According to Recyc-Quebec, the quantity of household hazardous waste (HHW) produced by Quebec households is estimated at close to 20,000 tonnes, or about 1% of municipal waste per year.

Although HHW is not produced in large quantities compared to other residual wastes, it can still be hazardous if not properly disposed of. This type of waste includes products used in the home that can be hazardous to health and the environment.

Find out more about what household hazardous waste is and how to get it recovered.


HHW: Definition and significance

Household hazardous waste or HHW is the dangerous leftovers or remains of using many common household products. Most of these wastes include used oils, paints, solvents, cleaners and so on. There are many other household hazardous wastes that, if not used, stored or disposed of properly, can cause health and environmental problems.

Even though many efforts are being made to reduce the use of these products or their hazardousness, some household hazardous wastes remain essential and continue to be used in homes. While recycling or energy recovery is an option for more and more products, safe disposal is currently the only option for many HHW generated in very small quantities.

How to identify household hazardous waste

HHW must be easily recognizable by everyone, that is why pictograms are displayed on these dangerous products:

Examples of household hazardous waste

There are many hazardous household wastes present in different rooms of a home. Here are some examples of HHW that may already be present in your home that can cause an environmental emergency:

● Kitchen: drain cleaner, oven cleaner, ammonia, and so on

● Bathroom: nail polish remover, nail polish, medicine, toilet cleaner, and so on

● Other rooms: bleach, fabric softener, batteries, aerosols, used oil, pesticides, antifreeze, and so on

Where to take household hazardous waste

Household hazardous waste should be treated differently than other traditional waste and should never be thrown in one of your garbage cans! HHW can endanger the safety of garbage collectors and workers at the sorting center, in addition to interfering with the proper functioning of collection, transportation and unloading equipment.

If these products end up in the soil, lakes or rivers, they can contaminate the water table and the atmosphere. The result is water and soil contamination and the deterioration of the ozone layer.

Drop-off locations

In view of the various possible impacts of HHW on the environment, it is important to dispose of these materials responsibly at a government-recognized drop-off site. This will ensure proper disposal and recycling of the dangerous materials.

You can use the Recyc-Quebec’s Where it goes (Ça va où?) search app to find out where to drop off a harmful product. By contacting your municipality, you can also find out when your household hazardous waste collection will take place.

Call a professional

Another way to dispose of your HHW the right way is to contact a professional in hazardous waste management. Enviro Urgence takes care of the recovery of your household hazardous waste to avoid potential disasters. For a simple solution to collect your HHW, contact our team of certified professionals.

Any questions about HHW? Call Enviro Urgence

Household hazardous wastes are products that need to be handled with caution. To take fewer risks on a daily basis, you can store your HHW in labelled, leak-proof containers and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

If you have any questions about HHW or would like have it collected, call us today! We'll be happy to take your hazardous materials off your hands.