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When you think about hazardous waste, do you picture radioactive green sludge flowing into a river with three-eyed fish swimming by? If so, we can probably thank The Simpsons for this highly visual, albeit fairly inaccurate, portrayal of hazardous waste.

So what is classed as hazardous waste anyways? We’ve rounded up the facts on hazardous waste. Our guide will explore what is meant by hazardous waste and what your disposal options are. Read on the learn the ins and outs of hazardous waste disposal. 

From corrosives to toxins and everything in between: what is non-hazardous waste and what’s considered hazardous waste?

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act has some specific criteria to help define different types of hazardous waste. 

In short, hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials have properties that make them flammable, reactive/explosive, corrosive, or inherently toxic. These properties are associated with increased health and environmental risks, especially related to improper disposal. The risks associated with hazardous waste vary but can include skin irritation or injury on contact or contamination of water and soil. 

It is these associated risks that make the identification and proper disposal of hazardous waste so important.  

Risky business: what is considered household hazardous waste?

So far, we’ve defined the properties of hazardous waste.  But how do we know what types of hazardous waste might be lurking around our homes?

Below are the four categories of common hazardous waste along with simple definitions and examples.

Hazard Property Definition Examples
Corrosive Chemically degrades and damages surfaces, skin, and other human tissues Rust removers, alkaline cleaning solutions, and old batteries
Flammable Materials or fumes that ignite and burn easily Oily rags, solvent containers, jerry cans etc.
Reactive/Explosive Violent reaction or explosion when mixed with other chemicals or when pressurized or heated  Aerosol products
Toxic/Poison Serious harm can result from coming into contact with, inhaling or ingesting  Products containing heavy metals such as mercury, lead, or cadmium. Additionally, common toxic waste like antifreeze waste can be harmful to animals ie: your friendly household dogs are drawn to it and it is fatal to them. It is also commonly known as a fish-killer as it tends to enter the water streams when improperly disposed of. 

Hazardous waste removal options

To help minimise the health and environmental risk that hazardous waste poses, we all must play our part. Local Environmental works to ensure that household and commercial hazardous waste is diverted from landfills as much as possible. Separating hazardous waste from regular recycling and waste is the first step. The next step is ensuring these materials end up in the correct hazardous waste or recycling facility for safe disposal.

Collection sites or round-up events

Municipalities may have hazardous waste depots or community round-up events throughout the year where residents can drop off hazardous materials. Check online for municipal or rural hazardous waste collection facilities in your region. 

Hazardous waste collection service

Programs such as Local Environmental’s Residential and Commercial waste services, provide safe and convenient removal of common hazardous products.

What hazardous waste does Local Environmental pick up?

Local Environmental can collect most household hazardous waste as well as waste from construction sites. Arranging waste collection is easy with flexible pickup options to suit your needs. 

Aerosols Biomedical waste (sharps, medications, etc.)
Paint cans Asbestos (in Alberta)
Motor oils, fluids


Note: Local Environmental Saskatchewan will accept asbestos at our landfill. If you require asbestos pickup, please contact us directly to arrange it.  

Learn more about construction site waste removal services

Hauling hazardous waste: Vacuum truck services

Spills and s%*t happen. Fortunately, Local Environmental offers reliable vacuum truck service to residents and businesses across the Edmonton region. This service can assist with sewage cleanup and septic maintenance, as well as oil spills and other waste material cleanup.  

Local Environmental has a range of vacuum trucks in our fleet. We can handle everything from hauling oilfield waste to the removal of septic waste and sanitization of your waste management equipment.  

Learn more about vacuum truck services

Human waste hazards: Portable toilet services

Not all waste hazards are of a chemical nature. When the other type of nature calls, our porta-potty rental services are up to the task. Serving the Whitecourt region, Local Environmental supplies a range of porta-potties for all projects, construction sites, and events.

Four colorful garbage bins with the Local Environmental Logo

Do you have hazardous waste from your construction, renovation or demolition site that you need to get rid of? Contact your closest Local Environmental to arrange removal >