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Household Hazardous Waste

Disposing of household hazardous waste

Some types of household waste require special disposal arrangements because they have properties that are flammable, corrosive, explosive or toxic to humans or the environment. Some chemicals can cause fires or explosions, rapid chemical reactions or immediate health risks such as poisoning.

There are other substances that have health effects that are not always obvious - symptoms may develop only years after repeated exposure and may cause chronic illnesses such as cancer, asthma, dermatitis and other diseases. A few examples of household hazardous waste include pool chemicals, cleaning products, batteries, tyres, electronic waste and unwanted medicines.

Although you may think that it would be safe to place all types of waste in the household wheelie bin, the following problems can occur:

  • Some waste materials can react causing a fire in the bin or the garbage truck thus causing a hazard for truck drivers and the community.
  • You can never assume that no one will come in contact with the contents of your bin. Bins can get knocked over at the kerbside or waste can be spilled during servicing.
  • Some liquids such as paint and oil can make a terrible mess when the garbage truck compacts the containers releasing the liquid. The paint or oil can be sprayed out of the truck onto nearby cars or property. This is the main reason why paint should to be dried out before disposal and waste oil is better taken to a recycling and refuse centre.

Council is also limited on the type of hazardous waste that it is allowed to accept at Council recycling and refuse centres.

Under the conditions of its environmental licence, the Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre is only approved to accept a limited range of hazardous waste, such as waste oil, vehicle batteries and tyres. The licence stipulates that these wastes can only be sourced from domestic premises and must not be disposed in the waste pit but directed to a separate storage area for specialised disposal or recycling.

The Rosewood Recycling and Refuse Centre has licence conditions are even more stringent and may only accept and temporarily store hazardous wastes such as waste oil, vehicle batteries, tyres and empty and cleaned chemical drums. Waste must come directly from domestic premises, each regulated waste stream must be segregated and stored in secure waste containers or a bunded containment area and as soon as practicable, temporarily stored regulated waste must be moved to a licensed facility.

The safe disposal methods for household hazardous waste tables below detail the best way Ipswich residents can dispose of their household hazardous waste.

Free household chemical and listed items drop-off days

Ipswich City Council no longer accepts chemicals and gas cylinders on a daily basis at its public waste disposal facilities due to safety and environmental concerns. Council is providing an alternative disposal option for Ipswich residents with scheduled drop-off days to safely dispose of these items.

Ipswich residents can drop-off the items indicated in the safe disposal methods tables for free on designated collection days. A limit of 20 litres/kilograms of each chemical or product applies per customer per visit. This service is only for Ipswich residents. No material will be accepted from commercial sources. Normal fees apply if residents are also delivering other waste materials to the site.

The next free household chemicals and listed items drop-off day is: to be advised

Safe storage and transportation of chemicals

  • Never mix chemicals, as this may produce dangerous reactions.
  • Try to keep chemicals in original containers.
  • Ensure containers are clearly labelled and sealed; if unsure of what is in the container, label it 'unknown chemical'.
  • Liquid can leak during transit - wrap containers in newspaper and place them in sturdy plastic bags, then pack in a plastic tray or bucket.
  • Keep chemicals away from passengers - the boot is the best place to transport unwanted chemicals.

Other options for chemical waste disposal

The following companies provide drop-off and collection services for the disposal of paint and other chemicals from both domestic and commercial sources. Charges apply for these services. Please note there may be other licenced companies that can be found online or in references such as the Yellow Pages.

Nationwide Oil 26-32 Potassium Street, Narangba
(07) 3293 5555
Accepts: waste oil, batteries, paint, chemicals, rags and empty drums

Transpacific Technical Services Crestmead
Magnesium Street, Crestmead
(07) 3489 4600
Accepts: waste oil, batteries, paint, chemicals, rags and empty drums

Tox Free
160 Musgrave Rd, Coopers Plains
(07) 3277 2474
Accepts: paint, chemicals, batteries, rags, waste oil, empty drums and fluorescent lamp recycling

For more information on paint disposal, please refer to the factsheet: The Right Way To Dispose of Paint (PDF, 145.1 KB).

Safe disposal methods for household hazardous waste

Bathroom

Material Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre Rosewood Recycling and Refuse Centre Refuse wheelie bin Free drop off days

Aftershaves, perfumes and other lotions

NO

NO

YES

NO

Bathroom cleaners and disinfectants

NO

NO

YES

NO

Hair care products

NO

NO

YES

NO

Medicines (refer below)

NO

NO

NO

NO

Sharps (refer below)

NO

NO

YES

NO

Kitchen

Materials Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre Rosewood Recycling and Refuse Centre Refuse wheelie bin Free drop off days

Cooking oil

NO

NO

YES

NO

Insect sprays

NO

NO

YES

NO

Drain cleaner/disinfectant

NO

NO

YES

NO

Floor care products

NO

NO

YES

YES

Metal polish with solvent

NO

NO

YES

YES

Window and ammonia based cleaners

NO

NO

NO

YES

Garage

Material Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre Rosewood Recycling and Refuse Centre Refuse wheelie bin Free drop off days

Antifreeze

NO

NO

NO

YES

Car batteries (lead acid only)

YES

YES

NO

NO

Brake fluid

NO

NO

NO

YES

Car & motorbike tyres

YES

YES

NO

NO

Motor oils, sump oil and gear oil (maximum 20 litres)

YES

YES

NO

NO

Petrol and marine fuel

NO

NO

NO

YES

Windshield washer solution

NO

NO

NO

YES

Garden

Material Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre Rosewood Recycling and Refuse Centre Refuse wheelie bin Free drop off days

Farm chemicals (refer below)

NO

NO

NO

NO

Fungicide/insecticide

NO

NO

NO

YES

Herbicides and weed killers

NO

NO

NO

YES

Other

Material Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre Rosewood Recycling and Refuse Centre Refuse wheelie bin Free drop off days

Ammunition & flares (refer below)

NO

NO

NO

NO

Asbestos (refer below)

NO

NO

NO

NO

Car batteries

YES

YES

NO

NO

Domestic BBQ gas bottles

(refer below)

NO

NO

NO

YES

Electronic waste (refer below)

YES

NO

NO

NO

Household batteries (also refer below)

NO

NO

YES

NO

Liquid paint (also refer below)

YES

NO

NO

YES

Dried paint

NO

NO

YES

NO

Thinners, turpentine, mineral spirits and solvents

NO

NO

NO

YES

Empty paint cans (also refer below)

YES

YES

YES

NO

Dry-cleaning solvents

NO

NO

NO

YES

Fibre glass resins

NO

NO

NO

YES

Swimming pool chemicals

NO

NO

NO

YES

Photographic chemicals

NO

NO

NO

YES

Smoke alarms (refer below)

NO

NO

YES

NO

Fire extinguishers

NO

NO

NO

YES

Ammunition and Flares

Small arms ammunition can be surrendered at nominated firearms dealers throughout Queensland. The Small Arms Ammunition Amnesty website has more details about surrendering small arms ammunition.

Explosives should not be touched or moved. Secure the area and call the Explosives Inspectorate on 1300 739 868 to arrange for the items to be removed or destroyed.

Marine flares can be disposed of in special bins provided by the Queensland Department of Transport at Volunteer Marine Rescue, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and Queensland Transport Maritime Safety Queensland. A flare disposal locations list can be found on the Maritime Safety Queensland website.

Fireworks, including firecrackers, cannot be made, kept or used by member of the public. Collection of fireworks and firecrackers can be arranged with the Explosives Inspectorate on 1300 739 868.

Asbestos

Asbestos health warning
Asbestos is highly toxic, causing a range of lung diseases, that are slow to develop but in many cases deadly. Inhaling the fibres can cause a fibrous stiffening and shrinking of the lung, as well as lung cancer, particularly the incurable, rapidly-growing lung cancer known as mesothelioma.

It is essential that anyone that works with asbestos knows how to protect themselves and the people around them from this dangerous material. Refer to the Queensland Health website for more detailed asbestos handling and removal information.

Asbestos disposal
Ipswich residents may no longer dispose of small domestic quantities of asbestos at the Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre. The only legal means of asbestos disposal within Ipswich will be to hire an asbestos skip from a waste removal agency approved to transport asbestos waste.

For more information on asbestos disposal please refer to the factsheet: Asbestos Disposal from Domestic Sources (PDF, 1.5 MB),

An asbestos skip can be hired from Council for the disposal of asbestos. To book a service contact Ipswich Waste Services on 07 3810 8100.

Dead Animals

Roadside dead animals

Report roadside dead animals for collection to Council on (07) 3810 6666. Dead animals are scanned for a microchip at point of collection from the road or footpath. Owners will be contracted if a microchip is detected.

Dead animal collection service

Council provides a dead animal collection service for Ipswich residents and local businesses. To book a service contact Ipswich Waste Services on 3810 8100. Charges apply.

Domestic BBQ Gas Bottles

Elgas offers a free community service for the disposal and recycling of gas bottles at its 2 Tanker Street, Lytton depot. Elgas accepts any old gas bottles up to 45 kg for safe recycling. They remove any traces of gas, remove the valves and put a puncture in the bottles so that the metal recycling workers know that they are safely decommissioned.

Elgas also offers a SWAP'n'GO BBQ gas bottle refill service where you can swap any 9 kg or 4 kg BBQ gas bottle at your local SWAP'n'GO outlet for a charge. Refer to the Elgas website for further information. Please note that the Elgas collection depot may not be in the Ipswich City Council area.

Raw Metal Corp provides a drop-off service for empty 4 kg or 9 kg BBQ gas bottles:
1156 Boundary Road, Wacol QLD 4076, tel: 1300 729 638
Hours: Monday to Friday 7.30 am - 4.30 pm, Saturday 7.00 am - 12.00 pm, Sunday - closed

Fluorescent Tubes (CFLs)

FluoroCycle is a voluntary product stewardship scheme that seeks to increase the national recycling rate of waste mercury-containing lamps. Lamp recycling can help reduce the amount of mercury being sent to landfill.

A list of waste lamp recyclers can be found on the FluoroCycle.

Empty Paint Cans

Allow empty paint cans dry completely. You can dispose of the cans in a recycling and refuse centre scrap metal bin. If you have an inch or more of dried paint left in the bottom of the can, you'll have to throw the whole can in the refuse bin.

Farm Chemicals and Containers

  • ChemClear is an industry stewardship program which collects and disposes of agvet (agricultural and veterinary) chemical products.
  • drumMUSTER is a program of AgStewardship Australia Limited for disposing of empty farming chemical containers across rural Australia.

For further information on the ChemClear and drumMUSTER programs please visit the AgForce website.

e-Waste

There is a program under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme that provides free disposal drop-off points for televisions, computers and IT accessories. For local drop-off locations, please refer to the Recycling Near You website.

Household Batteries

  • ALDI supermarkets offer a free recycling service for household batteries in every Australian store. To dispose of your used batteries, drop them into the dedicated bins at your nearest Aldi store. Any AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries (both rechargeable and non-rechargeable) are accepted.
  • Battery World also offers a free battery recycling service for their domestic battery disposal. Charges may apply for businesses or community groups. The following types of batteries are accepted:
    • Lead acid batteries, e.g. batteries for cars, boats and motorbikes
    • Mobile phone batteries
    • General purpose batteries, e.g. batteries for toys, calculators, rechargables and games

Liquid Paint

Water-based liquid paint requires special preparation to make it suitable for disposal. For more information view The Right Way To Dispose of Paint (PDF, 145.1 KB).

Medicines

The Commonwealth Department of Health provides funds to collect and dispose of unwanted and out-of-date medicines from the Australian community through the Return Unwanted Medicines (the RUM) project. Unwanted medicines can be taken to your local pharmacy, which will accept them at no charge.

Mobile Phone Recycling

MobileMuster is the Australian mobile phone industry's official product stewardship program. It's a free mobile phone recycling program that accepts all brands and types of mobile phones, plus their batteries, chargers and accessories. For further information on the program or to find your nearest drop-off location, visit the MobileMuster website.

Sharps

Note: this is not a matter governed by Ipswich City Council - the following information has been provided by Queensland Health.

Queensland Health has no resources available to pick up a needle or syringe from a private residence, so it is up to the resident to dispose of the needle themselves.

Safe way to conduct sharps disposal

  • Pick the needle up from the middle end of the barrel, being careful not to come in contact with the needle itself.
  • Still holding the middle end, drop the needle (pointy-end first) into a puncture-proof, shatter-proof container such as an empty shampoo bottle (not glass, aluminium cans or thin plastic).
  • Secure the container and drop it into a sharps disposal bin.
  • The contained needle will be incinerated as medical waste.

Sharps disposal locations in Ipswich

  • Leichhardt Park Ernest Street / Old Toowoomba Road (toilets): single use syringe only, no kits
  • Community Park, 27 John Street, Rosewood: single syringe use only, not kits
  • Riverheart Parkland, 20 Bremer Street, Ipswich (toilets near rail bridge): single syringe use only, no kits)
  • Cameron's Park, Easton Street, Booval (opposite number 10): single use syringe only, no kits
  • Ipswich Health Plaza, Bell Street, Ipswich (entrance, large bin near car park entrance): syringe container disposals
  • Goodna Community Health Centre, 81 Queen Street Goodna (large bins at entrance to car park): syringe container disposals
  • Browns Park, Flint Street, North Ipswich (toilet cubicles): single use syringe only, no kits
  • Langley Park, Bruce Lane, Camira (public toilet adjacent to hall): single use syringe only, no kits

If it is not possible for the customer to access these sharps disposal resources, they are still legally allowed to place the contained needle into their domestic Council rubbish bin (general rubbish, NOT recycling). The needle should still be placed in a puncture-proof container. Glass or plastic containers can be used for this purpose.

Free sharps containers are available from Ipswich Sexual Health, Ipswich Health Plaza, 21 Bell Street, Ipswich.

If an individual is seen unlawfully disposing of a needle or syringe, they can be reported via the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection website.

Smoke Alarms

There are two main types of household smoke alarms - ionisation, which contain a very small amount of radioactive material and photoelectric, which do not contain any such material.

Ionisation smoke alarms are safe under all normal conditions - including fire - and pose no threat to people or the environment.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS), and Queensland Health, advise that in relation to ionisation smoke alarms:

  • The radiation dose to occupants of a house from a domestic ionisation smoke alarm is very small compared to naturally occurring radiation
  • The dose rate to the hands when handling an ionisation smoke alarm is higher but still less than one tenth that from naturally occurring radiation
  • The temperature in a fire may be high enough to melt the radioactive material, but not to vaporise it, so there is no inhalation danger during or after a fire
  • Individual or small numbers of ionisation smoke alarms can be safely disposed of in the general waste bin.
  • The amount of the same type of radioactivity in normal soils is equivalent to a dozen or more ionisation smoke alarms in every cubic metre. Therefore, the dispersal of ionisation smoke alarms, even in large numbers, through refuse landfill sites, is not of concern.