BC changes hazardous waste rules

British Columbia is amending regulations to make it easier to dispose of household hazardous waste that is toxic, flammable or corrosive.

This includes items such as motor oil, residential pesticides, propane cylinders, oil-based paint and lead-acid car batteries.

“Regardless of where they live in B.C., people want the ability to safely dispose of moderate-risk household waste,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy.

“These changes will help keep potentially harmful waste out of B.C.’s environment and landfills by making it easier to dispose, collect, store and transport these products. These and other measures will also make recycling easier and more accessible for small and rural communities, as well as First Nations.”

The new regulations:

  • Enable temporary collection events previously not enabled in the Hazardous Waste Regulation.
  • Enable the collection of moderate risk waste not captured by Extended Producer Responsibility, further supporting waste diversion and a circular economy.
  • Exempt (with conditions) requirements to use licensed transporters, to facilitate transport out of remote and northern communities, including Indigenous communities.
  • Exempt (with conditions) requirements to use manifests when transporting moderate risk waste.

While urban centres have access to collection facilities, residents in remote and rural communities will benefit from the changes.

“These regulatory amendments are a step in the right direction to reducing the significant barriers small First Nation communities in B.C. experience collecting, storing and transporting moderate-risk waste,” said Calvin Jameson, president, Indigenous Zero Waste Technical Advisory Group.

“We will continue to work with governments and stewardship agencies to better meet the recycling needs of these communities, and achieve our fundamental desire of protecting the health and wellness of our natural environment.”

The amendments support B.C.’s extended producer-responsibility programs, which make producers 100% responsible for collecting and recycling the products they put on the market. The revised regulation will be easier for producers to interpret and follow, and will reduce administration requirements.

“Today’s announcement will mean expanded access to moderate-risk waste recycling province-wide for products, such as paint, pesticides and flammable liquids,” said Brian Bastien, president, Product Care Recycling.

“It will help us deliver on our commitment to protect the environment by providing waste-diversion solutions to communities across B.C.”

The revised regulation builds on progress the province has made in moving toward a circular economy, which embodies the goals of the Extended Producer Responsibility Five-Year Action Plan to pollute less, keep waste out of landfills and make better use of resources.