PEOPLE in Horsham can boost their spring cleaning efforts by safely disposing of chemicals.
Horsham Rural City Council has organised a free drop-off service on Saturday, November 30 for old and unwanted household chemicals.
The collection is at Horsham Transfer Station between 9am and noon and is part of Sustainability Victoria's annual Detox your Home event.
The council's waste and sustainability co-ordinator Jared Hammond said 516 kilograms of hazardous chemicals from 47 households was received and safely disposed at the previous collection.
"It's a great opportunity to clean out the back shed or the cleaning cupboard, and dispose of those potentially hazardous or unknown chemicals that have been sitting around, or are no longer of use," Mr Hammond said.
"By taking part (in) this program, residents are ensuring that these products are disposed of appropriately, reducing the risk of poisoning and keeping our households and the environment safe."
Mr Hammond said chemicals that could be collected included glues, detergents, solvents, poisons, herbicides and pesticides, pool chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
He said there was no limit on the volume of material dropped off, but the maximum acceptable weight or size of any single container was 20 kilograms, or 20 litres.
The council said other items which could be disposed of anytime at the transfer station included paint, CFLs and fluoro tubes, batteries, motor oil, paper, cardboard and polystyrene packaging.
Sustainability Victoria Communities & Climate Change director Stephanie Zierschsaid in a statement it was important to do regular clear-outs of households chemicals because they could harm people and pets by adding extra fuel to a house fire, releasing toxic fumes and damaging the environment.
She said many people weren't aware that items such as nail polish and cooking oil were also considered chemical waste.
Ms Ziersch said collected items were recovered and diverted from landfill and that industrial chemists would manage the collections to ensure all items were safely handled and disposed of.
"Most of the chemicals we collect are recycled or used for other purposes, such as making energy," she said.
People were advised to take precautions when transporting chemicals to a transfer station - such as ensuring they were packed in original, tightly sealed containers and allowing air in the vehicle to prevent fume poisoning.
People wanting more information about disposing household chemicals could visit detox your home or phone Sustainability Victoria on 1300 363 744.
Farmers wanting to dispose of agricultural and veterinary chemicals can register their chemicals with ChemClear by November 30 for a Victorian collection in early 2020.
AgSafe communications officer Richard Boyce said the ChemClear program had collected and disposed of more than 700,000 litres of obsolete, inherited and unknown agricultural and veterinary chemicals since 2003.
He said chemicals would be classified into two groups depending on the age of the product - if it was within two-year of expiry or de-registration, collection would be free; otherwise it would warrant a fee.
Mr Boyce said 98 per cent of the chemicals collected under the ChemClear program were used as an alternate fuel source through a range of disposal methods and technologies, while the remaining two per cent were Schedule X chemicals such as organochlorines, arsenics and cyanides.
He said these chemicals were treated by either Plasma Arc technology, used as an alternate fuel source to fire cement kilns or stabilised and fixated for secure landfill.
Business owners should be able to dispose of their commercial chemical waste, such as printer ink, by searching for a relevant service through Business Recycling or referring to the Yellow Pages under 'waste reduction and disposal services' for chemical disposal companies.
Environmental Protection Authority Victoria's regional manager Dr Scott Pidgon said chemicals that weren't disposed of correctly could damage the environment by leaking into soil and ending up in waterways.
He said under legislation, people could face fines of up to $2000 for commercial or industrial offences regarding incorrect chemical waste disposal, while businesses faced fines of up to $8000.
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