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Good results for ChemClear collection

Published: 27-08-2013

A state-wide chemical clean-up has removed more than 24 tonnes of unwanted agvet chemical from farmers and waste holders across Queensland.

The ChemClear truck travelled through 35 council regions during its four week tour as part of the program’s fifth chemical collection in the state.

Close to 300 waste holders delivered 24,841 L/kg of unwanted and out-of-date chemicals throughout the collection.

A total of 14,399 L/kg was disposed of for free under the program (Group 1 chemicals).

A total of 10,502 L/kg of products (Group 2 chemicals) was also collected under a fee. These chemicals include unlabelled products, severely out of date products, mixed agvet chemicals and chemicals from non-participating manufacturers.

This year’s collection was supported in part by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The grants helped cover the cost for farmers disposing of their Group 2 chemicals and some communities affected by the January 2013 floods.

Mt Walker farmer Kevin Murphy offloaded more than 100 litres of unwanted chemical when the ChemClear truck arrived at Boonah in July.

He said floods earlier in the year had damaged some of his chemicals.

“I had insecticides and herbicides that were leftovers from a very long time ago,” he said. “Some of the chemicals we couldn’t use because the floods had damaged them.”

Kevin said he now uses fewer chemicals after a change in his farming practices.

“The chemicals were mainly out-of-date because of the change of direction. We are now able to handle the cropping without as much chemical,” he said.

Scenic Rim Council welcomed ChemClear to set up a base of operations to retrieve chemicals delivered by farmers and other chemical users.

The council’s Waste Management Team Leader, Mick Wallace has overseen the last four ChemClear collections in the council area.

He said ChemClear makes the whole process simple for farmers and his own team.

“It’s really good for us. Virtually all we do is provide a site and ChemClear does the rest,” he said.

“The farmers are really happy with it, too. They store their chemicals until it’s time to come in. A lot of them know better and don’t pour it down the creek anymore.”

ChemClear National Program Manager Lisa Nixon said she was happy with the collection this year.

“This year’s collection was a complete success,” she said. “It was helped in part from the Queensland Government who was happy to chip in to help farmers off-load obsolete products and other chemicals that had been damaged in floods earlier this year.”

Lisa said there’s still much more work to be done in the state.

“While we’ve collected quite a bit of product this year, there’s still a lot of chemical gathering dust in sheds across the country,” she said.

“A lot of farmers should consider the environment and health consequences of storing these potentially harmful products. For most agvet chemical users their only solution is to call ChemClear and register their unwanted products for the next collection.”

About 98% of chemicals collected by ChemClear are 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 1,800°C.


Download Photos (open link, right click and select “save as”):

1. ChemClear’s Gino Celentano inspects chemicals

2. ChemClear’s Gino Celentano inspects chemicals 2

3. ChemClear’s Andrew Haines inspecting chemicals