Residents recycle unwanted chemicals

Unwanted toxic chemicals from 480 homes across Greater Geelong were dropped off for safe disposal during the City’s Detox your Home drop-off event last month.

A total of 7,233kgs of household, garden and pool chemicals were collected at the Lovely Banks depot on the day.

Flammable liquids such as petrol, kerosene, lawn mower fuel and kerosene accounted for 40 per cent of the total collection.

Industrial chemists were on-site to assess and separate the hazardous waste. The chemicals were then sealed in drums and transported to a specialist waste treatment facility.

Every effort is made to recycle the chemicals, or use them for other purposes, such as energy recovery (from flammables). The level of recycling and reuse depends on the type of chemical, but most have a 100 per cent recovery rate.

As a last resort, a small amount of chemical will be stored in secure landfills in accordance with Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s requirements.

While the event primarily recovers and diverts toxic chemicals from landfill, it also raises awareness about the environmental impacts of incorrect disposal of chemicals. A survey of participants this year revealed 69 per cent would be more likely to purchase alternative non-toxic chemicals and products where possible.

The Detox your Home drop-off event was delivered by Sustainability Victoria in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong.

The next chemical drop-off day in the Geelong region will be in February 2021. Visit Sustainability Victoria for details of upcoming Detox your Home events.

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