provincial HHW recycling programs. Our program budget is based on the program concept as written in our SWMP and so does not include funds to manage recyclable HHW.
- A core principle of the RDN's waste management philosophy is to encourage growth and innovation in the local waste and recycling industry. Accepting recyclable HHW at our facilities would likely reduce the flow of recyclable HHW to local recyclers which would impact their revenues from these materials.
- Our solid waste facilities - the Regional Landfill and Church Road Transfer Station - were not designed with managing HHW in mind. Current site configurations limit the amount of available space for our HHW facilities. The end result is that we do not have enough room to manage the large volumes of recyclable HHW materials like paint and motor oil. Upgrading our facilities to accommodate larger HHW facilities would require a large capital investment that was not anticipated by our SWMP.
- Who can use the RDN HHW program?
All RDN residents are eligible to drop of HHW from their homes. Residents can use a commercial waste hauling service to bring their HHW to an RDN HHW facility but they are required to provide permission by signing off on a Commercial Hauling of HHW declaration form.
The RDN does not accept hazardous waste from industrial, business or institutional sources. These wastes must be managed by a private hazardous waste management company.
- Why doesn't the RDN accept hazardous waste from businesses?
Business hazardous waste (BHW) is prohibited from the RDN HHW program for several reasons:
- Businesses often use products with types and concentrations of chemicals not found in consumer grade products. These products are typically more hazardous, which increases the risks and costs associated with handling and disposing of them.
- BHW is generated in much larger volumes than HHW. Our HHW facilities were not designed to accept and store "commercial volumes" of hazardous waste. Also, our budget is based on estimated residential volumes of HHW and would be quickly used up by BHW .
- Managing BHW is the sole responsibility of the business owner. Accepting BHW in our program would put the cost burden of disposal on to RDN residents.
Businesses should contact a private hazardous waste management company to dispose of their BHW.
- I have a residential waste removal business. Can I dispose of my clients' HHW through the RDN HHW program?
Yes! However, as commercial hauling of HHW in BC is highly regulated, you must meet the requirements set out below to drop off a customer's HHW at the RDN. Find more information at our Commercial Hauling of HHW page.
- How should I store and transport my HHW?
The products accepted by the RDN and Provincial HHW programs are hazardous and should be handled in a safe and responsible way.
Safe storage of HHW
- Store products in a cool, dry and well-ventilated area that is securely out of reach of children and pets.
- Store products away from sources of heat, direct sunlight or flames.
- Keep containers upright and ensure their lids are tightly sealed to prevents leaks.
- Keep strongly reactive products separated. Keep bleach separate from ammonia-containing products and acidic products, such as vinegar or toilet bowl cleaner. These products can create toxic fumes when combined.
- Store products in their original containers whenever possible. Only transfer products to containers specifically designed for storing chemicals.
- Clearly label all containers with the name of the product.
Safe Transportation of HHW
- Wear disposable nitrile or latex gloves when handling hazardous products, especially corrosive materials such as muriatic (hydrochloric) acid.
- Ensure containers are tightly sealed and in good condition. Avoid transferring products to food containers or plastic bags.
- Label any container with the name of the product it contains. If the contents are not known, label the container with the word "UNKNOWN".
- Place containers in a rigid, leak-proof container, like a plastic tote. This will contain potential leaks and spills that happen during transit. Note: Transporting loose items or placing them in a bag increases the likelihood of spills during transport and off-loading.
- Secure containers to prevent them from shifting or falling over in the vehicle.
- Separate incompatible materials such as bleach and corrosive products.
- Store containers in the trunk or a well-ventilated cargo area. Avoid placing containers in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
- When driving, avoid sudden stops, sharp turns and rough driving that could cause containers to tip over or leak.
- Transport the HHW directly to the drop-off facility. Do not leave HHW unattended or store it in the vehicle for longer than necessary.
- When you arrive on site, follow the instruction provided by RDN facility staff for proper waste disposal.
- Why can't I just dump my HHW down the drain or throw it in the garbage?
Improper disposal of HHW items at home can pose a grave safety risk to you and your family (pets included!). Many household products contain poisonous ingredients that can sicken or kill living things. They often contain chemicals that can react with organic matter and other household products to cause burns or emit hazardous vapours and byproducts.
Improperly disposed HHW can also cause damage to infrastructure, equipment, and the environment. HHW flushed down a drain can damage pipes and sewage pumping and processing equipment. It can kill off the beneficial microorganisms that breakdown human waste in wastewater treatment plants and foul filtration systems. In the same way that HHW can harm you in your home, it can harm RDN staff and contractors working on wastewater transmission and treatment systems. Lastly, HHW chemicals in your wastewater can ultimately end up in the ocean, where they harm marine health.
Throwing HHW in your garbage can damage collection trucks, processing equipment, and landfill pollution control systems. Spilled materials can cause fires, release toxic vapours, and present contact hazards for RDN staff and contractors who transport and process your garbage.
- How can I reduce the amount of HHW I generate?
You can reduce your HHW output in a number of ways:
- Investigate non-toxic alternative to common products like cleaners or pesticides.
- Only buy as much of a hazardous product as you need.
- Consider donating unused products to non-profit organizations or offer them to a friend or neighbour.
- What happens to HHW collected at RDN facilities?
Materials are packed into containers and transported to Delta, B.C. Once there, the waste is consolidated and shipped to facilities across western Canada for treatment or disposal. Each type of product is managed differently: reactive chemicals are treated and disposed of in Saskatoon; less reactive wastes are stabilized and placed in secure landfills in BC; certain poisonous wastes, such as pesticides, are thermally destroyed by incineration in Alberta; and many flammable liquids are recycled or reused as heat recovery fuels in Alberta.
- Does the RDN offer reusable HHW products?
No, the RDN does not permit residents to remove HHW products from its facilities.