Green City

Hazardous Waste: Don't Chuck It or Flush It!

By Adrian Duyzer
Published March 27, 2008

StatsCan reports that many Canadians are disposing of batteries, electronics, and expired medications in the trash, or in the case of medications, even dumping them down the drain. From the CBC:

The study, which examined data collected from the 2006 Households and Environment Survey, looked at how Canadians disposed of batteries, expired medication, old computers and electronics, and leftover paint.

"Although collection programs exist in many parts of the country to safely dispose of and recycle special wastes, a large number of households may not know how to access these programs, given that many dispose of these wastes through the normal waste stream or through the sanitary sewage system," said the report, authored by John Marshall.

Nearly half of Canadians returned expired drugs to a pharmacy or drop-off centre while another 39 per cent buried, flushed or tossed their old medications in the garbage. The remaining respondents said they didn't know how to dispose of the drugs and kept them in their cupboards. Nearly a quarter of households reported having leftover or expired drugs in 2005.

The report noted that even low levels of drugs in the water is a serious concern.

There's no need for Hamiltonians to do so, because there are three free drop-off centres for hazardous waste in the city.

Please help spread the word.

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz


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By ventrems (registered) | Posted March 27, 2008 at 22:37:46

i read that report... good news about the composting though!

can't waste management collect batteries/pharmaceuticals if they're separated from the rest of the trash? these recycling centres are in the middle of nowhere and are not easy to access without a vehicle.

for the mac students reading this, the Union Market in the Student Centre, as well as the Front Desk at the new Athletic Centre take batteries.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted April 02, 2008 at 15:15:30

You can also bring batteries to city hall or the public works building. It'snot so hard.. save them up for a few months and drop them off when you happen to be in the area.

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