Pesticides, poisons, paints and propane gas tanks are among the 242 tonnes of hazardous material the City of Sydney has helped 6,000 residents safely dispose of through its annual household Chemical CleanOut.
The next chemical drop-off day for unwanted household chemicals is on Saturday 24 August at the Alexandra Canal Depot in Alexandria.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore is encouraging residents to take advantage of the popular free service that has been running since 2009.
“We need to protect our environment and precious marine life by disposing of household chemicals correctly and safely.
“It’s really important that we don’t put unwanted chemicals in household bins or down the drain because they’ll end up in landfill sites or as poisons in Sydney Harbour.
“Many of the chemicals collected on the day are recycled, while the rest is disposed of correctly and safely.”
The household Chemical CleanOut is a drive-through service run with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and is open to all NSW residents.
The EPA collects the materials which are then sorted and packed for transportation. A trained chemist is on site to help identify any unknown chemicals.
The main materials dropped off are paint, gas bottles and oils. All materials collected are either recycled or disposed of safely:
· Paints are mixed with waste solvents and used as an alternative to fuel in cement kilns. Metal paint cans are recycled.
· Lead acid batteries are sent to recyclers where the lead, acid and plastic are recovered and recycled.
· Gas cylinders have any gas recovered and the steel sent for recycling. Many cylinders are retested and recycled.
· Fluorescent tubes and globes are crushed to separate the phosphor powder from the glass. The powder is filtered to capture mercury emissions. The mercury is then separated by distillation and has a number of industrial uses. The remaining glass and metals are recycled.
· Used oils are cleaned and processed for reuse.
The City of Sydney’s free household Chemical CleanOut on Saturday 24 August will run from 9am to 3.30pm at the Alexandra Canal Depot, 67C Bourke Road, Alexandria.