Hazardous waste management: business and industry
Rules and guidelines for managing hazardous and liquid industrial wastes; how to register as a generator by using the Hazardous Waste Information Network (HWIN).
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New online reporting service
We are launching a new hazardous waste online reporting service on January 1, 2023. This will help businesses and institutions regulated by this program reduce the amount of paper reports they complete for the Hazardous Waste Program. The online registry will also reduce administrative burden associated with completing these reports.
About hazardous waste
Hazardous waste is waste that, when present in quantities and concentrations that are high enough, pose a threat to human health or the environment if they are improperly stored, transported, treated or disposed.
Hazardous waste is primarily generated by industrial and manufacturing processes, and includes a broad range of materials such as:
- materials from manufacturing (for example, waste acids, contaminated sludges and chemicals)
- biomedical wastes from hospitals and other health care facilities
- waste solvents
- waste pesticides
- polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- industrial lubricants and oils containing heavy metals perchloroethylene (perc) waste from dry cleaners
- discarded batteries
Hazardous waste requires special handling with respect to how it is collected, stored, transported, treated, recovered and disposed to reduce adverse effects to human health and the environment.
We are committed to making producers responsible for the waste generated from their products and packaging to encourage new, innovative and cost-effective ways to recycle products and lower costs for consumers. The Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Program transitioned to a producer responsibility model on October 1, 2021.
You can find a complete set of rules related to managing hazardous and liquid industrial wastes at:
New Online Registry for Hazardous Waste Reporting
We are working with the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (Authority) to create a new online waste registry for Ontario’s Hazardous Waste Program to ensure waste is properly:
Starting January 1, 2023, the regulated community will begin reporting to the Authority through the new online registry.
The online registry will allow more than 40,000 businesses and institutions regulated by this program to:
- meet their reporting requirements
- reduce the number of paper reports they must complete and file
The online registry will help ensure polluters are held accountable through more efficient compliance monitoring and timely enforcement actions.
- made regulatory amendments to Regulation 347 (General Waste Management) under the Environmental Protection Act
- created a new Subject Waste Regulation on fees under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016
Read the regulatory decision notices for more information:
Manage hazardous wastes
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has a cradle-to-grave management system for subject waste which controls:
Subject waste is a term used to identify the types of waste that must be registered with the ministry. It includes:
- liquid industrial waste (LIW)
- hazardous waste, including hazardous waste treated to remove characteristic hazards such as reactivity and ignitability
Some specific types of waste are exempt from the definition of subject waste. This means you do not have the registration or manifesting requirements that apply to other hazardous waste and LIWs.
A generator is the operator of a waste generation facility. Generators include:
- the original generator of the waste (such as, operators of commercial and manufacturing facilities that produce waste)
- the operator of waste disposal, transfer, bulking or processing facility that forwards materials off-site for subsequent waste management
- a municipal hazardous or special waste (MHSW) depot
- other types not listed
All subject waste generators must register on the Hazardous Waste Information Network (HWIN) to provide the government with a record of:
- who creates hazardous waste
- where it is generated
- what hazardous wastes they generate
- the quantity of hazardous waste generated
HWIN is an online generator registration and manifesting system for generators, carriers and receivers of subject waste.
HWIN provides generators of subject waste with:
- a convenient way to handle their annual registration
- the ability to pay their annual registration fee
- electronic manifesting to record and track the movement of subject waste from the generator through to final disposal
Facility operators need to determine if they produce or accumulate subject waste that falls under Ontario’s generator registration requirements. For more information on registration requirements, visit:
For assistance with generator registration, manifesting and other HWIN related questions, please contact:
All off-site movement of hazardous waste and liquid industrial waste is tracked using a manifest.
- accompanies the waste from its point of origin to its point of disposal
- describes the waste
- shows when it changes hands between generators, carriers and receivers
If you are a carrier or receiver of hazardous waste or liquid industrial waste, you must obtain Environmental Compliance Approvals (ECA), formerly known as a Certificate of Approval (CofA), from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks outlining the specific conditions of your operations, including wastes you are approved to manage safely.
Waste classes are included in an approval for waste carriers or receivers to identify the waste streams they are permitted to handle or manage.
In Ontario, there are 53 waste classes that are identified by a three-digit number. Each number is assigned to a generic waste description that is used to classify the type of waste being managed.
Please refer to the registration guidance manual for more information on how to correctly choose a waste class and characterize your wastes.