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Hazardous waste and special items

Disposal of household hazardous waste

What is household hazardous waste?

If it’s corrosive, flammable or poisonous it’s hazardous waste. These types of products contaminate water and landfills and should never be poured down the drain or put out with your regular garbage.

To help you dispose of these products safely, the City of Ottawa operates several one-day Household Hazardous Waste depots for City of Ottawa residents only. The 2017 one-day Household Hazardous Waste depots will be posted as soon as they are available.

Liquid or hazardous waste from industrial, commercial and institutional sources will not be accepted.  The one-day Household Hazardous Waste Depots are for residential household waste only.

Products to be dropped off at household hazardous waste depots include:  

*maximum 100 litres by volume

  • Aerosol containers
  • Propane cylinders
  • Disinfectants
  • Fluorescent bulbs/tubes
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Mercury switches/thermometers
  • Needles and syringes
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Paints and coatings
  • Oven and window cleaners
  • Pool chemicals

2017 dates and locations

Information on the 2017 one-day Household Hazardous Waste depots will be posted as soon as they are available.

Residents can safely dispose of many kinds of household hazardous waste, including fluorescent bulbs, batteries, paint and oil, by returning them to participating local retailers during their regular business hours.  For a list of retailers who accept returns of household hazardous waste, enter the item name in the Waste Explorer

 Tips to reduce household hazardous waste

Use a non-hazardous alternative:

  • Environmentally friendly and safer alternatives are available for household cleaning, home improvement and garden care

Be a wise consumer:

  • If you must purchase a hazardous product, buy only the amount you can use up. Avoid larger quantity, bulk purchases if you don’t need a lot.

Read labels:

  • Ensure that the product you purchase does what you want it to do before you purchase it. Once purchased, follow the instructions on the label for safe use, ventilation and storage.

Give leftover hazardous products to someone who can use them:

  • Relatives, friends, neighbours, community groups and charitable organizations may be able to use some of your leftovers.

Avoid aerosols whenever possible:

  • Much of the aerosol product ends up in the air. Purchase safer alternatives.

Thank you for your efforts!

In 2015, you helped divert more than 555 tonnes of hazardous waste from the landfill, including the following items:

  • 24,934 CFL light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • 10 tonnes of household batteries
  • 14 tonnes of aerosols
  • 333 tonnes of paint
  • 310kg of sharps and needles
  • 797kg of pharmaceuticals
  • 1421 large propane cylinders

Household hazardous waste depots make a difference!

HHW Results

HHW Results (2)

Special items

How to dispose of large, bulky or other items

Use the Waste Explorer to find out where to bring large, bulky or other items, electronics and hazardous materials.

Appliances

The City does NOT pick up appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dryers, dishwashers, hot water tanks, furnaces or oil tanks at the curb. These appliances contain recyclable parts. Residents must make their own arrangements to have them taken away. Check the Yellow Pages under "recycling" for a list of businesses providing this service, or take them back to participating retailers - electronic or household items.  

Remember all refrigerators, freezers, air conditioning units and dehumidifiers must have cooling chemicals removed and be tagged by a certified technician prior to being brought to a landfill site. Any items that are not tagged will be refused entry into the site.

Batteries

Many retailers will accept AA, AAA batteries and rechargeable batteries. Also, check out our household hazardous waste depots

Construction material

Plaster, wood (including pressure-treated lumber), drywall, concrete, asphalt or other waste resulting from building construction, renovation or demolition ARE NOT collected with regular garbage. This material can be brought to the Trail Road Landfill Site or to another landfill. 

The following companies offer a program for recycling some construction and renovation materials:

Residents must phone ahead before returning an item.

Flares, bullets, explosives, guns and fireworks

Flares, bullets, explosive devices, ammunition, firearms and fireworks can cause severe injury or death, and should never be thrown out with your regular garbage. To dispose of these materials safely, contact Ottawa Police at 613-230-6211. Police will come and make sure all necessary safety precautions have been taken to dispose of these items. 

Glass (windows, drinking glasses, dishes, coffee pots, mirrors, light bulbs, etc.)

For the health and safety of waste collectors, please securely package glass items in a cardboard box and label the box "glass" so that the operator is aware of its contents when placing it in the truck.  

Energy efficient light bulbs

Energy efficient light bulbs can be returned to some local businesses. Visit the Waste Explorer for a retailer near you. The item can also be brought to a  household hazardous waste depots

Fluorescent light bulbs

Fluorescent light bulbs should be brought to household hazardous waste depots. Fluorescent light bulbs can be disposed of in the regular garbage if they are carefully wrapped and taped inside the original cardboard container or wrapped and taped in packing material to prevent breakage. 

Large, bulky items

Large items such as sofas, mattresses and furniture can be picked up at the curb. Please put the item out before 7 am on your collection day. Check the Waste Explorer for opportunities to recycle. 

Medication

Unused prescription drugs can pose a health risk if not properly disposed. Visit any of our participating pharmacies to take it back. 

Motor oil

Used motor oil can be conveniently returned in your community to a number of business partners.

Paint

Paint should be disposed of at one of the City's household hazardous waste depots or by returning it to a retailer.  

Pet waste

The best way to dispose of pet waste is to flush it down the toilet, where it can be properly treated when it reaches the sewage plant. Cat litter can also be placed in your green bin. Otherwise, put it in your regular garbage as long as it is properly wrapped in absorbent paper and placed in a sealed, leak proof bag, mixed with your regular garbage. Quantities should be no more than 10 per cent of your garbage bag or can.  

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are not hazardous and can be placed in your regular garbage for collection. Smoke alarms are not recyclable. 

Tires

Should be recycled at participating retailers. For free disposal of used tires, visit greenmytires.ca.

Electronic waste

The City of Ottawa does not collect electronic waste or e-waste as part of its curbside garbage collection.

E-waste accounts for 3000 tonnes or about 300 garbage trucks full of refuse added to our landfills each year. Much of this e-waste consists of steel, glass, copper, aluminum, plastics and precious metals that can be recycled and reused.

These items can be dropped off at participating retailers. Find out where you can return your electronics, by using the Waste Explorer, by visiting recycleyourelectronics.ca or dropping them off at any e-waste depot listed below. These e-waste depots are run and operated by local businesses and charitable organizations.


The following items will not be picked up curbside:

  • Televisions
  • Desktop computers and terminals
  • Monitors
  • Laptop computers
  • Desktop printers
  • Fax machines
  • Disk drives
  • CD-ROM drives
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Amplifiers, stereos, speakers, receivers
  • Cameras, digital cameras
  • Copiers, fax machines, scanners
  • Pagers, PDAs
  • Radios
  • Telephones, cellphones, answering machines
  • VCR and DVD players

One-day E-waste Drop-offs

Saturday, July 23, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Junk that Funk
Kanata Recreation Complex
100 Charlie Rogers Place (formerly Walter Baker Place)
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Saturday, July 30, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Junk that Funk

Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre
3320 Paul Anka Drive
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Saturday, August 20, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m
Junk that Funk
Queenswood Heights Community Center
1485 Duford Drive
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Sunday, August 21, 2016
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kanata Research Park
411 Legget Drive
Only residential e-waste is accepted at this site.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Junk that Funk
Navan Arena
1295 Colonial Road
Navan, ON
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Saturday, September 17, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Junk that Funk
Dovercourt Community Center
411 Dovercourt Avenue
Ottawa, ON
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Saturday, September 17, 2016
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ross' Your Independent Grocer
3777 Strandherd Drive
Hosted by: The Nepean Junior 'A' Raiders
Only residential e-waste is accepted at this site.

Sunday, September 18, 2016
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tunney's Pasture
Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Only residential e-waste is accepted at this site.

Saturday, September 24, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Junk that Funk
Barrhaven Fellowship Christian Reform Church
3058 Jockvale Road
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Saturday, October 15, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Junk that Funk
Good Shepherd Church
3092 Innes Road
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Sunday, October 23, 2016
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
OC Transpo Park & Ride
3355 Fallowfield Ride
Only residential e-waste is accepted at this site.

Saturday, October 29, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Junk that Funk
Centerpoint Park
260 Centerpoint Drive
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

Saturday, November 12, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 pm.
Junk that Funk
Dovercourt Community Center
411 Dovercourt Avenue
Residential, Industrial and Commercial e-waste material is accepted at this site.

What to do with used needles and crack pipes

  • For health and safety reasons, sharp objects cannot be put in the garbage or recycling, or flushed down the toilet (By-law 2009-396, Schedule “J”)
  • Garbage is compacted during collection so even when placed in a puncture-proof container, needles, crack pipes or glass stems can be exposed and injure someone

There are several ways to properly dispose of needles or crack pipes:Image of a Needle drop box

Needle drop boxes

Residents should place their needles or glass stems in a non-breakable puncture proof container with a lid (no larger than a two-litre pop bottle or 15” by 4 ½”) and place in one of the secure tamper-proof Needle Drop Boxes available at various locations throughout Ottawa.

Please note that larger containers of needles can be dropped off at Ottawa Public Health locations at 100 Constellation Drive or 179 Clarence Street.

Needle Drop Boxes are at the following locations: Central | East | South | West

Central

Name

Address

Drop Box location

AIDS Committee of Ottawa

700-251 Bank Street

In stairwell

Bell Pharmacy

737 Gladstone Avenue

Back parking lot

Burger King

199 Montreal Road

On Montreal Road along fence

Capital Parking Lot

151 George Street

On George Street along fence

Centre 507

507 Bank Street

Main entrance

Centretown Community Health Centre

420 Cooper Street

Main entrance

City of Ottawa - Sexual Health Centre

179 Clarence Street

Main entrance

Elizabeth Bruyère Hospital

43 Bruyère Street

Main entrance

Fire Station

135 Preston Street 

Main entrance

Fire Station

635 O’Connor Street

Main entrance

Fire Station

530 King Edward Avenue

Main entrance

Fire Station

700 Brookfield Road

Main entrance

Lowertown – York @ Nelson

278 York Street

Parking lot entrance

Lowetown Community Resources – Dental Health Clinic

40 Cobourg Street

Side entrance

Medical Building

737 Parkdale Avenue

Front sidewalk

Montfort Hospital

713 Montreal Road

Near main entrance

Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre

401 Somerset Street West 

Main entrance

Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre

263 Montreal Road

Main Entrance

Ottawa Community Housing 

123 Augusta Street

Main Entrance

Ottawa Community Housing 

380 Murray Street

Main Entrance 

Ottawa Community Housing 

251/255 Donald Street

Main Entrance 

Ottawa Community Housing 

415 Maclaren Street 

Main Entrance 

Ottawa Hospital - Riverside Campus

1967 Riverside Drive

Main entrance

Parking garage

141 Clarence Street

Murray Street entrance

Public Works Garage

380 Catherine Street

 Front Gate

Public Works Garage

356 MacArthur Avenue

 Front Gate

Saint Vincent Hospital

60 Cambridge Street North

Main entrance

Sandy Hill Community Health Centre

221 Nelson Street

Main entrance

Shepherds of Good Hope

256 King Edward Avenue

2nd floor Men's Shelter

Shepherds of Good Hope

233 Murray Street

Back parking lot

Somerset West Community Health Centre

55 Eccles Street

Main entrance

St. Margaret’s Church

206 Montréal Road

Back parking lot

Vanier Snack Shack

200 Deschamps Avenue

Near main entrance

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

299 Montreal Road

Main entrance

  [Top]

East

Name

Address

Drop Box location

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

401 Smyth Road

Main entrance

*City of Ottawa - Bylaw Services (no public access)

735 Industrial Avenue

Inside garage

Fire Station

500 Charlemagne Boulevard 

Main entrance

Fire Station

3336 McCarthy Drive

Main entrance

Fire Station

900 Industrial Avenue

Main entrance

Fire Station

2355 Alta Vista Drive

Main entrance

Fire Station

900 Montreal Road

Main entrance

Fire Station

6213 Jean D’Arc Boulevard

Main entrance

Fire Station

1700 Blair Road

Main entrance

Fire Station

275 Coventry Road

Main entrance

Fire Station

220 Beechwood Avenue

Main entrance

Fire Station

3255 Conroy Road

Main entrance

Ontario Medical Supply

1100 Algoma Road

Near main entrance

Ottawa Community Housing 

2100 Russell Road 

Main Entrance

Ottawa Hospital - General Campus

501 Smyth Road

Main entrance

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South

Name

Address

Drop Box location

City of Ottawa Metcalfe Client Service Centre

8243 Victoria Street, Metcalfe

Main entrance

Fire Station

5669 Manotick Main Street

Main entrance

Public Works Garage

3100 Conroy Road

 Front Gate

 [Top]

West

Name

Address

Drop Box location

Carlington Community and Health Services

900 Merivale Road

Main entrance

Causeway

22 O’Meara Street

Back parking lot

City of Ottawa - Office Complex

100 Constellation Drive

Main entrance

Dulude Arena

941 Clyde Avenue

East side of building

Fire Station

3845 Richmond Road 

Main entrance

Fire Station

1075 Greenbank Road

Main entrance

Fire Station

380 Eagleson Road

Main entrance

Fire Station

1443 Carling Avenue

Main entrance

Fire Station

1300 Woodroffe Avenue

Main entrance

Fire Station

1397 Richmond Road

Main entrance

Fire Station

230 Viewmount Drive

Main entrance

Fire Station

60 Knoxdale Road

Main entrance

Fire Station

1641 Main Street (Stittsville)

Main entrance

Fire Station

1021 Teron Road

(Kanata North)

Ottawa Community Housing

1400 Lepage Avenue

Seating area beside parking lot

Ottawa Community Housing (Bellevue Community Centre)

1475 Caldwell Avenue

Main entrance

Ottawa Fertility Clinic

955 Green valley Crescent

Main entrance behind building

Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus

1053 Carling Avenue

Main entrance

Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus

190 Melrose Avenue

Side Entrance

Public Works Garage

1683 Woodward Avenue

 Front Gate

Public Works Garage

320 Bloomfield Avenue

 Front Gate

Public Works Garage

29 Hurdman Road

 Front Gate

Queensway-Carleton Hospital

3045 Baseline Road

Main entrance

Richmond IDA Pharmacy

6179 Perth Street, Richmond

Main entrance

Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

1145 Carling Avenue

Main entrance

Stittsville IDA Pharmacy

1250 Main Street

Main entrance


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For more information on the location of Needle Drop Boxes, call 3-1-1.

How to pick up and dispose of needles and crack pipes

Children should never touch a discarded needle or crack pipe. If an adult chooses not to pick up a needle or crack pipe, call 3-1-1 to make arrangements to have the City pick them up immediately.

How to pick up a needle or crack pipe on your own:

  1. Treat all needles and crack pipes (glass stems) as contaminated.
  2. Wear gloves (i.e. latex, rubber or leather gardening gloves). Gloves are meant to protect against fluid contamination, not punctures or cuts.
  3. Use tongs, pliers or tweezers to pick up the needle. Be sure to clean and disinfect the pickup instrument afterwards.
  4. Pick up the needle by the plastic end (syringe).
  5. Point the needle tip away from your body. Be very careful not to poke yourself with the needle.
  6. Put the sharps disposal container on a stable surface next to the needle. Do not hold the container in your hand while placing the needle inside.
  7. Place the needle point down into the container. Do not force the needle into the container.
  8. If you do not have a specialized sharps container, put the needle into a non-breakable, puncture-proof container with a lid. (i.e. thick plastic bottle or tin can.)
  9. Close the container securely.
  10. Find the nearest needle disposal location. Do not flush needles down the toilet or put them in the garbage or recycling box.
  11. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after removal of gloves.

If a needle injury occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Help keep me safe!

Waste Collection Operator

 Trevor Martelock, Waste Collections Operator, City of Ottawa

"It’s really important for residents to properly dispose of hazardous waste like sharps, chemicals and combustibles and not throw them into their regular garbage."

Tell us about your job. What is a typical day like for you?

I’ve been a waste collections operator for about seven years and it’s the most physically demanding job I’ve done. I start work at 7 a.m. and can lift an average of 12 tonnes of garbage into the truck in one shift. Every day brings different challenges. We can be right on schedule, then suddenly there can be a flat tire, your partner could go home sick, or there could be an engine problem. We are out there with 300,000 residents every day and need to always be aware of our surroundings. We never know what’s around the next corner.

With so much going on, how do you stay safe on the job?

Safety starts before we even leave the garage. We do pre-trip inspections on the trucks every morning. We also have safety guidelines and protective equipment for working in and around the trucks. As collectors, we have a lot of responsibility driving very big vehicles down narrow streets. We constantly deal with traffic, bicycles and pedestrians and need to be one step ahead of everything to avoid dangerous situations. SIPDE rules are top of mind when we’re on the road. SIPDE stands for scan, identify, predict, decide and execute.

What kind of hazards do you come across on the road?

I’ve seen guys stuck with needles thrown in with regular garbage, poked with nails from renovation materials, or cut by broken glass. I’ve been sliced with razor blades thrown into a plastic bag, and once I came in contact with chlorine gas when someone dumped pool chemicals into their household garbage. It’s really important for residents to properly dispose of hazardous waste like sharps, chemicals and combustibles and not throw them into their regular garbage.

What is the biggest hazard you face on a daily basis?

By far the biggest hazard we encounter is other drivers. Getting cut-off happens regularly and the danger of getting hit by a car is always there. One of my co-workers had his elbow hit by a side view mirror on a passing car. We had another guy bumped by a driver trying to go around the truck to get into their driveway instead of waiting. Once someone hit my truck four feet away from where I was standing. The driver ripped a large section out of their door. No one was injured, but this is what we can deal with on a daily basis.

What is the most important thing you’d like to tell other drivers?

Be aware of your surroundings and please be patient. As collectors we’re on the road doing our jobs as safely as possible. We have lives and families outside of work and we’d like to go home to them tonight. We also want residents to make it home safely too. If it takes five minutes longer to get to where you’re going, that’s way better than not arriving at all.