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Frequently Asked Questions

Waste Related Questions

Water Related Questions

What are the hours of operation and locations of the Region’s Waste Management Facilities?

The Region of Durham operates three Waste Management Facilities for the disposal of residential household garbage, leaf and yard waste, paint, appliances and electronics, tires, scrap metal, waste oil and filters, drywall, wood and recyclables. Regional Waste Management Facilities are open Tuesday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays.

On Thursday's only from the first week in May until the first week in October, the Region's Oshawa and Port Perry facilities stay open until 6:00 p.m.

The location and phone numbers are:

  • 1640 Ritson Rd. N., Oshawa 905-433-2050
  • 1623 Reach St., Port Perry 905-985-7973
  • Brock Sideroad #17, Brock Township 705-437-2933

See more information on the Waste Management Facilities .

What can I take to the Region’s Waste Management Facilities and is there a disposal charge?

The following materials can be disposed of: household garbage, tires, wood, brush, drywall, yard waste, refrigerators, electronic waste like TV’s and computers, stoves and scrap metal as well as all material accepted through the curbside Blue Box program.

Household Hazardous Waste depots are operated at the Region's facilities in Oshawa, Port Perry and Brock Township and also Miller Waste Systems in Pickering at 1220 Squires Beach Rd. (905-426-4222). Waste such as paint, cleaners, pesticides, car batteries, motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze, propane tanks, dry cell batteries, stain, weed killer and insecticides are received for proper disposal.

Electronic Waste depots are operated at the Region’s facilities in Oshawa, Port Perry and Brock Township. Electronic waste includes desktop and laptop computers, monitors, fax machines, printers, televisions, hard drives, disk drives, basically anything that was once plugged in.

NEW: Ontario Electronic Stewardship and Household Hazardous & Special Waste

The following disposal charges apply to all waste materials received:

Minimum basic charge:

$5 per vehicle per load

Garbage, Blue Box Recyclables & mixed loads:

$120 per 1,000 kg. (For every 10 kg (22 lbs) or fraction thereof, there will be a $1 charge.)

100% Household Hazardous Waste loads only (50 liter limit daily)

No charge

100 per cent waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) loads only:

No charge

100 per cent used tire loads only

No charge

In order to receive the "No Charge" for Household Hazardous Wastes and White Agricultural Bale Wrap, the load being delivered must clearly contain this material only. If the load contains or is combined with any other waste material, it will be accepted as garbage and charged at the garbage rate. Only cash, Visa, MasterCard or Interac.  No cheques or accounts will be accepted.

See more information about all of the Region's facilities.

How can I learn more about Waste Management in Durham Region?

Visit the Durham Region Waste Management website or call the Region's Recycling Centre at 905-579-5264, or 1-800-667-5671 or send us an email to

What is my water hardness?

Lake Ontario water has a hardness of approximately 137 mg/L expressed as calcium carbonate(CaCO3) or 9.6 Grains/ Imperial gallon.

Is there fluoride in my water and if so, how much?

If you live in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Brooklin, Oshawa or Courtice, there is fluoride in your water at a concentration between approximately 0.5 to 0.8 mg/L. For more information see Facts about fluoride.

What chemicals are added to water for the treatment process?

Chemicals are added at a continuous rate. Aluminum Sulphate or Poly Aluminum Chloride is added as a treatment coagulant, chlorine is added as a disinfectant, and fluoride is added at some water plants for dental purposes.

Where can I find more information regarding sodium in my drinking water?

View Facts About... Sodium in Drinking Water

There is a rotten egg (hydrogen sulphide) odour coming from my bathroom sink.

In many cases, the odour is caused from smells that come up from the trap below the drain when the water runs through it. It is a result of a trap that has dried out (water should always be present in the trap), causing anaerobic bacteria to produce hydrogen sulphide or a "rotten egg" smell. It can reoccur frequently if the trap is shallow, as shallow traps tend to dry out easily.

What to do

If you detect a rotten egg odour coming from your sink, try cleaning the trap with hot water, baking soda and vinegar. If the odour persists, try pouring household bleach down the drain. In extreme cases, after trying the above noted options, a commercial drain cleaner may be required to solve the problem.

How often is the chlorine added and how often is it monitored?

Chlorine is continuously added at the water treatment plant and levels are monitored continuously 24 hours/day, 365 days of the year with the use of online instrumentation.

My water tastes like a swimming pool. Can you turn down the chlorine?

Chlorine is added at the water treatment plant according to the quality of raw water, and the residual required in the distribution system for safety purposes against recontamination. If the chlorine tastes strong in your drinking water, it is best to leave a fresh jug of water in the fridge with a small air space and a loose fitting lid. After six hours the chlorine will have completely dissipated.

Is my tap water safe to drink?

Your tap water is safe to drink. The Region’s water quality meets the Ontario Drinking Water Standards that were set by the Ministry of the Environment.

The Ministry of the Environment, and the Medical Officer of Health also monitor the results for any potential problems.

Why is chlorine added to the drinking water?

Chlorine is added as a disinfectant against harmful viruses and bacteria. It is essential for the public safety that chlorine be present in the treatment system. As recently as the early 1900's, chlorine addition was not an essential part of treatment. In the early 1920's, the practice of chlorinating the water halted major outbreaks of bacterial diseases such as typhoid, cholera and hepatitis.

My water has an earthy, musty odour. Is it safe to drink?

The presence of naturally occurring algae, and higher water temperatures in Lake Ontario, can cause a noticeable earthy, musty taste and odour. Testing at the Region of Durham’s environmental lab has confirmed that the bacteriological quality of the water continues to be excellent during these occurrences. Studies are being conducted presently by the Region of Durham as well as the Ministry of the Environment on ways to reduce or eliminate this aesthetic problem.

Can I have a copy of the water analyses?

Water Quality Quarterly Reports can be accessed online, by following this link.

Hard copies of the reports can also be obtained through the Region of Durham’s Works Department, Technical Support Division at 1-905-668-7711 or 1-800-372-1102.

Should I buy bottled water? Should I have a home treatment device?

Household treatment devices and bottled waters are not subject to the same government regulations as your municipal water supply. Devices and bottled water can be highly inconsistent in the water quality they provide. Improper usage or maintenance of a home treatment device can result in drinking water with harmful chemical or bacteria levels.

Is my water safe to drink?

Canadians have one of the largest fresh water supplies in the world. Affordable, clean water flows from our taps. The Region’s supply is subject to "on-line" testing, continual sampling and read outs, and daily testing for bacteriological quality. Drinking analyses for hundreds of trace chemical compounds shows that most are not detectable and the few that are detected are well below the Ontario Drinking Water Standards.

I have rusty coloured water.

This could be caused from a disruption in the distribution system. The first step is to let the water run for 10-20 minutes. If it does not clear in this time, contact your local Regional Works Department Depot.

Is tritium a concern in my drinking water?

Samples are collected and analysed for tritium 7 days/week, 365 days of the year at all the Lake Ontario water supply plants. The concentrations found are close to the background levels found in Lake Ontario which are 10 Bq/L. The Ontario Drinking Water Objective for tritium is 7 000 Bq/L.

My water is grey in colour or cloudy.

This can be detected in both the hot and cold water. It is caused by very fine air bubbles in suspension, giving the water a grey or cloudy appearance. To check that it is air, place the water in a clear glass on your counter top. As the air dissipates, you will notice the water clearing from the bottom of the glass towards the top. This could take as much as 3 - 5 minutes.

I have low water pressure.

This could be caused by a main break in your neighbourhood, which could disrupt the water pressure. It could also be the valve entering your home that has not been opened all the way. In either case, you should contact your local Regional Works Department Depot.

How deep is the water service to my house?

The depth of the service varies. The minimum is a depth of 1.8 metres, which protects the service from freezing.

I want to dig some fence post holes in my yard. Will the Region locate my water service for free?

Yes. The Region will locate your water service at no charge. Phone the Regional Works Department Depot serving your area to make an appointment before you dig.

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