EPA has arranged for the safe treatment and disposal of 80 tonnes of toxic waste that has been stored in Victoria since 2001.
Following extensive trials with waste management specialists, EPA has selected Toxfree in Queensland to undertake stabilisation and disposal of the waste – which contains a complex mix of pesticides.
Specialist transport services have been secured to ensure safe transport of the waste from storage facilities in Victoria to processing facilities in Narangba, Queensland.
All relevant, current standards and guidelines will apply throughout the transport, treatment and disposal process. EPA has also required that any issues must be reported to EPA and addressed according to the agreed process.
Transportation of the waste commences in the last quarter of 2018 with disposal expected to be complete by December 2020 or earlier.
The waste was collected and stored by EPA, on behalf of the State Government, as part of a nationally coordinated program called ChemCollect.
ChemCollect called for collection and safe disposal of certain banned pesticides, fungicides, and other veterinary chemicals.
Approximately 235 tonnes were collected in Victoria and 1676 tonnes were collected nationwide. Most of the collected chemicals were treated, disposed of or destroyed safely at the time, however EPA was required to manage a stockpile of 80 tonnes that were unable to be treated due to the mix of pesticides.
Until recently, there has not been a viable and safe solution for the treatment and destruction of the chemicals. The waste has been stored securely in Melbourne until technology at waste management facilities evolved to allow for safe treatment and disposal of the chemicals.
EPA led rigorous and extensive technical and commercial assessments before finding two facilities that were put through waste treatment trials in 2016. Sterihealth in Laverton, Victoria and Toxfree in Queensland participated in the trials, with each company stabilising and disposing of half a tonne of waste.
EPA was responsible for overseeing the trials to ensure they were conducted according to best practice methods.
The trials determined that ToxFree in Queensland has the most suitable available technologies and processes to resolve the issue from an environmental, commercial and technical perspective.
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