Green Living

What Not to Put in the Trash


Last year I wrote a lot about keeping recyclables and compostables out of the trash bin. The landfill isn’t a bottomless pit and each time it fills up the cost of waste management increases. Diverting items that can go elsewhere just makes financial sense. Of course it makes environmental sense too.

After compostables and standard recyclables are looked after, there are still a good many things that should never go in the trash. There are special recycling or disposal programs set up for all items that cannot go in the landfill.

What Not to Put in the Trash:

  • Recycle my Electronics is a national recycling program for all electronics including TV’s, computers, printers, VCR’s/DVD players, stereos and telephones. (Materials in their components of old electronics can be used in other products, some old cell phones are refurbished and sold and printer cartridges can be refilled.)
  • Call2Recycle is a national recycling program for batteries. You can take your batteries to the household hazardous waste drop off at Crane Mountain Landfill or deposit them in one of the Call2Recycle battery drop off boxes at Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Staples and The Source. Visit for the full list of local drop off locations.
  • Heavy metals can be removed from old batteries and used to make new batteries. (Recovered metals, nickel, cobalt, cadmium, lead, iron and copper, are used in the manufacture of new batteries, cement additives and stainless steel products.)
  • Unused and expired medications cannot go in the garbage and should never be flushed down the toilet. Instead you can take them to your nearest pharmacy for proper disposal. This includes over-the-counter medications like Tylenol, Advil and Polysporin, as well as prescription medications. Don’t forget, unused pet medications must be returned to your nearest pharmacy too.
  • Probably the biggest category of items that cannot go in the garbage is household hazardous waste (HHW). Instead of going in the trash they can be dropped off at Crane Mountain Landfill, at no charge.

You might be surprised by some of the items that are considered household hazardous waste:

    • Nail polish and polish remover, household cleaning supplies, bleach, glue, floor polish and wax, car care products, lighters (with contents), fluorescent light bulbs (the mercury in CFLs can be recovered and used in other products). All of these items must go to the HHW facility.
    • RecycleNB manages a paint recycling program. Visit for drop off locations near you. Related chemicals, stains and varnishes must go to the HHW facility.
    • Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, including your pet’s flea collar or tick treatment: these are considered household hazardous waste and should be taken to the HHW facility.
    • Any kind of fuel is considered household hazardous waste.

For more information on how to dispose of non-trash items visit and


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