Friday, August 13, 2010

A good place for bad stuff: the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Program

If your garage looks like mine, it’s a hobbyist’s graveyard stocked with all those things you don’t want cluttering up your house - empty spray paint cans, old car batteries, dirty motor oil and a rainbow of automotive fluids.

Knowing that these things can’t simply be poured down the drain and that putting them in the garbage would turn a mess into a potential health risk for City Waste & Recycling collectors, there has to be an environmentally-friendly (and garbage collector-friendly) way to dispose of these things.

According to The City’s Waste & Recycling Services, there’s a good place for that bad stuff.

The City’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Drop-off Program makes sure that stuff like paint, motor oil, car batteries and propane tanks are disposed of properly. This ensures they are handled according to Alberta Environmental regulations, or even recycled.

“We’ve recently made improvements to our household hazardous waste disposal program to make it easier for people to use and are trying to educate people about the risks associated with improper disposal,” says Corey Colbran, a Landfill Engineer for Waste & Recycling Services.

If not handled properly, household hazardous waste can pose a threat to your family, your garbage collector, or the workers at the recycling sorting facility. So it’s important never to put these items in your Blue Cart or garbage.

In the past, Waste & Recycling Services, in partnership with the Calgary Fire Department would host an annual ‘round up’ of HHW materials opening temporary depots throughout the city.

“The new program is much more available – it’s a year-round program. People can now drop off household waste seven days a week,” explains Colbran.

With eight convenient drop-off locations at landfills and select fire stations, it’s easy to clean out the garage without putting people or the environment at risk.

To learn more about the safe disposal of household hazardous waste, and to find a drop-off location near you, visit or call 3-1-1.

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