PERC and PERC waste storage requirements for dry cleaners

PERC Pointer #1 Cover Waste Containers

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You must store all tetrachloroethylene (PERC), including waste water and residue (e.g., sludge, lint and used filters) in closed containers, such as containers with lids.


PERC, waste water and residue must be stored in closed containers at all times, except when temporary access is needed for proper operation or maintenance, such as for the removal of the residue.

The button trap, lint trap and still are parts of a dry-cleaning machine that may contain PERC residue. This means they must be closed at all times, except when temporary access is needed.


Lids are important to reduce workplace hazards, prevent unnecessary contact with PERC, and reduce the risks of environmental contamination with PERC (into the air, soil or water).

PERC is harmful to plants, causes ground and surface water contamination, and poses a health threat to humans if not safely handled. When these substances are stored on site, there is a risk for accidents, spills or leaks. These risks can be minimized by closing lids, using secondary containment, and with the regular treatment or transportation of waste.

Regulatory Compliance

Environment Canada undertakes regular inspections in order to verify compliance with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and its regulations. Investigations are conducted when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred. In situations of non-compliance, enforcement officers may issue a warning or an environmental protection compliance order, proceed with prosecution, or take some other enforcement action, depending on the circumstances (see the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

Where an officer proceeds with prosecution and a conviction is obtained, the Court may order a fine and/or imprisonment. In 2012, maximum fines were increased and mandatory minimum fines were introduced for certain specified offences. For further information, consult Environment Canada's website.

Reducing PERC releases!

cover waste containers
Long Description

Images showing the container for waste water closed with a lid and the drum for PERC waste closed with a lid.

Please contact your regional Environment Canada office if you have any questions or concerns:

Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick



Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut

British Columbia, Yukon

Environment Canada
Inquiry Centre

For information regarding reproduction rights, please contact Environment Canada's Inquiry Centre at 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only) or 819-997-2800 or email to

Also available in French, Persian, Chinese (traditional), Punjabi and Korean.

This document is provided as a courtesy for compliance promotional purposes only and is neither an official version of nor a substitute for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 or the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations. Please refer to the Regulations to determine your full legal obligations. In case of a discrepancy between the law and this document, the law prevails.

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