Orange Drop
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What is Orange Drop?

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.

What Orange Drop materials can I recycle?

  • Single-use batteries
  • Pressurized cylinders that held propane, oxygen, helium or other gasses
  • Vehicle engine antifreeze/coolant
  • Empty lubricating oil containers
  • Oil filters

What is MHSW?

MHSW is Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste. These are materials that are potentially dangerous to humans and the environment if disposed of incorrectly.

What is the difference between Orange Drop and MHSW?

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.

Why can’t these materials be collected from my driveway like the Blue Box or Green Bin?

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.

How is the Orange Drop Program making it more convenient for consumers to recycle these materials?

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.

Who collects, transports and processes Orange Drop materials?

Collection Sites: You can drop off the five 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.

Why can’t these materials go to landfill?

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.

Who pays for the Orange Drop Program?

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.

What happens to Orange Drop materials that aren’t recycled?

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.

What’s the difference between the Orange Drop Program and my Municipal HHW Depot?

Your Municipal Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Depot is one of the locations you can drop off any one of your five Orange Drop materials.

How much does the Orange Drop Program cost?

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.

Can I drop all five Orange Drop materials at any site across the province?

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:

od chart

What does BUD mean?

  • 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.

Why is the Orange Drop Program important?

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.

Do I have to sort my Orange Drop materials?

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.

Happens to
my Waste?

The Orange Drop program safely manages five materials to end-of-life, diverting harmful substances from landfill and waterways. Many of the materials collected through the Orange Drop Program, such as pressurized containers and batteries are reprocessed, refurbished or reused to make new products—easing the demand for energy and virgin resources.

Event Calendar

Elliot Lake – Public Works Yard
Public Works Yard 3 Timber Road Elliot Lake P5A 2T1 Canada
September 2, 2020 11am - 7pm

Algonquin Highlands – Maple Lake Landfill
Maple Lake Landfill McPhail Road K0M 1J1 Canada
June 6, 2020 1 - 5 p.m.

Algonquin Highlands – Dorset Transfer Station
Ridout Ward Transfer Station 21909 Ontario 35 Dorset P0A 1E0 Canada
June 20, 2020 1 - 5 p.m.

About Us

The five materials in the Orange Drop program are managed by Stewardship Ontario (batteries & pressurized containers) and Automotive Materials Stewardship (antifreeze, oil containers and oil filters).

Stewardship Ontario and Automotive Materials Stewardship are both not-for-profit organizations funded and governed by the industries that are the brand owners, first importers or franchisors of the products and packaging materials managed under our recycling programs.

At Orange Drop, we strive to find new ways to turn today’s waste into tomorrow’s consumer products.


Wind up of the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program
Blog Post

October 29, 2019 - On April 12, 2018, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change issued direction to Stewardship Ontario to wind up the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program by December 31, 2020. Upon wind up, materials collected under the MHSW Program will be managed according to an individual producer responsibility (IPR) framework under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016. On December 11, 2018, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) amended the timelines for the wind up of single-use batteries, stating the waste diversion program for single-use batteries would cease operation on June 30, 2020 to allow for coordination with waste electrical and electronic equipment. On July 2, 2019, Stewardship Ontario received further direction from the MECP regarding the wind up of the MHSW Program. The new direction letter amendments are summarized below: The program to manage all designated materials except single-use batteries will now cease operation on June 30, 2021 instead of December 31, 2020. The program to manage single-use batteries will continue to cease operation on June 30, 2020. Stewardship Ontario is to develop a proposal to return surplus funds to Ontario consumers of MHSM in its proposed Wind Up Plan: For MHSM categories whose recovery is managed by Stewardship Ontario, the plan will set out rules governing a fee elimination during the wind up period; For MHSM categories that are managed through industry stewardship p

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