Household hazardous waste – or HHW for short – is deﬁned as equipment, material, products and substances classified as ﬂammable, corrosive or physically hazardous. HHW can include toxic or environmentally hazardous materials, household pesticides and batteries.
Household hazardous waste poses a number of potential risks to human health and the environment. Improperly disposed HHW can enter a municipal wastewater system or contribute to subsurface leaching of landfills. It can also result in contamination of soil, surface water and groundwater systems. Although HHW makes up one per cent of the waste stream in Saskatchewan, it poses a much higher risk of environmental impacts than other municipal waste, due to its toxic nature.
To create a permanent, province-wide HHW program, the Household Hazardous Waste Product Stewardship Regulations came into eﬀect in June 2019. The regulations require manufacturers, distributors, vendors, importers and retailers of household hazardous waste products to manage the collection and safe disposal of these products.
The regulations allowed the Ministry of Environment to ask for stewardship plan submissions in December 2019. Call2Recycle's plan for consumer batteries was approved in April 2020, and was launched in January 2021. The plan submitted by Product Care Association of Canada for other household hazardous waste, such as flammable, corrosive, toxic, or environmentally hazardous materials and pesticides, was approved in June 2020 and is anticipated to begin implementation in spring 2021.
Having an HHW program is a major step forward in waste management for Saskatchewan and will support the government's commitment to safe communities and a healthy environment protected from adverse environmental impacts.