ChemClear has started the New Year on a high after finalising the results of the program’s latest run through NSW.
The program, which collects and disposes unwanted and out-of-date agvet chemicals, cleaned-up a total of 11,383 litres of product from around the state.
More than 6300 litres of chemical classified as Group 1 was collected for free under the ChemClear program.
Eligible unwanted chemicals produced by any one of the 99 manufacturers participating in the drumMUSTER and ChemClear programs are collected at no charge.
The remaining 5002 litres were collected under the program’s Group 2 classification. These chemicals come from unknown and historic manufacturers or companies not participating in ChemClear and collected with a fee per litre charge.
Dorothy Halsall, who grows a small pasture of cattle feed in Yass, brought in her unwanted Group 1 and 2 chemicals during the state-wide run after registering with the program early last year.
Dorothy said the products were used on several of her paddocks, but she also accumulated left-over chemicals from neighbours and friends.
“I just wanted to get rid of all these excess chemicals,” she said.
“I don’t like having toxic chemicals lying around. I have them all locked up in my little shed that I use for chemicals but it’s taking up so much space and I just wanted to get rid of it. A lot of them I had no idea what they do.”
Stone fruit and orchid grower Ken Harrison from Araluen, near Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands, said an EPA audit brought some unregistered chemicals to his attention.
“I didn’t know it had been an issue it had just been sitting there,” he said. “The EPA has a job to do. But ChemClear is a good service and I would use it again.”
In total, 58 local councils across NSW were involved in the collection, which saw the ChemClear truck visit Albury, Harden, Bombala, Moree, Cobar, Coonamble, Port Macquarie and many other towns in between.
ChemClear has proved to be popular in NSW after 26 tonnes was collected during the last run in 2010. While more than 18 tonnes of chemical waste was collected in 2006.
ChemClear Program Manager Lisa Nixon said hundreds of NSW growers and chemical users continue to be responsible with disposal of their unwanted chemicals.
“The people in NSW are always consistent with their disposal methods and it’s good to see the message is landing,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to an even more successful year for ChemClear in 2013 with collections for Queensland and Tasmania planned in the early half of the year.”
In 2012 the program cleared and disposed of more than 32,600 litres of chemical in several state collections throughout Australia from waste holders who no longer had use for their stocks.
Since 2003, the program has collected 352,377 litres of chemicals. 98% of the chemical collected is used as an alternative fuel source in the manufacturing of cement. Most of the material is destroyed in kilns which reach temperatures in excess of 1800°C.
To register your unwanted chemicals for ChemClear’s next run call the hotline on 1800 008 182 or visit www.chemclear.com.au.