Managing hazardous waste

What is hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is considered a dangerous contaminant when it is no longer being used for its intended purpose. These wastes have the potential to harm human health or the environment. They range from paints, oils and solvents to acids, heavy-metal containing sludges and pesticides.

Hazardous wastes must be handled or disposed of properly to prevent harm to human health and safety and to the environment.

The GNWT can provide advice and guidance on the proper way to manage, store and dispose of hazardous wastes.

How do I register as a Hazardous Waste Generator or Carrier?

If you are generating or carrying hazardous waste in the NWT, you are required to register with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) to obtain a generator or carrier number. The following forms are available online:

Hazardous waste movement documents are available at ECC Regional Offices or by contacting

How can I properly dispose of household hazardous waste?

Read up on how to properly store, handle and dispose of household hazardous wastes in the NWT.

How can I properly dispose of waste fuel?

Used oil and fuel must be managed in a consistent and environmentally sound manner. Register your used oil burner and apply to incinerate waste fuel here.

How can I properly dispose of mercury?

An essential component of many lamps commonly used today, mercury can be a contaminant when not properly disposed of.

The Guide to Recycling Mercury-containing Lamps provides property managers, building maintenance staff, electrical contractors and anyone else handling mercury-containing lamps in the industrial, commercial or institutional sectors with clear advice and guidelines on the handling and disposal of these products.

Recycling Mercury-containing Lamps Poster is also available.

Information on burning, demolition and fire extinguisher training

The Burning and Demolition of Buildings and Fire Extinguisher Training position paper outlines how the demolition of buildings and fire extinguisher training must be conducted to ensure public safety and protection of the environment.

How does the GNWT work with communities to deal with hazardous waste?

  • Collection events: The GNWT works with municipal and community government to hold Household Hazardous Waste Collection events in various Northwest Territories (NWT) communities. These collection events make sure hazardous waste is properly disposed of and does not enter community landfills. Items collected include fuels, solvents, paints, pesticides, fertilizers, batteries (of less than 1kg), household cleaners, aerosol cans, thermostats and other mercury items and compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Municipal hazardous waste inventory: The Municipal Hazardous Waste Inventory is an inventory of the hazardous waste in Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tsiigehtchic, Tyktoyaktuk and Uluhaktok. It includes estimates the cost of removal of the hazardous waste and transportation to a proper disposal facility. This is the first step towards removing hazardous waste from community landfills in the Inuvik region.
  • Information on burning municipal solid waste: The Municipal Solid Wastes Suitable for Burning position paper outlines solid wastes suitable for burning, and conditions for burning at local landfills.