The Orange Drop Program provides Ontario residents with a free, safe and easy way to dispose of household products that require special handling. Fully funded by industry, this network of convenient drop-off sites accepts five materials. The objective of the Orange Drop Program is to recover and recycle, or safely dispose of, these materials to ensure they don’t end up in landfills, or poured down sewers and drains.
Through Orange Drop, you can return any of the program’s five designated materials to your Municipal Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Depot, to collection events, to many retailers (batteries), to automotive locations (oil containers, oil filters and antifreeze) and, in the case of non-refillable pressurized containers, to a large number of Ontario Parks.
- Single-use batteries
- Pressurized cylinders that held propane, oxygen, helium or other gasses
- Vehicle engine antifreeze/coolant
- Empty lubricating oil containers
- Oil filters
MHSW is Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste. These are materials that are potentially dangerous to humans and the environment if disposed of incorrectly.
Orange Drop is the name of the program that manages the collection, recycling and safe disposal of five categories of Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW). It is funded by the producers of the materials included in the program.
Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) is a category of products and materials which require special processes for disposal or recycling.
Unlike the empty containers, used paper products or organics that go into these boxes and bins, the materials that are collected through the Orange Drop Program can be harmful to people, animals or the environment if mishandled. For example, antifreeze could leak out of a collection bin onto a lawn. This could poison dogs, which are attracted to the sweet taste, damage grass or wash chemicals into the sewer system following rainfall.
Also, certain Orange Drop materials can be harmful if mixed. This means they can’t be put out together in a curbside box or bin.
You can return materials to your local Municipal Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Depot or you can Drop Where you Shop! Many of our producers with retail locations are collecting Orange Drop materials in their stores. We are also increasing the number of local collection events that encourage people to clean out their basements, garages and other storage spaces. And, drop-off battery collection sites, automotive locations and provincial parks are all part of our Orange Drop Program. Visit FIND A DROP to locate your most convenient collection site. Check our Events Calendar for special municipal collection events throughout the year.
Collection Sites: You can drop off the eight materials in the Orange Drop Program at collection sites that are owned and operated by municipalities. Collection sites may also be operated by commercial and retail operators that have been approved by Stewardship Ontario through a stringent vendor selection and approval process.
Transporters: These companies transfer Orange Drop (MHSW) materials from collection to processing sites. They must be approved by Stewardship Ontario through a stringent transporter selection and approval process.
Processors: These companies convert Orange Drop (MHSW) materials into new products using less energy and virgin resources than it takes to produce products from scratch. They must be approved by Stewardship Ontario through a stringent processor selection and approval process.
While some of the items that are buried in landfill decompose over time, moisture and water can filter through the waste, picking up metals, minerals, organic chemicals, bacteria, viruses and other toxic materials. This contaminated water is called leachate. If the leachate is not contained, it can travel from the site and contaminate our ground and surface water. Modern landfills are engineered to meet strict rules and standards to collect and treat leachate, but even with these precautions, landfills are not the solution.
The Orange Drop Program is fully funded by Stewardship Ontario and Automotive Materials Stewardship’s industry members under a model called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). The businesses that produce and market the products managed under the program cover the costs of collection, recycling and safe disposal of your products once they have outlived their use.
When it’s not possible to recycle or repurpose Orange Drop waste into new products, we incinerate materials, send them to contained landfills or ensure safe disposal by neutralizing them to ensure they are no longer harmful to the environment.
Your Municipal Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Depot is one of the locations you can drop off any one of your eight Orange Drop materials.
The Orange Drop Program is fully funded by industry producers under the model of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). In 2011, industry funding for the program was $42.1 million.
Municipal collection depots can accept all Orange Drop materials. Retail, Ontario Parks, battery and Do-it-Yourself (DIY) automotive collection sites focus on individual materials:
- Buy only what you need
- Use it all up
- Dispose of properly – drop off the rest and we’ll recycle, reprocess or dispose of it safely.
We encourage you to buy only what you need. If, for some reason, you have leftovers, try to think of an alternative use, or share with your neighbours.
We must all ensure the products we use everyday are handled with the care they need when we’re finished with them. We are accountable for what we buy, how we use it and how we dispose of it. This is how we build sustainable communities.
Please take the necessary precautions to ensure that you don’t store or transport any products that could react with each other. Refer to our Recycling Tips as well as manufacturers’ instructions and warning labels.