What are Hazardous Wastes?

Hazardous wastes are those wastes which, due to their nature and quantity, are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. As a rule, hazardous wastes require special handling, labelling, storage, transportation and disposal techniques to eliminate or reduce the hazard.

Generated primarily as the by-product of industrial and manufacturing processes, hazardous wastes are also produced via commercial, medical and government activities.

Used motor oil, acids, waste pesticides, biomedical & radiological wastes, PCBs, solvents, metals and asbestos are common examples of hazardous wastes. Even chemicals and cleaning products with an expired "best before" date, can be classified as hazardous.

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HazWaste Headlines

IOC, Russia urged to investigate Sochi waste-dumping

Construction waste could be polluting water supply in city hosting 'zero waste' Winter Games, AP report says
CBC NEWS, OCTOBER 31, 2013 - Senior members of the International Olympic Committee have urged the Olympic body and Russian authorities to investigate the dumping of construction waste that has raised concerns of possible contamination of the water supply in the Winter Games host city of Sochi. Full Article

Federal government orders new test to increase safety in oil transportation

COS, OCTOBER 18, 2013 - The federal government has issued a "protective direction" requiring any person who imports or transports crude oil to conduct classification tests on crude oil. Full Article

New Westminster construction waste recycler nets $57,000 WorkSafe fine

NEW WESTMINSTER NEWS LEADER, SEPTEMBER 6, 2013  - A New Westminster construction waste facility's failure to adequately protect workers from asbestos exposure has netted Harvest Power BC the largest penalty in a recent list released by WorkSafeBC. Full Article

$150,000 Fine And Jail For Illegal Non-Hazardous Waste Dumping

MONDAQ, JULY 22, 2013 - Penalties for environmental offences continue to rise. North Shore Express Ltd was fined $150,000 and its owner sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years' probation for depositing non-hazardous sludge contrary to the terms of its environmental compliance approval. Full Article

Divided industry duels over future of Metro Vancouver recycling

SURREY-NORTH DELTA LEADER, JUNE 10, 2013 - Several recycling businesses are urging Metro Vancouver to stand firm and refuse to allow a new mechanized garbage-sorting plant to open in the region. Full Article

Wal-Mart pleads guilty in U.S. hazardous waste cases, to pay $82 million

REUTERS, MAY 28, 2013 - Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday said it would pay nearly $81.63 million to the federal government as it pleaded guilty to charges that it improperly discarded hazardous waste such as bleach and fertilizer years ago.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that in cases filed by federal prosecutors in California, Wal-Mart pleaded guilty to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at U.S. stores.

 

The world's largest retailer also pleaded guilty in Kansas City, Missouri to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers, the Justice Department said in a statement. Full Article

Jail time possible for repeat asbestos violations

WorkSafeBC will ask B.C. Supreme Court for contempt of court charge against companies
VANCOUVER SUN, May 8, 2013 - WorkSafeBC will ask the court for stronger action against a Lower Mainland asbestos removal contractor that could result in rare jail time for exposing workers to health risks. Full Article

Toxco Waste Management Ltd. Fined $17,500 for Importing Hazardous Recyclable Material

ROSSLAND, BC, April 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Toxco Waste Management Ltd., of Trail, B.C., was ordered to pay $17,500 to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) in the Provincial Court of British Columbia after pleading guilty to importing waste lithium batteries exceeding the quantity set out in the import permit. This action contravened the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999). Full Article

Surrey recycling firm charged with exporting hazardous waste

CBC NEWS, March 25, 2013 - A recycling company in Surrey, B.C., has been charged with exporting hazardous waste overseas for allegedly sending recycled batteries and cathode ray tubes to Macau without a permit. Full Article

Asbestos safety often ignored in B.C.

WorkSafeBC writes up hundreds of violations of asbestos safety rules every year; one company has been given $280,000 in fines
VANCOUVER SUN, February 25, 2013 - WorkSafeBC writes hundreds of violations a year against contractors who fail to protect workers from exposure to cancer-causing asbestos building materials. Full Article

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HazWaste News

DOT Launches Free App Featuring Emergency Response Guidebook Delivers Hazmat Safety Info into the Hands of Emergency Responders

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced a free, mobile web app of its Emergency Response Guidebook 2012 (ERG). The new safety tool will provide the nation's emergency responders with fast, easily accessible information to help them manage hazardous material incidents. Read More...

New Lithium Battery Regulations Will Present Shippers with Challenges in 2013 Additional Training may be required

One of the most noteworthy changes, of the 2013 International Air Regulations,  is the new various packing instructions for lithium ion and metal batteries and cells. Read More...

Asbestos & Hazardous Materials Inspections A Must if You Are Renovating

WorkSafeBC requires a hazardous materials inspection for any worksite to determine the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACM), and many municipalities now require a complete inventory of hazardous materials present in a building before issuing a permit to renovate or demolish the premises. Some of these hazardous materials are asbestos, lead (in paint, plumbing, stained glass), mercury (in thermostats and fluorescent light bulbs), PCBs (in fluorescent light ballasts) and ODSs (ozone depleting substances such as freon, a refrigerant used in air conditioners). Read More...

What to do if you find tsunami debris Guidelines from the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment

Every year, marine debris from a number of sources washes up on coastlines around the world. Along with impacting tens of thousands of lives, the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 also washed debris into the Pacific Ocean.

Legislation gives first responders peace of mind Emergency workers will be able to access information about potential disease exposure

Emergency workers will be able to access information about potential disease exposure with legislation introduced today by the Honourable Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government. Read More...

AMS/WASTE and COORS Databases Information Now Available Free of Charge

The BC Minisitry of the Environment has recently made some changes to provide the information free of charge in the AMS/WASTE and CCORs databases. Previously, searches for information in these databases could only be requested by submitting a  Site Information Request Application.

WorkSafeBC exec says asbestos disease still top concern for B.C. workers Effects of asbestos exposure still a problem for workers

The effects of long years of exposure to asbestos is still one of the biggest challenges faced by British Columbia's workers today, and it is expected to continue to be a problem in this decade.

This was according to Donna Wilson, vice-president for industrial service and sustainability for WorkSafeBC, the province's workers' compensation board. Read More...