Disposing of hazardous household items improperly can spark potentially dangerous fires.

Disposing of hazardous household items improperly can spark potentially dangerous fires.

Prevent fires: Keep household hazardous waste OUT of the landfill!

Batteries, electronics and pool chemicals can all spark serious fires

For many families, a spring and summer spent close to home has offered the chance to do some long-awaited clean-up around the home and yard. From those old hot tub chemicals to used batteries, this is a great time to clear out your space – if you do it safely.

While properly recycling these and other household hazardous waste items is as simple as bringing them to Hartland Landfill, too often people simply toss them in the garbage, where they can create serious problems.

“What you put in the garbage matters,” says Russ Smith, senior manager of the Capital Regional District’s environmental resource management team. “When you dispose of hazardous household items improperly it can spark potentially dangerous fires.”

In fact, despite landfill material bans and strong, safety-focused operational practices, this year has brought even more fires than usual to the landfill – fires that wouldn’t happen if materials were disposed of properly.

While most fires are quickly contained by staff, there’s always potential for a fire to grow to an unmanageable level, especially in the dry summer and early fall, before winter rains arrive.

Mind your batteries, chemicals and electronics!

In the Capital Region, about half of these landfill fires are caused by batteries, especially lithium ion batteries found in consumer electronics. The remaining half are caused by household hazardous waste, particularly hot tub and pool chemicals.

The great news? All of these items can properly disposed of in the recycling area, and for free! Simply drop off the items in their designated sections at Hartland or look for another drop-off site near you. And if you’re not sure what the material is, simply bring it to the Hartland public drop-off where staff have experience identifying safely dealing with the materials.

  1. Household batteries – These contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, zinc, manganese and lithium that can be re-used if they’re recycled properly. Collect your batteries and drop them off for free at one of more than 50 convenient locations across the region that collect these items for recycling – visit Call2Recycle.ca to find the location nearest you.
  2. Household electronics – The electronics that contain most of these batteries are also easily recyclable – both at the Hartland Landfill’s recycling depot and at various other community sites.
  3. Hot tub and pool chemicals – The only safe place for pool chemicals is in your pool or hot tub. Old, unused or expired chemicals can be dropped off six days a week at Hartland Landfill for FREE, keeping them out of the landfill and away from potential fire sources. For more information on this free disposal program, visit crd.bc.ca/hhw.

To learn where you can drop off these items and many others, visit www.myrecyclopedia.ca.

Green LivingRecyclingwaste disposal

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