New Safe Homes for Old Unwanted Chemicals. A company “There is no doubt a learning curve, and we are taking baby steps,” Carson says. There are many options to help you dispose of household hazardous wastes to a pharmacist for disposal through the Return of Unwanted Medicines program. Buried in the garden – dangerous chemicals and poison can leach into the. How and where should I store my unwanted/unused chemicals before pick-up? “Waste” has a lot of different meanings and there are important regulatory.
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For example, Repurposed Materials recently bought 60 giant sacks of a polymer absorbent that someone abandoned at a freight terminal. Carson resold it to a man who works in hockey facilities.
They sold the firm to Waste Management. This time, he says, his business aims to keep stuff out of the landfill. When the ad campaign is over, the vinyl can be used as tarps for hay bales. Other durable goods that have a second life thanks to Carson include old fire hoses—used for padding around boat docks—and worn-out rubber conveyor belts, which can line horse corrals or protect the floor under a tractor.
An early project was finding a home for 13 drums of concentrated wild berry fragrance. The owner, a shampoo maker, had discontinued the berry-scented product—to the benefit of a potpourri shop owner. For instance, drug firms frequently reject mineral oil as not meeting purity requirements.
Cattle ranchers will gladly use it to blend insect repellents sprayed on cows, Carson says. Businesses seek to minimize waste both for sustainability reasons and to avoid disposal costs; average tipping fees in the U. Carson has to carefully characterize the substance and figure out what it might be worth—sometimes only pennies on the dollar—and who might buy it. He pays the seller and tries to find a buyer who will pay more for it than he did. In the meantime he may have to store the product for several weeks.
The Brisbane BCD facility has received regulatory approval to treat a range of organochlorine pesticides but has treated only limited OCPs commercially. Experience indicates that Australia may have the capability to treat the known non-organochlorine pesticide wastes such as organophosphate pesticides, and other hazardous chemicals and that it has limited capacity to treat the known organochlorine pesticides. Adding OCPs to the backlog of PCB wastes awaiting treatment, would extend the delay before those wastes are destroyed.
Therefore, there are two destruction issues that need to be tackled in developing any national collection program: There needs to be a strong focus on research and development for the treatment of arsenicals and other difficult to treat waste. Destruction costs will be an important component of overall cost of any collection program and these will be difficult to estimate where treatment technologies are currently unavailable for some chemical waste types.
The storage cost estimates will need to take into account that companies, which might be interested in developing suitable technologies, may defer research and development until a sufficiently large market is guaranteed by having a "critical mass" of farm and household chemicals in storage and ready for destruction. Thus, delaying a collection program in the expectation that technologies would be developed may not reduce the storage costs involved.
Given concerns for the lack of appropriate treatment technologies for some chemical waste streams, government involvement in promoting research and development to establish new waste treatment technologies may be required.
In , the Commonwealth Environment Minister adopted a policy that permits for the export of scheduled waste would not be issued while technologies for its destruction in Australia were being developed. For example, export may be permitted when keeping the wastes in Australia presents an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, and in addition, suitable and environmentally sound overseas destruction facilities must be willing to accept the waste for treatment.
Because of present and likely future limitations on the capability and capacity of Australia's treatment facilities, further consideration may need to be given to exporting part of the collected waste for treatment in overseas facilities. However for this to happen, significant socio-political difficulties would need to be addressed and any export would, of course, need to be done in accordance with the amended Hazardous Waste Act.
ANZECC's scheduled waste strategy is founded on the principles of openness, fairness and equity and the safe management of OCPs is an integral part of that strategy. The development of trust between all interested parties during the process to develop scheduled waste management plans has been nurtured by openness and easily comprehensible information and processes.
The Steering Committee believes these principles should be extended to any collection program that may be developed to remove unwanted farm and household chemicals.
In this discussion paper, the option of a coordinating body has been suggested to provide the focus for the operational aspects of any collection scheme. The accountability of such a Coordinating Body to governments and the community, and the public accessibility to information, are considered to be essential features of any collection and destruction program.
It is considered desirable that the community have full access to information to ensure that trust is developed and maintained. The requirements for public reporting should be consistent with those specified in the draft OCP management plan. The following components of a collection and destruction program would need to include clear public reporting of information related to:. Any coordinating body would need to be accountable to governments through a number of processes which may include contractual requirements to develop corporate, strategic plans and annual reports.
They would also need to comply with regulatory requirement in terms of relevant occupational health and safety, dangerous goods, environment protection, public health, and export control legislation. In considering the future management of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, and consistent with the objectives of the National Strategy for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals, the following questions would need to be asked:.
This discussion paper attempts to convey the nature of issues that need to be resolved in developing a national scheme for managing unwanted farm and household chemicals.
The national workshops being run by the National Advisory Body on scheduled wastes in July and August of provide an ideal opportunity to bring forward new and creative ways for addressing these issues. The options in this Discussion Paper provided, while based on previous experience, may or may not be appropriate to the vastly different regions across Australia. The workshops will provide an opportunity to help identify the best options to put to governments, so that the most cost-effective options are implemented for Australia, taking into account regional differences.
Figure 4 illustrates a possible relationship between a coordinating body, governments and each part of the collection process. It is envisaged that a coordinating body would be responsible for administering a collection scheme and ensuring that the collection, storage and destruction actually occurs, but it would not necessarily perform all of the tasks. A coordinating body could sub-contract components, components or parts of the components in a competitive manner and thereby avoid a private monopoly.
If there is no effective commercial option for a coordinating body to utilise, eg. It is important that a coordinating body, whilst operating in a commercial field, does not have an unfair advantage arising from its being the result of a government-created monopoly refer to the Hilmer Committee Report on National Competition Policy.
Possible relationship between governments, a coordinating body and a national chemicals collection scheme. In setting performance goals for a NCSDS body, a range of issues will need to be considered, including:. Chemical Collection Program Case Studies. The last national chemical collection scheme was the Commonwealth-funded collection of organochlorine pesticides OCPs.
This took place in in response to the detection by USA of contamination of exported beef and gave expression to the desire to retain the good image of Australia's agricultural industries. This buy-back period lasted three months from June to September During this period 85 kilolitres of liquid and approximately 5 tonnes of powdered DDT was brought in for disposal.
A further 20 tonnes of DDT was handed in over the next year. At the completion of export process, approximately tonnes of DDT had been collected. The Queensland Government enacted legislation prohibiting the use of certain organochlorine pesticides in agriculture in mid The Queensland Rural Pesticide Recall Program commenced on 8 October with a Ministerial direction to all local Authorities, Government members and Department of Primary Industry officers setting out the details of the program and advertisements placed in the rural media.
During the following six months to April , tonnes of OCPs were collected. During this recall, 16 tonnes of arsenic waste was collected, of which 11 tonnes was sent to May and Baker, United Kingdom and 5 tonnes to Rhone Poulenc. The latter was returned and remains stored in Queensland. The Western Australian Government enacted legislation in mid to prohibit the agricultural use of organochlorine pesticides. Subsequent to this, the Department of Agriculture conducted two pesticide recall programs where tonnes of OCPs and 20 tonnes of arsenic waste were collected.
To date a further tonnes of OCPs and arsenicals have been surrendered. Unlike the eastern states who exported their OCP waste for high temperature incineration, Western Australia placed their material into storage awaiting the establishment of a suitable local treatment facility. The arsenic waste has been encapsulated in concrete and placed in the secure landfill site at Mt Walton.
The Department of Agriculture has provided the following approximate costs to collect and store the above material: The Brisbane City Council BCC have been collecting small quantities of unwanted household chemicals at their transfer stations for some years, most of which is taken by local waste disposal contractors or deposited in their landfill sites. Currently, BCC collects waste from residents on request, although this has an expensive exercise. BCC are now considering running collections on a suburb by suburb basis at some stage in the future.
The Department of Environment and Heritage indicated that several municipalities have also run household chemical collections, usually as an annual event, and include Maroochy Shire , Beaudesert Shire and Gold Coast City. The quantities collected were not provided but are known to be relatively small. The collection, which involved opening 25 collection sites for one day, resulted in 2. In the absence of further organised Household Hazardous Waste Collection days, several Councils established collection services, which include a 'drop-off' point and storage shed at their respective transfer stations or landfill sites.
Western Suburbs Perth Environmental Health Officers Group held a Chemical Collection Day in where they collected approximately 40 kilograms of pesticides from vehicles. A similar collection was held in where 35 people attended.
This collection was advertised in the local paper and staffed by a chemist from the Waste Management Division of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Health Officers from the participating councils.
Cockburn City Council collects household chemical wastes at a storage shed at their landfill site. This initiative is promoted in the council's newsletter, through a pamphlet entitled "Removing Risky Rubbish" available in council offices and via council noticeboards.
As a result of this collection program, kg of pesticides have been collected. Concern over the cessation of these collections resulted in the formation of a Household Chemicals Working Group HCWG , comprising representatives from the Environment Protection Authority, regional waste management groups, waste management associations, the Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Melbourne Water.
The survey found significant use of household chemicals with about 30 percent of households requiring a disposal service for at least one chemical product category out of 41 categories surveyed. As a result of this report, the Waste Management Council, now EcoRecycle Victoria, conducts chemical collection days once a month.
On average people hand in chemicals, which total nearly 8 tonnes of material, on each collection day. A total of tonnes of chemical wastes have been collected since As a result of the OCP collection, it was found that farmers had other unwanted chemicals they wished to dispose of. To address this problem, a pilot rural collection program was developed for the northern part of central Victoria. It involved visiting 9 towns to collect unwanted chemicals, resulted in the collection of over 55 tonnes of material, handed in by a total of farmers.
The response in this pilot program resulted in a second collection program involving 25 towns in north-eastern Victoria where over tonnes of material was handed in by farmers. A third rural collection covered 7 towns in the Gippsland area, and 6 towns in the South West portion of the state resulting in farmers handing in tonnes of chemicals for disposal. The rural chemical collection program consisted of day stays at the various towns. The collection team would set up and await delivery of unwanted chemicals by farmers and town residents.
The community had been informed by way of advertising in various media before the collection team arrived at a particular town. The EPA advertised the collections through postal dumps of brochures or flyers a few weeks before the collection day, advertisements in local papers running over three consecutive issues, utilising free time on ABC regional radio, placing posters around shopping areas and pubs, using the Department of Agriculture to provide lead articles to the local papers, and having the collections mentioned in the CFA fire reports.
In , and due to concern with the disposal of pesticides and other chemicals to its sewers, the Hunter Water Corporation HWC commenced a free chemical collection service. This service continues to collect from small industrial premises on a fee for service basis.
HWC has opted for a pick-up service of chemicals from the householder, in preference to holding chemical collection days or providing a drop off point. Householders with unwanted chemicals contact HWC and request the chemical pick-up service. Householders are required to provide information on the type and quantities of chemicals and their contact details.
HWC schedules a chemical collection for a particular area when there are sufficient householders requiring the pick-up service to ensure that the program remains cost effective. HWC has found that the householders are prepared to wait until the collection service is undertaken in their area.
The storage facility has an EPA licence. HWC can refuse to collect some chemicals in certain circumstances, if this material causes a breach of its EPA licence, or if it is hazardous to transport. The decision as to whether to accept or refuse chemicals is solely at the discretion of HWC. Some of the chemicals that may be refused include leaking chlorine containers, diesel fuel with fertiliser, and mixed chemicals.
The program has been running since and has resulted in the collection of tonnes of unwanted chemicals. Of this total, approximately Hunter Water Corporation has indicated that it will continue to undertake the chemical collection program as a service to its customers.
Sydney Water Board commenced conducting Household Chemical Collections in , as part of their campaign to improve the quality of their sewer discharge. Collections are conducted continuously, usually on weekends, and operate out of transfer stations and landfill sites. The collection team has a caravan, other vehicles and equipment that are moved from site to site. The total quantity of household chemicals collected over the period from July to December was tonnes and comprises 15 tonnes of organochlorine pesticides, 1.
Sydney Water dispose of most of the material, that cannot be recycled or accepted at local landfill sites, through a local specialist disposal company, who have arranged the storage of OCPs and arsenicals at the Commonwealth Storage site, Oaklands NSW.
The program was commenced due to public requests and the need to minimise chemical discharges to sewer and the environment. In , a major collection was held in the Lower South East followed in with a similar collection in the Riverland.
The facility opens the first Tuesday of every month and enables householders and farmers to bring along their unwanted chemicals and leave them at the depot. This is a free service to the householder and farmers. No chemicals are accepted from industry or government agencies.
Between and five suburban collections were held around Adelaide. Apart from these collections, no other programs have been conducted. The collection day at Dry Creek has been advertised so people are aware of the day on which they are able to drop off their chemicals. Some special arrangements are made for rural residents that are some distance away from the depot. These arrangements include opening up the depot on other occasions to receive the load, or actually arranging to have the chemicals collected.
There has been a total of approximately 50 tonnes of chemicals collected. Of these approximately 15 tonne represent pesticides. It will however continue to operate the Dry Creek facility for households and farmers.
The Northern Midlands Council, which comprises mainly farming communities, undertook a survey of all residents in their region to assess the extent of unwanted chemicals in the community.
Although the community response was poor, the Council believed that there were sufficient unwanted chemicals to warrant collection.
New Safe Homes for Old Unwanted Chemicals
A test of 12 bars of dark chocolate from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals showed that all the chocolates contained unwanted. WASTE, EXCESS AND UNWANTED CHEMICALS. The current regulations do not permit the disposal of any chemicals via sinks. All chemicals checked to ensure that there is no sign of damage, and that their materials are compatible with. A collection of coloured containers of household chemicals and poisons kept insecurely become complacent using chemicals – take care even when there are no The best way to avoid the problem of disposing of unwanted chemicals is to.