Have a question or need help?

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Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions, links to related websites and downloadable documentation. If what you are looking for is not available here please feel free to complete the FAQ form provided and we will do our best to answer you right away!

Air Miles Discontinued

When was the cancellation date?

As of April 30th, 2018 Air Miles® program has been cancelled. Notification was sent to all participants of the program.


Can I still use my Air Miles®?

Most definitely, ECS Cares only discontinued the issuance of points. You can use any of the points you have collected as per www.airmiles.ca.

Sharps Disposal

The following resources answer common questions related to the storage, transportation and safe handling of sharps waste.

Can I put my needles in the garbage or toilet?

Any waste collector can get poked if the needles are loose or in a container. Containers get crushed and the needles come through. Most Waste Management Bylaws state you cannot put needles in the garbage or blue bags.

Waste Management workers sort all the recycled items we put in the blue bags by hand. A worker could get poked by a needle.

If the needles do not plug the toilet, it can enter the sewer system and then into a river. Someone could get poked and it is environmentally unclean.

I am a Doctor, do I need to have a Generator number?

Single practitioners are exempt from requiring a generator number for all wastes.

For any multiple doctor facility a Generator number is required.

To register for a generator log on to hwin.ca and click on new registration. ECS Cares offers a service to get you registered, manage all of your hwin needs and keep you in compliance for $125.00 per year.

I am in a Stericycle Contract!

We are sorry to hear that. Here is a blog that a dentist wrote about how he was able to free himself from the contract. The forum posts are also worth reading. Note: This is a US article but the contracts are still similar.

ECS Cares does not need to use contracts. Our clients stay with us because we offer great service at a fair price.

I have lots of needles that I stored in water bottles and bleach containers, what do I do?

We provide several scenarios. The easiest options is to choose one of our large opening sharps containers. You fill the container(s) which includes the appropriate liner and box and we can remove if for disposal.

Our team can walk you through this process, in most cases, we deliver the approved containers and remove the sharps waste box on the same service call to reduce your charges. Our team will also ask you questions to ensure that all the MOE guidelines and hwin requirements are followed.

We can also provide you with containers moving forward.

What is the difference between a red disposal container and a yellow disposal container?

In Canada, there are actually 3 colour coded containers approved by the CCME (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment).

Yellow – Waste Sharps, Human Blood or Body Fluid Waste and Microbiology Laboratory Waste

Red – Human Anatomical Waste

Orange – Animal Waste

Why am I noticing needle holders in washrooms?

More and more business and hospitality centers are realizing the need to protect there staff and provide there patrons with a safe disposal for there needles or lancet.
With a growing awareness to the millions of diabetics in Canada and an increasing amount of workers being pricked while managing garbage or cleaning it is the sensible solution to a growing concern.

Silver Recovery

The following information is related to all silver recovery and film handling processes

Do I need a silver recovery unit?

If you use fixer or bleach fixer then yes. Unless you prefer to send the chemical offsite for treatment. ECS Cares offers this service to most of our Canadian Clients.

The fixer or bleach fixer contains silver and most municipal guidelines allow a discharge of 5 ppm (parts per million). Some guidelines are as low as 2 ppm so it is important to ask your local municipality. Also, septic systems generally can not handle this waste so offsite treatment is a must.

Here is a list of approximate silver content per industry:

Dentists, Medical and Photo Industries have silver content over 800 ppm.

Industrial Industries can have silver content over 5000 ppm.

How do i know if I am receiving the right amount of silver for the cartridges/filters?

Finding a trustworthy company is key. ECS Cares has been in business for over 50 years and have retained clients for over 30 years. A series of calculations and testing may be done but it is always conditional on certain elements that can not always be controlled.

ECS Cares offers a silver program credit to existing clients that ensures they receive a predetermined amount of money without the need of waiting for refining or having additional charges introduced.

How do I know my material is properly destroyed if it is removed from my site?

ECS Cares will issue a Certificate of Destruction for all volumes greater than 10,000 lbs. For any volumes less than this a Certificate of Destruction may be issued upon request.

ECS Cares has been in business since 1969 and has garnered a strong reputation for honesty and integrity. We operate with a level of transperancy and will welcome any Client to visit on-site.

I have a collection of silver flake, what do I do with it?

The first step is to check it for moisture. Using a kleenex to see if it absorbs anything will help. Then weigh it and take a photo. ECS Cares will pay you a set rate per lbs. If you deliver it to our Barrie office, you leave with a cheque. If one of our team members collects it on your behalf, we receive it and weigh it and issue you a cheque within a few days.

I need to keep my X-Ray film but I also need the space, can I store my film and files anywhere?

You can store your files offsite but you are still responsible for them. You also will need to have routine access to them and a filing system to ensure that you can pull the correct file upon request.

ECS Cares has set up a premium file system that is secure. We are able to pull the requested files in a timely fashion and re-file them upon return.

I sorted my X-Ray film, can I just recycle my paper?

Recycling is not shredding. If you shred the files first, then recycling is great. However, most residential shredders can not handle the size of the envelopes and have a hard time shredding them when folded. Due to the information on the papers and envelopes, the best method is shredding. ECS Cares offers this as a service to its many clients.

If I recycle my papers in the blue bin do I meet PIPEDA regulations?

It depends on the content. If it is only your personal information then yes, but we would still recommend you have your personal information shredded as well. You can never be too safe in shredding all documents and ECS Cares has an excellent paper shredding service.

Papers that enter the recycling bins are not shredded and therefore the personal information of others is at risk.

“Personal information” means information about an identifiable individual which includes any factual or subjective information about that individual, including, for example:

  • Name
  • Opinions about the individual
  • Birth date
  • Income
  • Physical description
  • Medical history
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Address
  • Political affiliations and beliefs
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Visual images such as photographs, and videotape where individuals may be identified
What is PIPEDA?

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA or the PIPED Act) is a Canadian law relating to data privacy. It applies to federal works, undertakings or businesses and how employee and personal information is collected, stored and safeguarded.

“Personal information” means information about an identifiable individual which includes any factual or subjective information about that individual, including, for example:

  • Name
  • Opinions about the individual
  • Birth date
  • Income
  • Physical description
  • Medical history
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Address
  • Political affiliations and beliefs
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Visual images such as photographs, and videotape where individuals may be identified

Sharps Containers

The following information is related to all sharps containers.

What are the CT Series containers?

Our new line of containers have multiple sizes and our part of the CT Series line. They have replaced the original 3L and 4.5L CT containers.

The CT4 is a direct replacement of the 4.5L CT container and the CT2 is a direct replacement for the 3L CT container.


Are the litres or quarts on my sharps containers correct?

The simple answer is unlikely. It seems labeling sharps containers with litres or quarts is like the gas mileage posted on cars several years ago. They are misleading. Some companies list the volume based on the maximum capacity of the entire container BUT they have a fill line! If the CSA and UN standards require a fill line, which they do, then why not base the capacity on the fill line? We did some testing, it is not difficult to do so if you want to confirm our results just get a measuring cup and some water.

Container Liquid Comparison

What happened to the containers I have been getting (pre-summer 2017)?

The beginning of 2017, ECS Cares began investing in a new container supplier with more options and superior quality. The consistency and quality makes these the best on the market. We have been and will continue to phase out the 4.5L Ct and 3L Ct containers.

I have brackets and Needle Boxes for the original CT containers, what do I do?

ECS Cares will be keeping a limited amount of original CT containers for these customers. We will also be working on select accounts to switch them to our new brackets and needle boxes.

At the end of the day, we will ensure you are looked after as our intention is to make things better for our customers.

Does the number on the CT Series container represent the volume?

We moved away from using Liters or Quarts on the containers or in our general descriptions as it will put us at an initial disadvantage. Many containers on the market have inflated volumes, or volumes based on the entire container and not the required fill line.

Our testing has shown CT4 to hold similar liquid to its replacement at the fill line.

What is the difference of a CT and CT+?

Side by side, the base is the same. The lid is what makes the difference. The CT3+ and CT4+ has a taller lid with a larger opening. It actually allows for more storage of waste due to its design. (you gain an extra liter of volume).

Why am I told my pails are being replaced with 30L bins?

The summer of 2017 is the start of our new product line. This includes 30L, 45L and 68L waste bins. We have yellow for sharps, red for cyto and white for Rx. These bins are superior in every way. They lock and close more securely, have a hermetically sealed lid and have a PG II rating. They also do not require additional packaging.

The 30L bin is 30% larger than the pail and only in certain circumstances will the costs increase. If you only do 1 or 2 per pick up, the costs should be the same.

Waste Management / Chemicals

The following information is related to the handling and storage responsibility for waste chemicals and other hazardous materials

I am confused, I have tried to register with hwin but do not know all my chemical information?

The HWIN Help desk may be reached at 1-866-494-6663 Monday to Friday from 8am to 4:45 pm or by email at hwinhelpdesk@ontario.ca

Your time is valuable and this process can be frustrating and time consuming. ECS Cares offers a service to manage all of your hwin needs and keep you in compliance for $125.00 per year.

My employer wants me to clean the amalgam lines and filter and rinse it in the drain, is this alright?


It is important to understand that amalgam needs to be treated as a “hazardous waste.” Amalgam contains mercury and other biological wastes that cannot be rinsed down the drain. For older systems where the amalgam needs to be poured out it should be done so in a safe manor and into a sealed pail with a rubber gasket. See our amalgam supplies for pricing on these pails.

Please explain the copies and my duties with a manifest?

Each manifest consists of 6 copies. The only copies that pertain to the generator initially are copies 1 and 2. After signing the manifest, the generator removes copies 1 and 2. Copy 1 is mailed to the ministry (see back of manifest for the office in your province) and copy 2 is to be kept on file for a 2 year minimum. When the waste is received the receiver will then mail you copy 6, to pair up with copy two

What is hwin?
Hazardous Waste Information Network

HWIN allows hazardous waste generators, carriers, and receivers to register their activities with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change online.

HWIN is an important part of the Ministry’s commitment to strengthen Ontario’s hazardous waste management framework. It enhances the quality and accessibility of hazardous waste information in Ontario. It allows the Ministry to track where various wastes are being generated in Ontario. It ensures that a licensed company is transporting your wastes, and ultimately receiving/processing your waste.

When does my amalgam filter need changed?

Each offices filter change frequency should reflect the volume of use at any given facility. At a minimum both the Solmetex and Rebec systems are recommended to be changed once a year.

Solmetex HG5 series: Any of the filters in the HG5 Series have a fill line that should be monitored regularly. When the liquid in the filter reaches the fill line, the filter should be replaced. If the liquid does not reach the fill line within a 12 month period, the filter is still recommended to be replaced.

Rebec system: These filters should be replaced every 12 months at a minimum. Upon processing the waste filters, we will be able to determine if they should be changed sooner. We can provide you with the manufacturers recommendation for your offices suggested replacement frequency.

Why do I need to use metal drums to dispose of my chemicals when plastic drums are less expensive?

Plastic drums and metal drums serve different purposes. It is important to understand which drum(s) or pail(s) you require for the chemical wastes that your site generates. In some cases you may need to have metal drums for some chemicals, and plastic drums for others.

Secure Sharps Public Needles