What happens to hazardous waste

What happens to hazardous waste?

There are also huge long-term benefits to the environment of disposing of hazardous household materials correctly. Removing these materials from the waste stream and putting them back into the productive economy as most are recyclable makes kerbside collection safer, reduces environmental damage to the land and waterways and reduces the use of new natural resources.

Hazardous wastes taken to a Household Chemical Clean Out or the Community Recycling Centre are processed by the EPA’s contractor, Toxfree as follows:

  • Paint is mixed with other solvents and used in cement manufacturing while the metal containers are recycled
  • Gas cylinders have any remaining gas taken out while the steel in the bottle is recycled. However, many of the bottles are returned to the hire market – so they are reused rather than recycled
  • Lead, acid and plastic in batteries are recovered and recycled
  • Fluoro tubes, which contain mercury, are crushed to isolate the phosphor powder from the glass. This powder is processed to capture any mercury, which is then sold for a range of industrial uses while the leftover glass and metals is put back into the recycling system
  • E-Waste is broken down and precious metals and phosphorous are extracted, processed to remove contaminants and returned to the economy
  • Chemicals are treated by incineration

3 million kgs of wasteThrough a network of 101 Community Recycling Centres, people have during 2016-17 disposed of more than 3 million kilos of hazardous household waste. The most common item collected is paint which makes up about 60 per cent of all the materials collected. The remaining 40% comprises gas bottles, fire extinguishers, motor oils, car and household batteries, smoke detectors, and fluoro globes and tubes at CRC’s and ammonia-based cleaners, pesticides and herbicides collected at Clean Out events and selected CRC’s.

Back to the top

Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
E: customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au
ABN: 75 570 316 011