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.
The Household Hazardous Waste Product Stewardship Regulations came into eﬀect in June 2019 as a permanent, province-wide HHW program. The regulations require manufacturers, distributors, vendors, importers and retailers of household hazardous waste products to manage the collection and safe disposal of these products.
Currently, two producer responsibility organizations operate approved programs in the province. Call2Recycle operates an approved program for consumer batteries, which was launched in January 2021. Product Care Association of Canada operates an approved program for other household hazardous waste, such as flammable, corrosive, toxic, or environmentally hazardous materials and pesticides, which was launched in April 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.