Improper Pool Chemical Disposal Leads to Hartland Fires

May 20, 2009

Victoria, BC – Three recent fires at the Capital Regional District’s Hartland Landfill have sparked increased concern over the improper disposal of residential pool chemicals as a part of household garbage. Pool chemicals include chlorines, acids, bases and neutralizers, commonly used in hot tubs and pools.

In addition to the most recent fire, a separate incident involved a release of chlorine gas, also known as mustard gas, that compromised the health and safety of a Hartland employee. Though the employee did not suffer any lasting effects, the CRD is eager to educate residents on the proper disposal of pool chemicals.

“We have an excellent Household Hazardous Waste collection program at Hartland,” said Hartland Operations Manager Tom Watkins. “Residents can bring in unused pool chemicals, as well as a variety of other household cleaners, batteries, and automobile wastes, and drop them off at no charge at Hartland’s recycling area. It costs residents nothing and can greatly protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, members of the public and the environment.”

Unused pool chemicals should be brought in their original, tightly sealed containers, in order to ensure no mixing or leakage takes place.

Hartland Landfill’s diversion programs aim to recycle, reuse and properly dispose of many common items. Collected household hazardous wastes are shipped off island for safe disposal. “The best solution is still to reduce your purchase of these chemicals in the first place,” said Watkins. “Residents can also consider less toxic alternatives to chlorine for hot tubs, which are just as effective as traditional pool chemicals.”

For more information on the Household Hazardous Waste Program or other CRD initiatives working toward the protection and stewardship of the environment, please visit the CRD website or contact the CRD Hotline, 250.360.3030.

Additional Information:

Pool Chemicals Background Information

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For further information please contact:
Sheila Taylor, Manager, Community Relations
Corporate Communications, CRD
Tel: 250.360.3308
Cell: 250.216.4427