DDT bottles rounded up in Sydney
The NSW Government's Household Chemical CleanOut Program certainly achieved one of its major aims at a collection in Zetland recently, when a householder dropped off 16 bottles of 1940s–manufactured DDT.
Believed to have been stored in a garage for more than 50 years, the haul is a testament to the program aims to capture old stocks of banned and illegal substances and keep dangerous materials out of our environment and waste stream.
Glen Sheffer, of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW (DECCW) Sustainability Programs, said while organochlorines and polychlorinated biphenyls were dropped off fairly frequently at collections, the labelled DDT bottles were unusual.
"This householder absolutely did the right thing by dropping these off at their local collection," he said.
"These dangerous toxins would have been sitting in a garage for years. Now they're securely out of the environment and out of anyone's home to be safely destroyed and properly disposed of by our contactor, Chemsal."
Mr Sheffer said since the CleanOut service was set up in 2003, DECCW has run more than 340 collections with 138,000 householders depositing more than 5,000 tonnes of potentially hazardous materials.
The CleanOut Collections are funded by DECCW and hosted by councils across Sydney, Hunter and the Illawarra. Funding is also provided to regional councils to run CleanOut Collection service.
DDT, or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, was banned in Australia in 1987. Internationally its use has been linked to breast, prostrate and liver cancers, miscarriage and diabetes, as well as animal species loss.
CleanOut is the safest way to dispose of potentially hazardous household chemicals. Visit Household Chemical CleanOut for a full list of accepted materials, drop-off centre locations and collections dates, or check with your local Council to see when a CleanOut Collection is being run in your area. The website also gives information about other recycling programs, from car batteries to unwanted medicines.