Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Hazardous Materials and Hazardous Waste


What can industry, businesses, and institutions do?

All businesses and institutions are responsible for the proper handling of hazardous materials and wastes, including the identification and classification of hazardous waste. Businesses and institutions should remain aware of and understand current regulations that apply to their operation.

Industry, Business and Institutions with Hazardous Materials

Some common types of industry, commercial and institutional enterprises that typically use hazardous materials or produce hazardous waste include:

  • Printing shops
  • Automotive repair
  • Autobody shops
  • Laboratories (academia, health, commercial)
  • Oil and gas sector
  • Dry cleaners
  • Chemical distributors
  • Janitorial supply and service providers
  • Hospitals
  • Commercial coatings suppliers and distributors
  • Metal finishing
  • Food processing (chemicals for cleaning and sanitizing)
  • Fibreglass manufacturing (boats, tanks)
  • Mining operations
  • Petroleum related industries
  • Wood processing facilities, pulp and paper mills

Nova Scotia Regulations

To reduce the impact on the environment from hazardous materials, a suite of regulations establishes specific requirements primarily for commercial, industrial and institutional operations. The requirements relate to the handling (use, storage, treatment, recycling and disposal) of designated materials called dangerous goods and waste dangerous goods.

In the event of a release or spill of a substance, the following regulations must be followed:

Many industrial activities that typically use significant amounts of hazardous materials or produce hazardous waste are designated under the Activities Designation Regulations and require an Approval from Nova Scotia Environment to operate. Approvals outline requirements to prevent the release of harmful amounts of hazardous material to the environment. For application forms and further information:

Facilities dealing with waste dangerous goods that they did not produce, may require an environmental assessment be completed in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Regulations.

Hazardous waste collectors for businesses and institutions

Generators of hazardous waste are responsible for the characterization of their waste. The characterization will determine if the waste is a waste dangerous good. Characterization of the waste can be determined using laboratory analysis, information on Safety Data Sheets (formerly Material Safety Data Sheets), generator knowledge, and material from suppliers/manufacturers. The classification will subsequently determine appropriate handling practices, collection requirements and disposal/destruction options.

Generators of hazardous waste should work in concert with a hazardous waste collector or hauler to ensure proper packaging, labelling, transport, manifesting, and disposal. To find a collector or hauler who is capable of properly dealing with the hazardous waste, search for businesses under “industrial waste” and “hazardous waste” in the Yellow Pages. Ensure that the collector/hauler meets the requirements under the Canada Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. Also ensure the final destination of the waste is a facility approved for the handling (including recycling, disposal /destruction) of the type of waste being shipped.

Generators, carriers and receivers of this material can also be regulated by various federal and provincial requirements.

Business Opportunities

Businesses and institutions may want to explore opportunities for their operations by considering cost effective pollution prevention approaches, such as minimizing the production of waste, preventing spills and using safer chemicals.

Pollution prevention is the use of processes, practices, materials, products or energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and wastes, at the source. By avoiding or minimizing the creation of hazardous waste, operations will reduce the cost of managing and disposing of the waste or dealing with releases to the environment and contamination of land or water.