Zero Waste + Hazardous Waste

While hazardous and electronic waste make up a much smaller portion of Toronto’s waste they can still cause environmental and health problems if not carefully handled. Household hazardous waste (HHW) includes fluorescent bulbs, batteries, paints, oils, cleaners and medical waste. Electronic waste (e-waste) like computers, cell phones and televisions also have hazardous substances and precious metals in them that need to be handled and recycled properly.

Zero waste strategies safely handle toxic materials and support the transition to non-toxic alternatives.

Residents can drop off hazardous and electronic waste at Community Environment Days held in every ward each year, or at a City-run HHW Depot. Residents can call the Toxic Taxi to have City workers collect hazardous materials from their home and can rely on E-Waste pickup as part of their regular waste pick up.

CITY OF TORONTO - City-run HHW Reuse Centres allow residents to drop off and pick up unused paint, oil, cleaners and other products.

Zero waste strategies require equal access to hazardous waste and e-waste recycling services in all buildings so that residents, students and employees can contribute.

Currently, it is not easy for businesses, schools or others to safely recycle or dispose of hazardous and electronic materials in Toronto. There are some recycling programs run by small businesses and community groups or offered through special service contracts, but much more needs to be done to provide consistent, transparent and reliable service. 

reBOOT - This charity refurbishes second hand computers to re-sell or provide at low cost to non-profit organizations.

XEROX - Companies that lease large office equipment like printers, sometimes have return programs for used printer cartridges, which can be toxic and difficult to recycle.

Batteries make up only 1% of landfilled waste, but are responsible for 88% of the toxic heavy metals found in landfill. 

This page is from TEA's report Zero Waste Toronto.