New Safe Homes for Old Unwanted Chemicals. A company “There is no doubt a learning curve, and we are taking baby steps,” Carson says. There are many options to help you dispose of household hazardous wastes to a pharmacist for disposal through the Return of Unwanted Medicines program. Buried in the garden – dangerous chemicals and poison can leach into the. How and where should I store my unwanted/unused chemicals before pick-up? “Waste” has a lot of different meanings and there are important regulatory.
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During each stage of a collection scheme, various participants will need to have a clear understanding of responsibilities and liabilities. In the case where a company storing, transporting or destroying chemical waste becomes insolvent, and this is a real possibility given previous experience, reassigning ownership will be necessary. Ownership could remain with the coordinating body from the point of collection through to destruction or disposal or be assigned to other individual participants in the collection program.
Despite these potential sources of funds, liability for the waste is an issue that will need to be dealt with. They are presented to highlight some of the ways in which collection programs have been conducted.
Based on these case studies, a series of possible options for unwanted farm and household chemical collections are canvassed below. Apart from Option 1, which addresses not having a NCSDS, Options 2 to 4 focus on a range of capacities for ongoing collections; that is, Option 2 is a one-off collection and Option 4 looks at indefinite ongoing chemical collections.
Also, consideration needs to be given to collections from other holders of unwanted chemicals such as pest control operators, government agencies such as primary industry, defence and transport , pesticide manufacturers, suppliers and retailers, water authorities and research organisations such as CSIRO.
Governments, industry and chemical holders may consider that action over unwanted farm and household chemicals should be restricted to safe on-site storage of the chemicals.
This would require a judgment that leaving the chemicals in their current location poses little threat to international trade, the environment or public health and would avoid the potential multi-million dollar cost of conducting a NCSDS.
The current holder of the chemicals would still have the option of paying for off-site storage and disposal. The costs of storage and disposal have tended to discourage this practice. A one-off collection program could involve visiting regional locations once to collect surrendered unwanted farm and household chemicals and transporting those wastes to a designated storage area.
No infrastructure, brought in for collections, would remain for ongoing receipt of unwanted chemicals. A one-off collection would not necessarily involve simultaneous collections across the country, but more likely at different times across the country targeted to regional preferences. This option focuses on providing ongoing capacity for collections rather than the temporary nature of the previous options for a NCSDS.
The scope of any on-going collection program would depend primarily on desired outcomes, available funding and the nature of the community being served. Ongoing collections of wastes could include a chemical drop-off point, staffed on an ongoing basis.
Establishing chemical collection points with the capacity for ongoing collections may require facilities staffed on a part or full-time basis to allow the community to surrender unwanted farm and household chemicals at their convenience. The advice of local communities on whether ongoing chemical collections were desirable would be an important consideration; ongoing collections for a limited period may be more suitable to some communities.
Of the three NCSDS options, this option is most likely to require the establishment of an ongoing coordinating body to develop the required infrastructure, coordinate ongoing collections and oversee the other operational aspects of a NCSDS which include, handling, storage, consolidation, transport and destruction.
Experience shows that the success of any collection program is heavily dependent on its promotion in the wider community. In turn, effective promotion depends on potential hindrances being addressed early in the planning of any collection program like putting in place effective communication strategies. The case studies illustrate some of the different ways in which messages can be conveyed and people motivated to participate. Strategies include promotional activities through:. The merits and costs of these and other promotional strategies need to be considered.
Workshop participants may wish to consider the need for tailoring promotional and educational activities to the target area or region to maximise participation rates. The draft final OCP management plan introduces the concept of consolidation stores to handle and consolidate OCP waste. The OCP waste would be brought to the consolidation stores from collection points, most of these being of a temporary nature.
The functions of a consolidation store could include handling, identification, analysis if required, packaging and storage of unwanted farm and household chemicals once they have been handed in or collected.
One of the objectives of initial identification and segregation is to reduce the later need for chemical identification and analyses. The cost of identification and analyses could be significantly reduced by ensuring, that during collection, unlabelled or poorly labelled containers are identified, where possible, by the person surrendering the chemicals and, during repackaging, only like farm and household chemicals are combined.
Previous experience shows that the cost of storage and redrumming of collected waste can be a major component of the overall cost of a collection scheme. Storage costs will depend on the availability of adequate destruction facilities. If none are available long-term chemical waste storage, and its associated high cost, may be required. The issue of transport will be strongly influenced by how the collection, handling and storage components of a NCSDS are to be managed.
Farmers and householders may possess containers that are in a poor condition. For example, the containers may be rusting, they may have lost their lids or caps and their labels may have fallen off or become illegible. This all adds to the risk associated with transporting the waste from the farm or home to the collection point. Ways of minimising these risk need to be discussed and factored into any national chemical collection scheme.
A key issue for many regions of Australia, and one that could well have an adverse impact on the effectiveness of any collection program is the distance that waste holders would need to travel to a collection point.
For some areas, this is likely to be considerable. After being collected, the chemical waste will then need to be transported to the consolidation stores and then on to the destruction facility.
Consequently, there are two components of transport which should be addressed. The National Manifest System for the Transport of Hazardous Wastes could play an important regulatory role in tracking interstate movements of the collected waste and in providing to governments and the community with an assurance that the waste is moved from the consolidation facility to the destruction or treatment facility.
As discussed in Section 2 Scope of the unwanted chemicals issue , even though targeting hazardous unwanted farm and household chemicals, a NCSDS is likely to result in the collection of a range of chemicals. Given this scenario, it will be important that any national chemical collection program have available options for managing the range of wastes collected. Government agencies have indicated that, with the exception of some types of scheduled waste, there appear to be an adequate range of outlets for most categories of chemical wastes likely to be collected.
Scheduled wastes is one group for which particular attention has been given to establishment of appropriate and suitable means of destruction and this issue is discussed in more detail below. Of the three operational facilities in Australia, the Ecologic plant in WA has demonstrated a capability for treating known OCP wastes, including those wastes collected in Western Australia through the OCP recall.
The Brisbane BCD facility has received regulatory approval to treat a range of organochlorine pesticides but has treated only limited OCPs commercially. Experience indicates that Australia may have the capability to treat the known non-organochlorine pesticide wastes such as organophosphate pesticides, and other hazardous chemicals and that it has limited capacity to treat the known organochlorine pesticides.
Adding OCPs to the backlog of PCB wastes awaiting treatment, would extend the delay before those wastes are destroyed. Therefore, there are two destruction issues that need to be tackled in developing any national collection program: There needs to be a strong focus on research and development for the treatment of arsenicals and other difficult to treat waste.
Destruction costs will be an important component of overall cost of any collection program and these will be difficult to estimate where treatment technologies are currently unavailable for some chemical waste types.
The storage cost estimates will need to take into account that companies, which might be interested in developing suitable technologies, may defer research and development until a sufficiently large market is guaranteed by having a "critical mass" of farm and household chemicals in storage and ready for destruction.
Thus, delaying a collection program in the expectation that technologies would be developed may not reduce the storage costs involved. Given concerns for the lack of appropriate treatment technologies for some chemical waste streams, government involvement in promoting research and development to establish new waste treatment technologies may be required.
In , the Commonwealth Environment Minister adopted a policy that permits for the export of scheduled waste would not be issued while technologies for its destruction in Australia were being developed. For example, export may be permitted when keeping the wastes in Australia presents an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, and in addition, suitable and environmentally sound overseas destruction facilities must be willing to accept the waste for treatment.
Because of present and likely future limitations on the capability and capacity of Australia's treatment facilities, further consideration may need to be given to exporting part of the collected waste for treatment in overseas facilities. However for this to happen, significant socio-political difficulties would need to be addressed and any export would, of course, need to be done in accordance with the amended Hazardous Waste Act. ANZECC's scheduled waste strategy is founded on the principles of openness, fairness and equity and the safe management of OCPs is an integral part of that strategy.
The development of trust between all interested parties during the process to develop scheduled waste management plans has been nurtured by openness and easily comprehensible information and processes. The Steering Committee believes these principles should be extended to any collection program that may be developed to remove unwanted farm and household chemicals. In this discussion paper, the option of a coordinating body has been suggested to provide the focus for the operational aspects of any collection scheme.
The accountability of such a Coordinating Body to governments and the community, and the public accessibility to information, are considered to be essential features of any collection and destruction program. It is considered desirable that the community have full access to information to ensure that trust is developed and maintained. The requirements for public reporting should be consistent with those specified in the draft OCP management plan. The following components of a collection and destruction program would need to include clear public reporting of information related to:.
Any coordinating body would need to be accountable to governments through a number of processes which may include contractual requirements to develop corporate, strategic plans and annual reports.
They would also need to comply with regulatory requirement in terms of relevant occupational health and safety, dangerous goods, environment protection, public health, and export control legislation. In considering the future management of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, and consistent with the objectives of the National Strategy for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals, the following questions would need to be asked:.
This discussion paper attempts to convey the nature of issues that need to be resolved in developing a national scheme for managing unwanted farm and household chemicals. The national workshops being run by the National Advisory Body on scheduled wastes in July and August of provide an ideal opportunity to bring forward new and creative ways for addressing these issues. The options in this Discussion Paper provided, while based on previous experience, may or may not be appropriate to the vastly different regions across Australia.
The workshops will provide an opportunity to help identify the best options to put to governments, so that the most cost-effective options are implemented for Australia, taking into account regional differences. Figure 4 illustrates a possible relationship between a coordinating body, governments and each part of the collection process. It is envisaged that a coordinating body would be responsible for administering a collection scheme and ensuring that the collection, storage and destruction actually occurs, but it would not necessarily perform all of the tasks.
A coordinating body could sub-contract components, components or parts of the components in a competitive manner and thereby avoid a private monopoly. If there is no effective commercial option for a coordinating body to utilise, eg. It is important that a coordinating body, whilst operating in a commercial field, does not have an unfair advantage arising from its being the result of a government-created monopoly refer to the Hilmer Committee Report on National Competition Policy.
Possible relationship between governments, a coordinating body and a national chemicals collection scheme. In setting performance goals for a NCSDS body, a range of issues will need to be considered, including:. Chemical Collection Program Case Studies. The last national chemical collection scheme was the Commonwealth-funded collection of organochlorine pesticides OCPs. This took place in in response to the detection by USA of contamination of exported beef and gave expression to the desire to retain the good image of Australia's agricultural industries.
This buy-back period lasted three months from June to September During this period 85 kilolitres of liquid and approximately 5 tonnes of powdered DDT was brought in for disposal. A further 20 tonnes of DDT was handed in over the next year. At the completion of export process, approximately tonnes of DDT had been collected.
The Queensland Government enacted legislation prohibiting the use of certain organochlorine pesticides in agriculture in mid The Queensland Rural Pesticide Recall Program commenced on 8 October with a Ministerial direction to all local Authorities, Government members and Department of Primary Industry officers setting out the details of the program and advertisements placed in the rural media.
During the following six months to April , tonnes of OCPs were collected. During this recall, 16 tonnes of arsenic waste was collected, of which 11 tonnes was sent to May and Baker, United Kingdom and 5 tonnes to Rhone Poulenc. The latter was returned and remains stored in Queensland. The Western Australian Government enacted legislation in mid to prohibit the agricultural use of organochlorine pesticides. Subsequent to this, the Department of Agriculture conducted two pesticide recall programs where tonnes of OCPs and 20 tonnes of arsenic waste were collected.
To date a further tonnes of OCPs and arsenicals have been surrendered. Unlike the eastern states who exported their OCP waste for high temperature incineration, Western Australia placed their material into storage awaiting the establishment of a suitable local treatment facility. The arsenic waste has been encapsulated in concrete and placed in the secure landfill site at Mt Walton.
The Department of Agriculture has provided the following approximate costs to collect and store the above material: The Brisbane City Council BCC have been collecting small quantities of unwanted household chemicals at their transfer stations for some years, most of which is taken by local waste disposal contractors or deposited in their landfill sites.
Currently, BCC collects waste from residents on request, although this has an expensive exercise. BCC are now considering running collections on a suburb by suburb basis at some stage in the future. The Department of Environment and Heritage indicated that several municipalities have also run household chemical collections, usually as an annual event, and include Maroochy Shire , Beaudesert Shire and Gold Coast City.
The quantities collected were not provided but are known to be relatively small. The collection, which involved opening 25 collection sites for one day, resulted in 2. In the absence of further organised Household Hazardous Waste Collection days, several Councils established collection services, which include a 'drop-off' point and storage shed at their respective transfer stations or landfill sites. Western Suburbs Perth Environmental Health Officers Group held a Chemical Collection Day in where they collected approximately 40 kilograms of pesticides from vehicles.
A similar collection was held in where 35 people attended. This collection was advertised in the local paper and staffed by a chemist from the Waste Management Division of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Health Officers from the participating councils. Cockburn City Council collects household chemical wastes at a storage shed at their landfill site.
He also collects information about how those products can be used in a different industry. Each potential purchase puts in motion a bit of detective work.
For example, Repurposed Materials recently bought 60 giant sacks of a polymer absorbent that someone abandoned at a freight terminal. Carson resold it to a man who works in hockey facilities. They sold the firm to Waste Management. This time, he says, his business aims to keep stuff out of the landfill. When the ad campaign is over, the vinyl can be used as tarps for hay bales.
Other durable goods that have a second life thanks to Carson include old fire hoses—used for padding around boat docks—and worn-out rubber conveyor belts, which can line horse corrals or protect the floor under a tractor. An early project was finding a home for 13 drums of concentrated wild berry fragrance. The owner, a shampoo maker, had discontinued the berry-scented product—to the benefit of a potpourri shop owner. For instance, drug firms frequently reject mineral oil as not meeting purity requirements.
Cattle ranchers will gladly use it to blend insect repellents sprayed on cows, Carson says. Businesses seek to minimize waste both for sustainability reasons and to avoid disposal costs; average tipping fees in the U. Carson has to carefully characterize the substance and figure out what it might be worth—sometimes only pennies on the dollar—and who might buy it.
Household Chemical Collection
A test of 12 bars of dark chocolate from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals showed that all the chocolates contained unwanted. WASTE, EXCESS AND UNWANTED CHEMICALS. The current regulations do not permit the disposal of any chemicals via sinks. All chemicals checked to ensure that there is no sign of damage, and that their materials are compatible with. A collection of coloured containers of household chemicals and poisons kept insecurely become complacent using chemicals – take care even when there are no The best way to avoid the problem of disposing of unwanted chemicals is to.