Disposing of hazardous waste safely
Published Sunday, June 16, 2019 11:03PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 17, 2019 11:48AM EDT
The landfill sites in Timmins do not accept hazardous waste materials such as propane tanks, fuel, or paint, but there's one day a year that the city gives residents a chance to safely dispose of that type of stuff.
It promotes recycling and keeps the environment healthy.
Based on the number of the gallon pails collected during household hazardous waste day, people in Timmins enjoy painting.
Steve Tebworth is the household waste coordinator for Drain-All Ltd.
"Paint is the biggest commodity. Paint from Timmins may go for recycling. There's one company that recycled it under the Blue Moose banner and that can be bought in some of the Giant Tiger stores." said Tebworth.
While paint can add beauty to a home, officials say paint is not so pretty in the event of a house fire, if it’s being stored inside the home.
Victor Helin is a Lieutenant with the Timmins Fire Department.
"Lots of people store it under stairways, which are the worst place you can store things. It burns out the stairwells and firefighters can fall downstairs. It's good to get the stuff out of your houses." said Helin.
Fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, engine fuel, oil, propane tanks, and e-waste are some of the other items that can be hazardous if not disposed of properly.
City environmental officials also say landfills are not the place for them either and it's why special collection events are important.
Christina Beaton is the environmental coordinator for the City of Timmins. She says disposing hazardous waste in other ways can be damaging to the city’s infrastructure.
"There's not many programs that the residents can get rid of it, so it helps us protect the environment and removing things that would otherwise maybe end up in our landfill or in our sanitary system, which our water treatment plant is not designed to treat." said Beaton.
Scott Tam is the manager of environmental services at the city.
"There are also new technologies to recycle these streams, so as much as we can divert and recycle, it's the best solution for us." said Tam.
The number of people participating this year and in years past shows people do care for the environment.
CTV News spoke to several people as they dropped off their hazardous waste including: paints, spray cans, batteries, electrical components, and used engine oil. Some of the reasons people gave were to clean out and declutter their homes and to protect the environment.
"We average about between 50 to 70 tonnes of diverted material in the last five- six years." said Tam.
If anyone missed the household hazardous waste day, e-waste may be dropped off in the bins at the Deloro landfill site in Timmins, but for things like paint and oil, you'll need to keep it safe until next year's collection day.
Call the city or refer to the Recyclapedia app if you have any questions.