Household waste can quickly pile up. The best way to approach household waste is to reduce the amount you create in the first place. Items such as printer paper, textiles, plastic bags, and electronics (which may contain many types of metals), can be made into new products or be repurposed. You can also reuse old or worn-out clothing as cleaning rags.
Additionally, ensure that the waste you do create is disposed in a manner that is environmentally safe and follows local rules and regulations.
On this page
- Proper disposal methods
- More information and who to contact
Proper disposal methods
Before you dispose of something as regular garbage, make sure you’re disposing of it correctly.
Compost and recycling
A large number of items may be included for compost and recycling pickup in your region. Many municipalities in Canada have a green bin program for disposal of biodegradable waste. Recycling rules vary by area, but often include food waste, paper and paper products, aluminum cans, glass, and some plastics.
Large items such as beds, couches, and other types of furniture may be picked up at the curb by your municipality during regular waste pickup. Check for any exclusions or limitations for your region on the number of items you can throw away.
Hazardous waste, such as paint, cleaning products and batteries, is treated differently than other types of waste because of possible chemicals or toxic substances that may be harmful to groundwater or soil. Several programs exist across Canada that specialize in the safe disposal of hazardous waste. To find the program nearest you and for more information on drop-off locations or special event dates, check with your municipal government.
E-waste is electronic waste that includes unwanted electrical equipment and used batteries. E-waste should not be treated as garbage because the items may pose an environmental hazards. Electronic equipment contains toxic substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic, which can produce toxic air pollutants and contaminate soil.
Check with your municipal, provincial and territorial government websites for information on possible e-waste disposal programs.
Many household items that are in fair condition may be donated. Some communities have curb-side pickup programs for large donations of items that are in fair condition. You may also check with your municipality, local charities and non-profits for special events or drop-off locations.