Disposal of Agvet Chemicals, Empty Chemical Containers or Unwanted or Obselete Chemicals

Disposal of 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.

drumMUSTER provides Australian agricultural and veterinary chemical users with a recycling pathway for eligible empty agvet chemical containers. The first drumMUSTER collection was held at Gunnedah in May 1999.The drumMUSTER containers are collected and transported by their approved team of processors and delivered to materials recovery centres where they are recycled into items such as wheelie bins, fence posts and garden stakes.

Disposing of empty agvet chemical containers in the right way is crucial to the reputation and sustainability of the agricultural industry in Australia. By using the drumMUSTER recycling program you can turn your unwanted containers into useful, sustainable products rather than having them placed into landfill or building up on farm.

drumMUSTER provides a full cradle to grave waste cycle for agvet chemical containers, enabling the re-use of the recycled plastic and steel.

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.

Their 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 and DrumMuster 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.

To find out how ChemClear and Drummuster differ and other FAQs on the programs click here



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