Kensington North Watersheds Association has partnered with Environment and Climate Change Canada on a hazardous waste stewardship pilot project, and we would like to thank everyone who participated in our survey, both online or by mail! We sent out approximately 2,315 surveys to residents in the Kensington North area and to-date we have received 314 responses!
We found that most households (98%) used products such cleaners, laundry products, and personal care products. Other product categories had lower usage, with paint products being used by 80% of households, automotive products by 77%, and just over half using lawn/garden care products (51%).
We received a wide range of responses when we asked how households dispose of each product category, but we found for products such as paint, batteries, and automotive products, most households are disposing of unwanted products correctly by taking them to a Waste Watch Drop-off Centre (WWDC) or another dealer for disposal. However, other categories such as cosmetics, personal care items, and light bulbs showed that many households may not be disposing of these unwanted products correctly at a WWDC.
Some common reasons why households did not dispose of their unwanted products correctly were: they didn’t know what products were hazardous wastes, they didn’t know hazardous wastes were disposed separately from normal waste, transporting hazardous wastes to a drop-off centre is inconvenient, and they didn’t know disposal at a WWDC was free. We also received many helpful suggestions and feedback in our comment section at the end of our survey, with the most common suggestions being that household/curbside pickup for some hazardous products would be convenient or having a collection facility in town would be useful.
Finally, close to 85% of households responded that they would be interested in environmentally safer products, so stay-tuned for follow-up articles on some DIY suggestions and resources for determining what makes a product safe!
Published in The County Line Courier, Vol. 27, No. 05, Pg. 11.