Substances that have properties that make them dangerous or harmful to human health or the environment may be characterized as hazardous. When these substances are sent for treatment or disposal they are hazardous waste; when they are sent for recycling they are hazardous recyclables.
The characteristics which make a waste or recyclable hazardous include being:
- toxic (short or long term effects)
A substance may exhibit one or more of these characteristics.
Legislation and regulation
The primary legislation Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) uses to regulate hazardous waste and hazardous recyclables are the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the Waste Control Regulation. The safe management of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclables is outlined in the Act and Regulation including the registration, storage, transportation and disposal requirements for these materials.
Acceptable industry practices
In addition to describing what characteristics make a waste or recyclable hazardous, the Waste Control Regulation also provides a number of exemptions to wastes and recyclables that are not hazardous wastes; examples of exclusions include household hazardous waste and wastes generated from hazardous waste treatment processes that are an Acceptable Industry Practice (AIP).
Approved AIPs include:
- Car Wash Sump Wastes
- Chemically Treated Wood Waste
- Coal Ash
- Disposal of Asbestos Waste
- Management of Used Car Lube Oils, Filters and Empty Containers
- Management of Used Mercury Vapour Lamps and Mercury Containing Articles
- Used Oil as Dust Suppressant
Additional information on material-specific guidance is also available through the Legislation page.
For more information on household hazardous waste, see:
Alberta User Guide for Waste Managers
The Alberta User Guide for Waste Managers explains Alberta’s waste classification procedures and test methods, waste management options and transportation and manifest requirements. The guide contains the approved analytical test methods for testing hazardous waste and hazardous recyclables along with lists of commercial products that are regulated as hazardous waste or hazardous recyclables through the Waste Control Regulation.
Generators are responsible for characterizing and classifying their own waste and are encouraged to use any available knowledge of their waste to reduce the amount of analysis required in classification.