The Province of Manitoba released its household hazardous waste plan this week. We have been looking for a product responsibility program from industry for several months now. We are happy that this program includes some of the elements of Extended Producer Responsibility that we have been advocating for.
Many of the details of the program have not yet been released. We are looking for the full list of where the drop off locations will be. Also, plans for pesticides and paints still need ironing out. Meanwhile, for a broad range of items, check out the Province’s Green Manitoba website for more recycling ideas.
Health Canada reports that manufacturers and importers apply to introduce about 1,000 new chemicals into the marketplace in Canada every year. These include ingredients in solvents, lubricants, flame retardants, pesticides, preservatives, colouring and flavouring agents, conditioners, dyes, antimicrobials in carpet cleaning Atlanta, and on and on. Many such products present hazards in manufacture, use and disposal.
Many people wonder about the cumulative health effects of exposure to the thousands of synthetic chemicals in our environment – in household products, clothing and textiles, water, air and food. Health researchers are increasingly inquiring into the links between environmental exposure and, for example, children’s illnesses. Medical practitioners and parents want to know about the implications for asthma, endocrine disruption, auto-immune disorders, cancer, neurological abnormalities, developmental delays, and more.
It is understandable that parents are concerned to protect their children from these kinds of environmental and health risks. And while detailed, long-term studies that would document the specific hazards have not been undertaken in many instances, the precautionary principle suggests avoidance and minimization of risk.
- When it comes to hazardous substances in the home, keep in mind the first ‘R’ — Reduce. That is, avoid using toxic materials in the first place. Just say ‘no.’
- When seeking alternatives, look for an EcoLogo (Environmental Choice) symbol on the package or container. This is one way for consumers to know that the product is judged to be relatively environmentally benign.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) in Manitoba
Some hazardous materials are really pretty nasty. Please don’t send them to landfill or flush them down the drain. They can end up in our air, water and food — and that is not something you would want you or your children (or anyone) to consume.
If you do have toxic materials or packaging to get rid of, please check out Green Manitoba’s description of the current HHW program in Manitoba for details on the depot system. In Winnipeg, you can book an appointment on-line. And there are special collection days scheduled for Winkler, Selkirk and Brandon.
- CHEM Trust – UK-based group that reports on health effects of synthetic chemicals