DURHAM: The Regional Municipality of Durham, Works Department is reminding residents to be mindful of fire hazards in household waste and to keep the health and safety of collection workers in mind when they set out their waste for curbside collection. Heat sources, batteries and fuel can start fires when waste is stored, collected, transported, sorted and processed.

Please be cautious when disposing of the following items:

  • Ash from barbecue grills, smokers, fire pits or fireplaces: Ensure ash is cold, completely extinguished and securely bagged in a 100 per cent compostable liner bag before disposing of it in your green bin. Used fireplace ash can also be used as a slug/snail deterrent in your garden, or as a natural ice melt.
  • Charcoal from barbecues: Ensure charcoal is cold, completely extinguished and securely bagged before disposing of it in the garbage. Used charcoal can also be used as fertilizer or pest deterrent for your garden (as long as it is additive-free).
  • Cigarette butts: Ensure cigarette butts are completely extinguished before disposing of them in the garbage.
  • Propane cylinders, helium tanks or fire extinguishers: All pressurized cylinders, such as helium tanks, camping stove canisters and barbecue propane tanks are considered household hazardous waste and should never be put in the garbage or blue box. Pressurized cylinders must be disposed of at a waste management facility (WMF) for safe disposal, free of charge.
  • Hazardous materials: Including items such as pool chemicals, chlorine, bleach, paint thinners, fuel, antifreeze and ammonia. These are considered household hazardous waste and should never be put in the garbage or blue box. Unwanted items should be disposed of at a WMF for safe disposal, free of charge.
  • Batteries: All batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, should not be put in the garbage. Batteries contain heavy metals, including lithium, nickel cadmium or lead acid. Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry location away from flammable material. Household batteries or damaged, leaking or wet cell batteries can be disposed of at a WMF for safe disposal, free of charge. Household batteries can also be set-out for curbside collection in the spring and fall during the designated collection weeks (learn more at durham.ca/Battery or by using the Durham Region Waste App).
  • Fireworks: Thoroughly soak used or extinguished fireworks in water to make sure there are no flames or sparks, then put them in your garbage. Let sparklers cool overnight or soak in water immediately after use until wire is cool, then put them in your garbage.

 Note: To find a Regional waste management facility near you, visit durham.ca/WMF. For more information about waste management and proper disposal options in Durham Region, visit durham.ca/KnowBeforeYouThrow, email waste@durham.ca, call 1-800-667-5671 or download the Durham Region Waste App.