Challenge 9 - Tackle Toxic Trash

CEDay_Ward19_Haz_Waste_Paint-cropped-sm.jpgTackle Toxic Trash

Certain types of waste can't go in the garbage or recycling bin because they contain toxic ingredients that can harm the environment or human health. This type of special waste needs to be sorted and sent to the right place so it can be recycled properly.

Special waste includes batteries, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and fluorescent tubes, medication, paint, oil, nail polish and cleaning products (anything with a 'hazard' symbol). Read the full list on the City website.


  • Create a space in your home to store this. Choose a safe place away from kids and pets and keep all products in their original containers. Make a sign and let everyone in your household know about it.

  • If you live in an apartment, ask your building manager to create a Special Waste drop off spot. They can call the City to collect it.
  • Upload a photo of your waste collection spot in the comments below.


Where to recycle your hazardous and special waste:

  • Residents can drop off special waste free at any of the 7 City waste Drop-off depots.

  • If you've got a lot of special waste, the Toxic Taxi can come right to your door to collect special waste for free. You need the equivalent of 10 litres of hazardous waste (about 2 and half paint cans).  Call 311 or fill out an online request.

  • If you live in an apartment, talk to your Property Manager about arranging a collection day for the whole building


Take the extra step:
Find ways to reduce the special and hazardous waste in your home. Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. Or make non-toxic cleaners that are safer for you and the environment.  See recipes in Section 8 of TEA's Toxics Reduction Tool Kit.

Did you take this challenge?

  • Karen Pace
    Took Challenge 2016-07-04 10:59:50 -0400
  • Paul Cressman
    Took Challenge 2016-07-02 14:10:26 -0400
    I do exactly that… save my toxic waste, like batteries and drop them off from time to time for proper disposal and recycling.
  • eddie mayanja
    Took Challenge 2014-08-01 16:35:30 -0400
  • John D. Lundy
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 23:36:17 -0400
    Now I have one handy bin to store all my hazardous-waste until I have a chance to dispose of it properly. Great!
  • Daniel Brennan
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 23:26:57 -0400
    My office building provides battery disposal. I’m driving my old paint cans to the depot at the end of the month.
  • Charles Ritchie
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 22:27:32 -0400
    In the past years,I have dropped off various hazardous wastes that I have had at various ENVIRONMENT DAYS locations.It’s great to know that-nowadays-there are some large stores/businesses in the part of Toronto that I live in that also accept these hazardous wastes….
  • Jessica C Dubelaar
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 21:47:26 -0400
    I bring my hazardous waste for a special collection that is organized at my office building.
  • Heidi Breier
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 21:15:31 -0400
    My roommate and I are collecting hazardous waste in the back shed and will be taking it to a depot at the end of the summer.
  • Justin Conley
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 12:03:14 -0400
  • Chris Flanagan
    Took Challenge 2014-07-15 11:56:03 -0400
    We set up a hazardous waste box in the basement – I was surprised by how quickly we filled it up with various old cleaners, batteries etc that had been in the back of cupboards and drawers.
  • Trudy Grantham
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 22:23:58 -0400
    Many stores will take back batteries and used florescent bulbs.
  • David Simmons
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:56:47 -0400
    I save my old batteries to drop them off at a Community Environment day collection.
  • Farah Motani
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:54:00 -0400
    Found a place to store my toxic waste! Looking forward to the next Community Environment Day to dispose of it properly!
  • Ayaz Zafar
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 18:49:38 -0400
    The toxic materials are everywhere you home,work,hospitals etc. I took this challenge, when i saw 50 paint buckets laying down at the back of the apartment building near the recycling bin. so i talked to the manager we can take these toxic material to Community Environmental Days but they refused to do it But i met a guy lives in my building he goes around the places to pick up old furniture, Bike and car materials etc. he fixes them. And include that he picks ups paint bucket, washes them and uses them as storage containers.
  • Karthika A
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:27:46 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • P Sutharshini
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:27:24 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • Mary Arapura
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:27:06 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • Srinath Kumarasingh
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:26:49 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • K Sinthujah
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:26:29 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • Tharsika K
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:26:09 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • Sadie Wardougou
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:25:51 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste and will call the toxic taxi or take toxic waste to city depot
  • Thuraisingam Appudurai
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:25:02 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • Nesha .
    Took Challenge 2014-07-14 16:24:41 -0400
    Yes I will set up a box in my home to collect household toxic waste
  • @Binu1117 tweeted link to this page. 2014-07-14 14:53:57 -0400
  • Binu Saradakutty
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-14 14:53:47 -0400
  • Stephanie Savoie
    Took Challenge 2014-07-13 11:57:04 -0400
    I already use non-toxic cleaners and use rechargeable batteries for the few technologies that require them in my home. I also dispose of technology through companies that dispose of them appropriately.
  • Leslie Forge
    Took Challenge 2014-07-11 12:47:01 -0400
  • Rebecca Ong
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-11 00:33:40 -0400
    Feels much better using rechargeable batteries. Looking to try making some nontoxic cleaners.
  • Nancy Ong
    Took Challenge via 2014-07-11 00:07:09 -0400
    I feel good about using rechargeable batteries because it creates less waste and andI feel Better not throwing it away so fast, especially draining Uses
  • Franz M Hartmann
    Took Challenge 2014-07-10 11:58:00 -0400
    Just changed the batteries in our flashlight. I’ve saved them in a special plastic bag which I will take to a battery drop off at City Hall next time I’m there.