Hazardous Waste and Recyclable Material

What are hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials and why do they need to be controlled?

Hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials typically exhibit hazardous characteristics, such as toxicity, corrosivity or flammability to name just a few. In Canada, these characteristics are defined by taking into account the hazard criteria established under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, as well as specifically listed wastes and materials in the schedules of the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR).

Hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials can be in different forms such as solid, liquid, gas, sludge or paste. They can come from a myriad of sources such as residues from industrial operations, manufacturing processing plants and hospitals, or they can be obsolete materials such as waste lubricants and pesticides. More information about the generic types of potentially hazardous wastes and activities that may generate them is available in Environment Canada (EC)’s Guide to Classification.

Due to the dangerous properties of these materials and the fact that they may pose a risk to human health or the environment in certain conditions, special recycling and disposal operations must be undertaken at authorized facilities to ensure their environmentally sound management and continued protection of human health.