Cleanaway lends expertise in cleaning up hazardous waste after NSW floods

Cleanaway is playing a crucial role in another major natural disaster relief effort by collecting, processing and recycling hazardous waste washed away during the NSW floods.

Communities - Our Services

May 17, 2021

Highlights

This is a seriously confronting project given the scale and the nature of the material, yet it is something we are proud to be involved in by using our expertise.

Highlights

This is a seriously confronting project given the scale and the nature of the material, yet it is something we are proud to be involved in by using our expertise.

Cleanaway is playing a crucial role in another major natural disaster relief effort by collecting, processing and recycling hazardous waste washed away during the NSW floods.

We are consolidating the waste at a number of collection points in the vast flood-affected area and transporting it to our St Mary’s facility in Sydney for processing and recycling.

The material includes paint, chemicals, oil, acids and gas bottles and other items, which have to be managed carefully and cannot go into general waste and landfills.

It was washed away in floods which inundated an area stretching from Sydney to the Northern Rivers in March and picked up by contractors working for the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW Public Works from a variety of locations, including waterways and beaches.

Pictured: Collected hazardous items at the Port Macquarie flood clean up 

The contractors take the waste to makeshift collection points, which change every few weeks as the clean-up effort moves to a new location, where Cleanaway sorts it into various dangerous good categories before transporting it to St Mary’s.

The NSW EPA-licensed HazPak facility processes hazardous packaged liquid waste from households and businesses and is our only facility of this type in NSW.

After the material is processed, it is sent to other Cleanaway and third-party facilities for further processing or to create energy.
“We’re doing multiple collections each week and it’s going to go on for another three to six months given the huge area of flooding,” says St Mary’s Branch Manager David Nolan.

“This is additional work on top of our existing contracts, but we’re making it work. This is a seriously confronting project given the scale and the nature of the material, yet it is something we are proud to be involved in by using our expertise. We’re helping remove and recycle hazardous waste which could otherwise pose a threat to the environment and people.

“This work is a reminder of how waste management is not immune from the impact of the natural disasters and extreme weather events for which Australia is well known.”

The work is being carried out by our Liquid Waste and Health Services business unit under contract from the NSW EPA.

Contact us to learn more about how we’re making a sustainable future possible for communities and businesses across Australia.