7 employees sent to hospital after Guelph recycling plant evacuated

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Guelph officials say household hazardous waste improperly placed in a blue recycling bin may have caused an odour that sent seven city employees to hospital. File / Global News

The City of Guelph says seven of their employees were sent to hospital after a recycling plant was evacuated due to an odour on Wednesday morning.

The fire department said crews were dispatched to the Waste Resource Innovation Centre on Dunlop Drive at around 8:30 a.m. for reports of a chemical odour.

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Officials said the Material Recovery Facility was evacuated when with several employees complaining of respiratory and other health issues as a result of a solvent-type odour in the building.

The city said they believe employees were exposed to household hazardous waste that was improperly placed into a blue recycling box.

They didn’t say exactly what the source of the odour was.

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Seven people were taken to Guelph General Hospital — one for symptoms of exposure and six others for precautionary reasons.

Testing by firefighters showed there weren’t any significant air quality issues, but the building was ventilated in an effort to remove any remaining odour.

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The city is reminding residents that they can bring hazardous waste to the facility where they can be properly recycled or safely disposed at no charge.

More information can be found on the city’s website.

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