Agsafe’s ChemClear program has begun its collection in South Australia. For the next three weeks ChemClear will be in locations throughout the state, at pre-arranged areas where agvet chemical users have registered their Group 1 (unexpired drumMUSTER products) and Group 2 chemicals for collection. ChemClear has worked with local government councils to arrange various meeting points around South Australia, where residents can deliver pre-registered chemicals at their scheduled time. Waste transfer stations are the most likely collection locations.
The ChemClear program encourages farmers and other agvet chemical users to clean up their farms and chemical stores and remove these items off farm and out of the community. They register unused chemicals for collection and the safe disposal to ensures sound environmental practices. Farmers can register their chemicals at www.chemclear.org.au/register-your-chemical
ChemClear’s Program Manager, Frank Wimmler, said “Farmers have huge expenses and need to use all chemicals they purchase where possible. When they don’t have a use for them, or have inherited redundant chemicals, they’re making a conscious decision to dispose of these chemicals in a responsible way. ChemClear gives them that option”.
When a waste holder delivers their chemicals to the collection point, a chemist will be on-site to accept the delivery, then the chemicals are packed and transported for environmentally safe destruction in Melbourne. Once the chemicals are decanted, all chemical containers are recycled and containers displaying the drumMUSTER logo are recorded under that program; and recycled appropriately.
Chemists take delivery of the chemicals on-site, then sort and safely pack the containers in metal bunded bins for transport to Toxfree chemical processing plants in either Sydney or Melbourne.
The chemists test and decant similar chemicals into vats for processing, where complex chemicals are broken down into simple, safer components. Agvet chemicals have a calorific value and when mixed with other flammable wastes, they can be used as an alternate fuel source for cement kilns.
Organochlorine pesticides, cyanide and arsenicals are loaded into a plasma arc and heated to 10,000 degrees Celsius, which obliterates complex molecules, rendering them into basic carbon for safer disposal.
SA farmer, Andrew Smith, who swapped from cereal cropping to grazing several years ago, has registered his unused pesticides with ChemClear.
He said the ChemClear service was ideal for farmers who switched crops as a way to keep properties clear of leftover chemicals.
“We’ve always locked our chemicals up and after a recent audit we realised there was no need to keep hold of them anymore, so ChemClear is the safest way to get rid of them,” Mr Smith said.
During the first week of the collection the ChemClear team visited locations around Renmark, Monash, Waikerie, Eudunda, Kapunda, Clare and Tanunda, collecting 7,000 litres of chemicals.
The next state collection will be conducted in Western Australia during October 2018, with registrations closing 31 August.