Treat personal care products as hazardous waste, urges Island Waste Management

Island Waste Management is trying to raise awareness about some products Islanders might not be disposing of properly.

Shampoo, conditioner, nail polish and deodorant could be deemed hazardous waste

Island Waste Management says if people don't know if their personal care products qualify as hazardous waste, they should bring them to a household hazardous waste depot. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

Island Waste Management is trying to raise awareness about some products Islanders might not be disposing of properly.

The company says some items like lipstick, lotion and other cosmetics can be considered hazardous waste, and customers shouldn't be throwing them in the regular garbage.

Our staff will determine which ones are toxic and should be disposed of as hazardous waste and which ones can go into the waste stream.— Heather Myers

Heather Myers, disposal manager with Island Waste Management, says certain cosmetics and personal care products may contain chemicals or other ingredients that don't break down and seep into and contaminate the waste and compost streams.

"Products would be nail polish, nail polish remover, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, colognes, perfumes, things like that," she said.

What to do?

The company says instead of throwing these items in the trash, empty the product out of its container and recycle the container if possible.

Then bring the left over lotion, shampoo or makeup to a household hazardous waste drop off at no cost.  

Myers said she isn't surprised when people tell her they don't know about this rule, and Island Waste Management aims to educate Islanders and get more people bringing these products to the drop offs.

Heather Myers, disposal manager with Island Waste Management, says certain cosmetics and personal care products may contain chemicals or other ingredients that don't break down and seep into and contaminate the waste and compost streams. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

She also said not all personal care and cosmetic products — like organic soaps and lotions — are considered hazardous, but it can be difficult to tell the difference.

That's why Myers said its better that Islanders dispose of all care products as hazardous items.

"We just ask all products like that if they're not used, to take them back to the household hazardous waste depots," she said. 

"Then our staff will determine which ones are toxic and should be disposed of as hazardous waste and which ones can go into the waste stream."

For a more detailed list of Island Waste Management's hazardous waste products go here.

More P.E.I. News

With files from Brittany Spencer

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.