Municipal Hazardous Special Waste (MHSW)

Municipal Hazardous Special Waste is found in every home and includes Compact Flourescent Lights (CFLs), fluorescent tubes, batteries, cleaners, paints and solvents, motor oil, chemicals and grease.The average home uses 10–40 kg of hazardous products each year. Knowing which products are hazardous can help you protect yourself, your family, workers and the environment. Look for these symbols to identify hazardous products so that they can be used, stored and disposed of properly.

This image shows 4 hazardous waste symbols, Corrosive (upside down triangle with a hand in acid), Flammable (hexagon with a fire in it), Explosive (upside down triangle with an exploding item) and Posion (hexagon with a skull and crossbones)

  • Corrosive: Can cause burn to your skin and eyes
  • Flammable: May catch fire; keep away from open spark/flame
  • Explosive: May explode and produce deadly vapours
  • Toxic: Can be lethal if swallowed or inhaled

How can I dispose of my municipal special hazardous waste?

Municipal special hazardous waste is not collected at the curb. Please help keep our staff safe. Guelph residents can bring municipal special hazardous waste items to the Municipal Hazardous Special Waste Depot (formerly Household Hazardous Waste) where items will be recycled, or disposed of safely. Residents will be required to fill out a hazardous waste ticket before dropping off any materials.

Municipal Hazardous Special Waste Depot

Cost

No charge to Guelph and Wellington County residents

Location

Waste Resource Innovation Centre
110 Dunlop Drive, Gate 3

Hours of operation

Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays.

The City encourages Guelph residents to continue to act responsibly when it comes to the disposal of hazardous items. Bring your hazardous waste to the MHSW Depot, visit our Take it back Directory for a list of local retailers where you can drop off certain household hazardous waste material at no cost. Guelph’s MHSW Depot ONLY accepts residential hazardous waste. Large commercial loads of hazardous waste will not be accepted at the Depot.

What materials are accepted?

Around the house

  • Aerosol cans
  • Batteries (disposable and rechargeable)
  • Bleach
  • Cleaning products (drain, floor, glass, oven, etc.)
  • Cooking oil
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Floor, furniture and metal polish
  • Compact Flourescent Light, fluorescent bulbs and tubes
  • Medicine (over-the-counter and prescription)
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Needles and syringes (hypodermic)*
  • Paint
  • Perfume
  • Solvents
  • Thermometers
  • Thermostats

*Needles and syringes must be in a rigid plastic container (ex. bleach bottle), soaked in bleach overnight, drained, and the lid of the container must be taped securely on before being brought to the MHSW depot.

In the garage

  • Antifreeze
  • Brake fluid
  • Car batteries
  • Car care products (wax or polish)
  • Driveway sealer
  • Fuel (gasoline, diesel, kerosene)
  • Motor oil and oil filters
  • Paint, stain and varnish
  • Paint thinner
  • Windshield wiper fluid

Fuel will only be accepted in a ULC (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada) or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved plastic or metal gasoline container.

Around the yard

  • Fertilizers
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticides
  • Pool/hot tub chemicals
  • Propane tanks and cylinders

What materials are NOT accepted?

  • Ammunition or explosives
  • Bio hazardous waste
  • Commercial, industrial or institutional waste
  • Flares and fireworks
  • Laboratory chemicals
  • Radioactive materials
  • Waste containing PCBs
  • Broken glass is NOT considered hazardous waste

Things to remember

  • Never pour MHSW in the storm sewer – it leads to our river system.
  • Do not bury hazardous waste or pour it into the ground – it can contaminate ground water.
  • Never mix products together.
  • Use only recommended amounts.
  • Choose products with child-resistant caps.
  • Safely store all hazardous materials out of reach of children and pets.
  • Use products in a well ventilated area.

For more information

Solid Waste Resources
519-767-0598
TTY: 519-826-9771
waste@guelph.ca

Preparing MHSW for safe and easy transport

  • All materials should be left in the original container to allow easy identification of the contents.
  • Do not mix products together.
  • Collect household batteries in a small bag, plastic container or coffee can.
  • Wastes should be sealed and labelled.
  • Gasoline will only be accepted in a ULC (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada) or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved plastic or metal gasoline container. NEVER store or transport gasoline in glass, in metal cans with plastic parts or in plastic containers which have not been approved for these uses. Replacement containers will be provided at no cost.
  • Bring all hazardous waste in a cardboard box or rigid container.
  • Needles must be placed in a rigid plastic container, soaked in bleach over night, drained and labelled.
  • Special procedures for Compact Florescent Lights and florescent bulbs

Drop-off Procedure

  1. Upon arrival at 110 Dunlop Drive, follow signs to the MHSW Depot
  2. Remain in your vehicle at all times
  3. Proceed to the scale house on the green light; advise the clerk you have MHSW materials
  4. Drive to the MHSW unloading area
  5. Be patient and expect a wait time for service
  6. Do not walk your material to the Depot
  7. Do not unload your material until directed to do so by MHSW staff
  8. Fill out and sign the MHSW ticket provided to you by the MHSW staff

Absolutely NO smoking or cell phone use during unloading!

  • There is no charge to Guelph and Wellington County Residents.
  • Guelph’s MHSW Depot ONLY accepts residential hazardous waste.
  • All materials should be left in the original container to allow easy identification of the contents.
  • Gasoline will only be accepted in a ULC (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada) or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved plastic or metal gasoline container. NEVER store or transport gasoline in glass, in metal cans with plastic parts or in plastic containers which have not been approved for these uses. Replacement containers will be provided at no cost.
  • Large commercial loads of Hazardous Waste will not be accepted at the Depot.

Eco-friendly cleaning alternatives

There are many simple alternatives to these hazardous products that are often less expensive and safer for both yourself and the environment. Common household products, such as vinegar and baking soda, can be effectively used for various household chores. A quick online search will yield many websites with helpful tips on how to keep your home clean, pest free and safe. Here are a few easy recipes and suggestions to try:

  • Window/glass cleaner: Mix 1 part vinegar with 5 parts water or use club soda. Store in a spray bottle. Wipe with newspaper and avoid washing windows on sunny days to reduce streaks.
  • Tub and tile cleaner: Use baking soda or borax and a scrub brush to clean surfaces.
  • All purpose cleaner: Mix 45 ml of washing soda in 1 litre of hot water.
  • Drain cleaner: pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, add 1/2 cup white vinegar, and cover the drain (do NOT use after using a chemical drain opener as this may cause a reaction that could release dangerous fumes). Use drain traps to prevent hair or food from getting into the drains in the first place.
  • Scale (hard water) remover: soak in vinegar
  • Soap-based insecticides instead of chemically based ones (or skip the insecticides altogether and give your plants a forceful spray with a tap or hose!)
  • Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) to disinfect surfaces (wear gloves)
  • Mineral oil for wood polish (test an inconspicuous spot first)
  • Try pouring boiling water on weeds in the cracks in your sidewalk and on your driveway instead of herbicides.