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Household Chemical Cleanout

Free community service to all Palerang

Do you have unwanted, out-of-date or leftover household chemicals cluttering up your garage, garden shed, laundry, bathroom or kitchen? If you do, Palerang Council encourages you to dispose of them at the annual Household Chemical CleanOut day. The date of the CleanOut day for 2016 is 29 October.

Collections will be held at the:

  • Bungendore Resource Recovery Facility (210 Tarago Road, Bungendore) from 8.00 am - 11.00 am
  • Braidwood Saleyards (Gillamatong Lane, Braidwood) from 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm

CleanOut enables you to dispose of common household chemicals in an environmentally sensitive way. Although common, many of these chemicals are hazardous to human health and/or the environment, so disposing of some chemicals in your Council-supplied red bin or at Council landfills is not recommended.

If you are a Palerang resident and only dropping off household amounts of chemical, it will cost you nothing. As a guide, containers should be limited to a maximum of 20kg or 20L. Fees may apply for quantities larger than the limits.

Businesses may use this service, but will be charged at the commercial rate for their type of waste. If you wish to use the service, you will need to contact Council prior to dropping the material off. Failure to do so may lead to chemicals not being accepted.

All drop-offs must occur during the designated times.

There are many reasons why you may want to participate in the collection:

  • do you have young children who enjoy tasting new things
  • do you have an inquisitive pet always getting into things that are best left alone?
  • are the containers that hold your old chemicals starting to rust or crack?
  • are you running out of room in your shed, garage, bathroom, kitchen or laundry?

The collection is run by an appropriately equipped and licensed waste contractor.

You can drop off household quantities of the following:

  • paint and paint-related products (thinners, strippers, varnish etc)
  • pesticides and herbicides (fungicides, baits, poisons, wood preservatives)
  • solvents and household cleaners
  • motor oils and fuels
  • batteries
  • medicines
  • gas bottles
  • fire extinguishers
  • fluorescent light bulbs/tubes
  • acids and alkalis
  • hobby chemicals (photography chemicals etc)
  • sharps and syringes
  • smoke detectors
  • pool chemicals

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • asbestos
  • explosives
  • clinical waste
  • radioactive material (except material contained within smoke detectors)

Generally speaking, most household chemicals are not especially dangerous in small quantities and when stored and handled in accordance with the chemical labels. As such, no special safety precautions are required, but you should keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • NEVER MIX chemicals as this may produce dangerous reactions
  • wherever possible, keep all chemicals in their original containers
  • ensure containers are clearly labelled and well sealed. If you do not know the contents, label the container "Unknown Chemical"
  • liquid can leak during transport; wrap containers holding liquids securely in newspaper, place in sturdy plastic bags and then in plastic buckets or trays
  • keep household chemicals away from passengers e.g. in the boot or a trailer

To ensure the collection day runs smoothly, you are asked to take the following simple steps for each collected chemical:

  1. package in secure sealed containers (preferably original containers); never mix different items
  2. label each container clearly with what is inside; if you don't know, clearly label the container "Unknown"
  3. drop items off at the collection site on the day of the collection

Collected materials are safely and securely loaded on to transport vehicles and taken to a centralised waste treatment facility for final treatment. All bulk loading, transporting and treatment are undertaken by the waste contractor. Where possible, materials are recycled and reused. Non-recyclable materials are disposed of to an appropriately licensed and maintained landfill. Treatment processes for some common products are shown below.

Paints: these are commonly mixed with other waste solvents and used as an alternative to fuel in cement kilns. Trials are also underway to use waste paint in cement for car parks.

Oils (automotive products): these are recycled into base oils or used to make fuel oils.

Batteries - lead acid : these are sent to recyclers where the lead and acid are recovered and recycled.

Gas bottles (propane): undamaged cylinders are tested and reused in the cylinder hire business/trade. If the cylinders are damaged and/or unsuitable for reuse, any remaining gas is recovered and the steel is sent for recycling.

Fluorescent globs and tubes: these contain mercury. Tube recycling involves crushing the tubes to separate the phosphor powder from the glass. The powder is fed through into receiving containers with a filtering process to capture any fugitive mercury emissions. The mercury is then processed for separation by distillation and sold for a range of industrial uses. The glass and metals remaining from the process are also recycled.

(Source: NSW Environmental Protection Authority, Household Chemical CleanOut Program, Annual Report 2010/2011).

For more information, please contact Palerang Council on phone (02) 6238 8111, call the NSW Household Hazardous Waste Collection hotline on 1300 78 78 70, or visit www.cleanout.com.au