Hazardous waste transportation using commercial trucking companies in Canada is governed by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act and Regulations. They designed regulatory standards to ensure that requirements are met on all steps of the hazardous materials transportation process, from the primary supplier right through to the receiving facility.
If you want to carry dangerous goods in your private vehicle, you must comply with the regulations. However, most wastes are dangerous and cannot be carried by anyone but professionals. If the load is over 50 kilograms (110 pounds), it must go with a commercial carrier under specific conditions.
What Are Hazardous Materials?
Also called HAZMATS, hazardous materials are dangerous goods transported from one location to another. These include any substance, material, or product that poses a risk during transportation. Hazardous wastes can be from household garbage and cleaning products to chemicals, radioactive material, and medical waste.
There are nine classes of HAZMATS, according to the TDG, as follows:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gasses
- Class 3: Flammable Liquids
- Class 4: Flammable Solids
- Class 5: Oxidizing Agents and Organic Peroxides
- Class 6: Toxic Substances (mixture)
- Class 7: Radioactive Material
- Class 8: Corrosives
- Class 9: Miscellaneous Products, Substances, Materials or Organisms
Some Common Examples of HAZMATS
- Car batteries
- Gasoline (when not in a vehicle)
- Lighter fluid
- Propane cylinders for camping equipment
- Spray paint
- Oven cleaner
- Sharp objects, like razors and needles
- Sheets of metal
- Fire extinguisher liquid
- Furniture polish
- Acids and alkalis
- Motor oil
How to Transport HAZMATS Safely
If you are transporting HAZMATS in your private vehicle, you must follow these steps:
1. Obtain the Required Training for HAZMATS Transportation
Even if you are transporting HAZMATS in small quantities, it is recommended that you get training and certifications to ensure you know how to pack and handle your hazardous materials.
2. Get the Right Documentation
You must show potential onlookers or emergency responders that you have the proper documentation for carrying HAZMATs. You can carry these documents with you:
- Class 1 explosives: Transportation Certificate (TDG) and an Explosive Special Constitutional Form (SOR/98-196).
- If they contain cyanide components: a CNH shipping document.
- If you decide to ship hazardous goods internationally using a private car, regardless of weight or quantity, you need three things: the original shipping document, the Declaration of Inspection (DOI), and a Letter of Authorization (LOA).
3. Pack your HAZMATS Safely
Proper packaging is essential. The TDG regulation has a list of packing groups, which indicate how to pack different hazardous materials.
If you transport more than 30kg of HAZMATs, you need an endorsement from Transport Canada and a Transportation Safety Board identification number. If you want to transport explosives, regardless of quantity, you need to be endorsed by Transport Canada and have a certification from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
4. Prepare Your Vehicle
You need to prepare your vehicle for transporting HAZMATS. Different cars require different safety equipment, so you must have the right materials on hand. Things you should have with you include:
- Fire extinguisher with a minimum 2A10BC rating
- Safety goggles
- Emergency blankets
- An absorbent material to soak up spills if necessary
- An approved first aid kit
- Disposal bag for contaminated material
- Biodegradable detergent
- Protective clothing, including waterproof gloves and boots
- A shovel
- Sealing tape
- Adhesive labels to mark spilled materials
- A document that outlines how to clean up the incident
5. Use Trucking Services
If you want to transport large quantities of HAZMATS or are not comfortable transporting HAZMATS yourself, hire a reputable trucking company. This is helpful if you need to transport heavy materials.
These companies are insured if something happens on the road. They will shoulder the responsibility and likely have a spill response team to ensure the proper clean-up is done. Plus, they employ highly trained drivers with HAZMAT certifications, ensuring the safety of your dangerous goods.
If you transport HAZMATS in a personal vehicle, ensure you have the proper training and documentation. Ensure your car is properly equipped to transport hazardous materials and have safety gear on hand. Also, even if you are transporting HAZMATS in small quantities, it is recommended that you get training and certifications to ensure you know how to pack and handle your hazardous materials.
For full truckload shipping of dangerous goods, it’s always safe to hire trucking companies. On top of these, make sure that you have an endorsement from Transport Canada and a Transportation Safety Board identification number (TSB ID) if you transport more than 30kg of HAZMATs, regardless of type or quantity.