Don’t fuel the fire: Keep hazardous waste out of your bins
Did you know that the incorrect disposal of household hazardous waste can cause fires and damage to human health and the environment? Items left over in your back shed, garage and cupboards may be long forgotten but when you do get around to cleaning them out think carefully about where they go next.
It may look innocent but it could be hazardous waste
You’d be forgiven for thinking these items can just go in your general waste bin but the toxic chemicals in these common household items cause fires and a lot of damage to collection trucks and facilities – not to mention endangering lives.
Any home, garden, pool and garage products with a ‘corrosive’, ‘oxidising agent’, ‘toxic’ or ‘flammable’ label are considered hazardous and should be collected and disposed of by a regulated hazardous waste disposal service.
When batteries are not properly disposed of, the casing disintegrates and the toxic chemicals inside leach into the surrounding environment. This toxic material can contaminate the soil and groundwater affecting the health of humans, wildlife and the environment.
Paint is considered hazardous due to its flammability. When disposed of incorrectly, it exposes people and animals to risk of injury in a fire and cause skin, lung and eye problems through the paint fumes. If the paint contains lead, it increases the risk of lead poisoning if ingested.
Chemicals in e-waste such as mercury, cadmium, lithium and lead are a safety hazard to people, animals and the environment. In addition to contaminating soil, these toxic materials can pollute the air and leach into waterways.
Most flares have a use-by date of three years and must be replaced before the expiry date. Damaged or expired flares are a fire hazard if not stored or disposed of correctly.
Household hazardous chemicals such as chlorine and bleach are highly flammable, corrosive, or explosive and should never be thrown into just any bin.
How do I dispose of household hazardous waste?
Many councils across Australia regularly organise free household hazardous waste drop off events in addition to permanent drop off sites at community recycling centres and selected resource recovery facilities. Check with your local council on the availability of local drop-off events, permanent disposal sites, and national or state collection programs.
Typically, each container of material dropped off should not exceed 20kgs or litres. Any more would require a dedicated chemical collection and disposal service. Businesses should also contact a hazardous waste disposal service directly.
In view of the current public health situation, some household chemical disposal services across Australia may be affected. Check with your local councils by calling them or looking up information online to find out the latest household waste disposal guidelines. If you’re unable to immediately dispose of household chemicals, make sure you safely store them until you can.
Collects your unwanted paint and packaging to be treated or recycled, not sent to landfill.
TechCollect operates under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS), and helps you recycle unwanted e-waste safely and responsibly.
- DrumMuster and ChemClear DrumMUSTER is the national program provides chemical users with a defined route to safely dispose of used chemical containers.
MobileMuster accepts all brands and types of mobile phones, plus their batteries, chargers and accessories.
Drop off your mercury-containing waste lamps here to be safely recycled and recovered.
State-based hazardous waste collection programs
Household Hazardous Waste Program by WALGA
Free household chemicals and paint drop-off by Green Industries
Detox Your Home by Sustainability Victoria
Community recycling centres and household Chemical CleanOut events by NSW EPA
Household hazardous waste collection days by the Northern Tasmanian Waste Management Group
Contact your council for local hazardous waste disposal options
- Aftershaves, perfumes, nail polish and remover, hair care products
- Bathroom cleaners and disinfectants
- Unwanted medicine or those past their use by date
- Cooking oil
- Aerosol cans
- LPG gas cylinders
- Kitchen and bathroom cleaners
- Insect sprays
- Lawn and plant fertilisers
- Pool cleaning chemicals
- Rodent poisons
- Fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, weed killers and other poisonous liquids
- Car batteries
- Antifreeze/coolant, car polish and wax
- Brake fluid, petrol, other used oils
- Paint and paint-related products
- E-waste and other unwanted electronics
- Fluorescent tubes and light fittings
- Hot ash from fireplaces or barbeques
How do I handle and store household hazardous waste safely?
- Only buy what you need, do not stockpile household hazardous waste
- Keep the items in their original containers
- If they are leaking, transfer them to new, non-food containers (do not mix chemicals)
- Make sure all labels, including warning labels and manufacturer’s instructions, remain intact on the packaging
- Ensure storage area is cool and dry
- Store them upright with lids tightly secured, out of the reach of children and pets
- Transport to the drop-off locations
How does Cleanaway support hazardous waste disposal?
Cleanaway partners with local councils to collect and dispose of unwanted chemicals at our facilities and through mobile drop off events. Our service includes EPA-compliant transportation, processing, recycling and disposal technologies.
If you are a business, farm or have large volumes of hazardous waste, please contact 13 13 39 to learn more about our hazardous waste disposal services.
More solutions for Hazardous Regulated Waste
Contact us directly on 13 13 39 or fill up one of these short forms. We will get back to you as soon as possible with your request or booking.
We are in every major city and region in Australia. Chances are you will find us not too far away from where you are. We’re in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth, as well as Karratha, Rockhampton, Newcastle, Geelong, Port Augusta, Albury, and more.