Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste

What is Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste?

Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste includes products with any the following warnings on the label:



These types of materials, though useful during their life, can cause serious environmental damage if not disposed of properly. The Region of Durham is devoted to diverting as much of this hazardous or special waste from the waste stream and waterways as possible. By disposing of these materials properly and not simply putting them in the regular garbage or pouring them down drains and sewers, we are helping to protect our environment.

What types of products are accepted at Durham Region Waste Management Facilities?

Acceptable items

Residential products currently being accepted include, but are not limited to:

Acceptable products

Unacceptable items

How can unwanted paint be recycled and reused?

The Paint Reuse Centre, which operates out of the Region's Waste Disposal Site in Oshawa only, offers residents good re-useable paints and stains for free.

For residents wishing to dispose of unwanted but useable paints or stains, this special program encourages other residents to reuse these materials, increasing their useful life and limiting their impact on the environment.

Where can I dispose of expired medications and sharps?

The Health Products Stewardship Association administers the Ontario Medications Return Program (OMRP), allowing unused medication to be safely disposed of at participating local pharmacies. The Health Products Stewardship Association also administers the Ontario Sharps Collection Program (OSCP). To find out more about these programs you can visit

More than 90% of Ontario pharmacies voluntarily participate in this collection network. Visit and enter your postal code to find the six closest participating pharmacies in your community.

How can I dispose of automotive waste properly?

Used oil filters, used oil containers of 30 litres or less, left over automotive antifreeze and containers, automotive batteries, brake, transmission, windshield washer fluid and other automotive fluids are considered Hazardous waste and can be disposed of at any of the Region's Waste Management Facilities.

Where can I take Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste for disposal?

Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste can be taken to any of Durham Region's Waste Management Facilities. For maps, phone numbers, and hours of operation, see the Waste Management Facilities page or visit to search by postal code for the take back facility nearest you.

*Only 100% Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Loads are Exempt from Disposal Fees*
*There is a 50 litre or 25 cans of Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste load restriction per day*
*40 Fluorescent Tubes or 40 Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL's) per vehicle, per day.*

What is the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program?

The Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program is an important waste diversion program managed by Stewardship Ontario. The MHSW program is a “stewardship” program that aims to divert Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste and other materials that require special handling away from landfills sites, incinerators, and our waterways.

Under this program, companies that manufacture and market the MHSW products are taking stewardship responsibility and sharing the cost of recovering left-over product or waste for reuse, recycling, or proper disposal.

For more information on the MHSW program please visit:

What are some safe alternatives to Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste?

Choosing safe alternatives to hazardous waste has a positive effect on our environment and your family. Here are some suggestions for possible alternatives:

Tub and Sink Cleaner: Baking soda, liquid soap
Sprinkle baking soda on the porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag. Add a little of the liquid soap to the rag for more cleaning power. Rinse well.

Window and Mirror Cleaner: White vinegar, water
Place a quarter of a cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle and fill with water. Spray on the surface you wish to clean and rub with a lint-free rag. For outdoor windows use a sponge and wash with warm water and a few drops of liquid Murphy’s or Castile soap. Rinse well and squeegee dry.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Baking Soda, liquid soap
Sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl as you would any scouring powder. Add a couple drops of soap also. Scrub with a toilet bowl brush and finish outside surfaces with a rag sprinkled with baking soda.

All Purpose Cleaner for spots on woodwork, tile and linoleum: Murphy’s liquid soap
Add a few drops of liquid soap to a wet washcloth and rub surface briskly.

Oven Cleaner: baking soda, water
Mix one cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply to oven surfaces and let stand. Use a scouring pad for scrubbing most surfaces. A spatula or bread knife is effective to get under large food deposits. This recipe will require more scrubbing and effort, but is not toxic. Do not use this cleaner recipe on self cleaning ovens.

Drain Cleaner: Baking soda, white vinegar, boiling water
This recipe will free minor clogs and help prevent future clogs. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a ½ cup of vinegar. Let fizz for a few minutes. Then pour down a kettle full of boiling water. Repeat if needed. If the clog is still stubborn, use a plunger. If very stubborn, use a mechanical snake.