Unwanted household chemicals can be disposed of free-of-charge through Bundaberg Regional Council's waste facility on University Drive.
Waste and Recycling portfolio spokesperson Cr Tanya McLoughlin said as Covid-19 saw many people staying at home and working on renovations and projects, there was a surplus in chemical waste such as paint, garden products and more being utilised throughout the region.
She said it was important for residents to be aware of the correct way to dispose of such waste.
“Chemicals in landfill can harm our community and the environment, but there’s an easy solution that some residents may not be aware of,” Cr McLoughlin said.
“Containers up to 5 litres can be delivered for free at Council’s University Drive Waste Management Facility.
“This includes all domestic cleaning products, garden chemicals, pool chemicals and oils.”
Cr McLoughlin said through a partnership with Cleanaway, chemicals were collected from the waste facility to be disposed or reused in a safe and efficient manner.
She said there were stringent processes in place when it came to chemical disposal.
“These processes include labelling containers, making sure chemicals are not leaking or stored in broken containers and never throwing away chemical waste into Council bins,” Cr McLoughlin said.
“Put into landfills untreated, chemicals can pollute the environment and affect ground water.
“Sent to recycling centres they are a safety hazard for our staff who hand-sort recycling and may cause recyclables to be sent to landfill as a result of the contamination.”
Cleanaway Regional Manager Mark Smith said correctly managing the disposal of hazardous waste was a top priority for the company.
“Chemical waste can be flammable, corrosive, explosive and toxic and should not be disposed of with general waste in the green and yellow bins in the Bundaberg Region,” he said.
“Inappropriate chemical disposal can cause fires or explosions in garbage trucks and resource recovery centres, endangering truck drivers, the community and the environment.”
Mark said once chemicals were disposed of at Council's waste facility, Cleanaway then collected the chemicals for transportation to Brisbane for treatment and safe disposal.
“Cleanaway has a network of treatment facilities strategically located across Australia that can collect and recover any type of hazardous waste,” he said.
“Some chemicals recovered in Bundaberg are used as an alternate fuel to coal, keeping them out of landfill and helping to create a sustainable future for all communities.”
To dispose of chemicals firstly make sure to:
- Visit Council’s website for a complete guide on what is accepted prior to leaving home
- If it’s not in the original container, make sure you label it
- Never store chemicals in food or drink containers
- Make sure your chemicals are safe before you drop them off – leaking or broken containers will not be accepted until they have been made safe for staff to handle
- On arrival always declare your chemicals at the gatehouse
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