Disposal of Agvet Chemicals

Disposal of agvet chemicals

Since entering the agricultural waste sector in 2003, ChemClear has strived to help farmers and other users of agvet chemicals manage chemical storages and deliver solutions for chemical waste disposal.

ChemClear is Australia’s only Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program operating for agvet chemicals and is an initiative of the Industry Waste Reduction Scheme (IWRS).

ChemClear is funded by a 6c per lt/kg levy collected under the Industry Waste Reduction Scheme (IWRS).  The levy also supports ChemClear’s sister program drumMUSTER.

ChemClear and its partners are delighted with the progress the service has made since 2003 in which the program has collected and disposed of more than 751 tonnes of obsolete, inherited and unknown agvet chemicals.

Our goal is to reduce the quantity of agvet chemicals stored on properties and in businesses across Australia, thereby reducing negative impacts on the environment, people and trade in the future.

Using ChemClear ensures that agvet chemical users will meet their responsibilities and obligations under any Quality Assurance, Farm or Environmental Management program.

ChemClear is delivered by Agsafe Limited on behalf of AgStewardship Australia Limited and its stakeholders CropLife Australia, Animal Medicines Australia Limited, Veterinary Manufacturer’s and Distributors Association and the National Farmers Federation.

Following collection, all retrieved agvet chemicals are safely transported to ChemClear's contractor depot in Melbourne for sorting into batches for appropriate treatment and disposal.

Treatment of Group 1 chemicals

General and organophosphorus pesticides are blended with various  solvents and used in an energy recovery process in the cement manufacturing industry. This process utilises the calorific value of the mix as a fuel source to produce energy for cement kilns.


Treatment of Group 2 chemicals

Destruction of organochlorine-based pesticides involves injecting the  chemical into a plasma torch that burns at a temperature of 3500 degrees celsius, similar to the temperature of the sun. This reduces the chemical to its "building blocks" and it is treated to form salty water and carbon dioxide. Arsenic-based pesticides are, in some cases, oxidised followed by a fixation technique under alkaline conditions. The stablised waste is placed under a Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), which is a test simulating any potentially toxic material that could leak out of solid material.

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