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Hazardous waste

Hazardous wastes are wastes or products that have the potential to harm humans or the environment, either now or in the future.

There are many options to help you dispose of household hazardous wastes safely, protect the environment and keep your home safe. Recycling programs are available for some hazardous wastes.

What is hazardous waste?

Over the last two decades, there have been major changes to the way Australians manage their waste. Recycling has increased but so has the amount of waste we are generating, including the quantity of hazardous waste.

Some examples of hazardous wastes include:

  • solvent-based paints
  • pesticides and other garden chemicals
  • batteries
  • motor oils
  • petrol and kerosene
  • cleaning and polishing checmicals
  • swimming pool chemicals
  • pharmaceuticals
  • tyres
  • asbestos dust
  • obsolete computer equipment.

At the Albury Waste Management Centre, we  can accept hazardous items such as asbestos, sharps, oils and batteries but you do need to call us first to arrange a time and day for drop-off.

  • Asbestos keyboard_arrow_right

    Asbestos fibres are hazardous when inhaled. They can be released into the air when asbestos products are incorrectly handled, stored or transported for disposal.

    Before renovating or doing maintenance work on your home, you need to confirm if it possibly contains asbestos. If your home was built or renovated before 1987, it is likely that it will. If so, you need to know how to remove and dispose of the asbestos safely.

    If more than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos needs to be removed, you must engage a bonded asbestos removalist who is licensed by SafeWork NSW. If you are removing asbestos, advise your neighbours of the time and date of removal, and the name of the licensed removalist.

    Asbestos Disposal

    Asbestos is classified as a hazardous material. There are strict guidelines about how it should be packaged, labelled, transported and where it can be disposed. The Albury Waste Management Centre (AWMC) can lawfully receive asbestos waste in the designated area.

    • Ensure asbestos waste has been wetted, wrapped in 200um thick plastic, and sealed with tape before it is transported to a landfill site that may lawfully receive the waste.

    Asbestos disposal

    We only accept asbestos from residents if it is bonded asbestos and weighs less than 100 kg. Higher quantities of asbestos must be referred to an asbestos removalist. It is the responsibility of the resident to ensure the material is correctly presented to us.

    Disposal times for asbestos

    Monday - Friday
    8:00 am - 11:00 am and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    Saturday and Sunday
    9:00 am to 3:00 pm

    For more information read:

    Disposing of household Asbestos & Legal Requirements

    Safely disposing of Asbestos Waste

    To minimise the risk of asbestos exposure, WorkCover recommends that householders engage a licensed asbestos removalist contractor if asbestos must be disturbed or removed. Do-it-yourself asbestos removal is not recommended.

    The following guide provides useful information to enable householders to safely manage the risks arising from asbestos materials in and around their homes.

    A guide for householders and the general public.

  • Needles, sharps and syringes keyboard_arrow_right

    Used syringes pose a health risk to the community and so safe disposal bins must be provided and used. Needle and syringe disposal bins can be found in hospital grounds, council amenity buildings, parks and reserves. Medical sharps can also be taken to participating pharmacies and public hospitals in a puncture-resistant container such as a coffee or paint tin.

    People working with sharps should ensure they’re stored correctly to there’s no risk of harm to anyone who comes into contact with them.

    Here are some basic guidelines:

    • Store sharps in a puncture-proof container (a yellow sharps container)
    • Store containers in a safe place that can’t be accessed by children
    • Do not recap needles before placing them in the container
    • Seal the container lid when full

    How do I dispose of Clinical and related waste?

    Medical waste containers can be brought into the pharmacies listed below for disposal free of charge. Alternatively you can visit safesharps.org.au, which gives a comprehensive list of all stores or locations in NSW where sharps can be disposed of safely.

    Terry White Chemist
    Centro Lavington
    Griffith Road
    Lavington 2641
    Phone: 02 6025 4733

    Fifield's Pharmacy
    Cnr Dean & Townsend Streets
    Albury 2640
    Phone: 02 6021 3255

    Terry White Chemist
    543 Dean Street
    Albury 2640
    Phone: 02 6021 2714

    Mayo's Northend Pharmacy
    3/330 Urana Road
    Lavington 2641
    Phone: 02 6040 2204

    Soul Pattinson Chemist
    Thurgoona Plaza
    Shuter Avenue
    Thurgoona  2640
    Phone: 02 6043 1444

    Chemist Warehouse
    483 Olive Street
    Albury 2640
    Phone: 02 6022 4088

    Chemist Warehouse
    Shops 3-5, 338 Kaitlers Road
    Springdale Heights 2641
    Phone: 02 6025 3007

  • Paint keyboard_arrow_right

    Leftover paint is one of the most common sources of liquid waste in landfills but we can dispose of old paint in a safe and practical way – and disposal is free.

    Australians buy more than 100 million litres of paint a year. About five million litres ends up in landfill, along with the packaging and materials that go with it.

    Leftover paint can contaminate groundwater and should not be put into garbage bins.

    However, if you deliver unwanted paint to the Albury Recycling Centre, it will be mixed with other waste solvents and used as an alternative fuel in cement kilns. The metal containers are also recycled.

    Remember, you should never mix your paint with other chemicals, and if possible you should keep your paint in its original containers.

    We have partnered with Paintback, which collects the paint and packaging from the Albury Recycling Centre and transports it for treatment. The packaging and waste liquid are separated. Waste paint is treated in a number of ways including energy recovery for solvent and liquid/solid separation for water-based paint, significantly minimising pressures on our landfill.

    Household users and trade painters can drop off the following items for free:

    • Interior and exterior architectural paint
    • Deck coatings and floor paints
    • Primers, undercoats and sealers
    • Stains and shellacs
    • Varnishes and urethanes (single component)
    • Wood coatings
    • Packaging
  • Oils keyboard_arrow_right

    Used motor and cooking oil can be recycled, so rather than risk contamination or a spill at your place, bring it to us and we'll have it cleaned and put to good use.

    Each year, Australians buy more than 500 million litres of motor oil. Just one litre of motor oil is enough to contaminate one million litres of water, and a single oil change in your car produces four to five litres of oil waste.

    Used motor oil picks up toxic chemicals when used in engines and transmissions and is hazardous to the environment.

    Sump oil - which includes engine oil, two-stroke, diesel oil and lubricating oils along with cooking oil - can be dropped off for free at the Albury Recycling Centre.

    Fortunately, used motor oil can be recycled because instead of wearing out, it just gets dirty. The contaminants can be removed and the oil recycled time after time.

    Some uses of recycled oil are industrial burner fuel, re-refined lube oil, or it can be used in other products as an additive.

    If you have small quantities (20 litres maximum) of old motor oils or unused/used cooking oil make sure it is in a secure oil container and bring it to the Albury Recycling Centre.

    Households are not charged for oil disposal but a fee applies for commercial operators.

    Here are some useful tips for recycling oils:

    • Dispose of old oils straight away otherwise you risk it entering the soil and contaminating ground water if it spills or leaks
    • Do not mix oils with other chemicals as contamination may cause the oil to be unrecyclable. Keep liquids in original containers

    Ensure all containers are sealed and have clearly identifiable labels.

  • Household and car batteries keyboard_arrow_right

    Batteries are the most common form of hazardous waste disposed of by Australian households, but the good news is that they can be recycled into a range of new products such as street lights and car parts.

    In Australia, about 350 million batteries are purchased every year. More than two thirds of them end up in landfill, where they can cause health and environmental problems.

    Heavy metals in batteries include cadmium, nickel, lead and mercury, which are all toxic and dangerous to human, animal and environmental health if not managed properly. Batteries in landfill damage the environment because, once their casings disintegrate, metals and chemicals inside the battery leach out.

    You can prevent this type of environmental damage by dropping your vehicle and household batteries at the Albury Recycling Centre for free. Once we’ve received them they can be made into new products such as street lights and car parts.

    Some of the new uses for your old batteries include:

    • Recycling nickel to produce stainless steel
    • Recycling acid to form sodium sulphate, which is used to make detergents, glass and textiles
    • The production of new batteries, fertilisers, waste bins and plant pots.
  • Fluoro tubes and globes keyboard_arrow_right

    Because they contain mercury, fluorescent lamps are damaging if they end up in landfill - so let us take care of them for you.

    While the risk of mercury poisoning from broken lights is low, 95% of mercury contained in waste lights in Australia end up in landfills which poses a significant environmental concern.

    Over time, mercury converts to methylmercury, a toxic chemical that spreads into the environment through the air, water and soil.

    The mercury from one fluorescent tube is enough to pollute 30,000 litres of water. But to eliminate the risk, fluorescent lights can be safely collected and recycled, creating positive uses for potentially dangerous products.

    You can dispose of your waste lights for free by separating them and placing them in the correct receptacles at the Albury Recycling Centre.

    The following can be recycled:

    • Compact fluorescent lamps
    • Fluorescent U-tubes
    • Linear fluorescent lamps
    • Mercury vapour lamps
    • Metal halide lamps
    • Sodium vapour lamps
    • UV lamps
    • LED tubes
  • Gas bottles keyboard_arrow_right

    Gas bottles that can no longer be refilled can be recycled for scrap metal

    Gas bottles that are unfit for reuse can be recycled. High pressure gas bottles pose a significant safety hazard if compacted in landfill.

    You can recycle your unwanted gas bottle for free at the Albury Recycling Centre.

    Gas bottles have residual gas captured for reuse. Undamaged bottles are retested, restamped and entered into the hire industry. Damaged bottles are punctured and recycled as scrap metal.

    Please do NOT put gas bottles into your kerbside bins as they pose a significant safety hazard if compacted in landfill.

  • Fire extinguishers are made from steel that can be fully recycled, while smoke detectors contain batteries and harmful materials. As long as they’re not generated by business or commercial use, you can dispose of them at the Albury Recycling Centre for no charge.

    Like gas bottles, fire extinguishers are made from steel which is 100% recyclable, and can be recycled for scrap metal.

    Smoke Detectors can contain batteries and in some cases harmful content that could react if it comes into contact with other materials.

    To dispose of these items correctly, simple place them in marked container at the recycling centre.

What happens when you DON’T dispose of dangerous waste properly

You should never put hazardous household wastes into regular rubbish collections, tip it down the sink, toilet or gutters, or bury it in the ground. This is what can happen if you don’t use correct disposal methods:

  • Buried in the garden – dangerous chemicals and poison can leach into the surface or groundwater. This can affect the soil, plants and water for a long time.
  • Tipped down the sink – wastes may corrode the pipes or block stormwater drains and cause problems at water treatment plants.
  • Put into the regular garbage – this can put the health and safety of garbage collection workers at risk. It may also pollute waterways and drinking water if sent to normal landfills. Hazardous waste should only be stored in specially designed landfills.
  • Plastic shopping bags – these can create an ugly litter problem if not recycled or disposed of properly. If these bags get into waterways, they may be a threat to wildlife. Most supermarkets now collect plastic bags for recycling.

Illegal disposal, dumping or misuse of wastes is a serious offence and subject to large financial penalties.

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