Pest managers with empty chemical containers, or unused or unwanted chemicals, can dispose of them safely through Agsafe’s popular environmental initiatives. 

Ever wondered what happens to used pesticide and insecticide containers? For many years, farmers, pest managers and other chemical users had few options for disposing of used containers. Consequently, they were dumped, buried or burned.

Times have changed and chemical users are aware of the potential uses of recyclable plastics, plus most QA food safety programs require a demonstration of commitment to environmental safety.

Enter product stewardship – a whole- of-life-cycle approach to the ethical management of products, from the original manufacture though to use and end-of-life disposal.

Agsafe’s chemical product stewardship programs, drumMUSTER and ChemClear, divert used containers and obsolete chemicals from land fill, re-routing them into recycling and responsible disposal pathways that assist in keeping land and waterways safe.

Since drumMUSTER started operations in 1998, more than 37,000 tonnes of unwanted plastics have been diverted from land ll sites into recycling programs, which has saved Australian local councils a massive $33 million on land fill costs for waste management purposes. There are over 800 collection sites throughout Australia including over 350 local council sites and the participation of over 130 community groups.

The programs are funded by an ACCC authorised levy which will become $0.06 per litre/kg from July 1, 2019; the levy was originally set at $0.04 litre/kg in 1998, so this is the first increase in 20 years. The levy is collected by AgStewardship from the product manufacturers, for whom the levy is a way of offsetting their manufacturing footprint.

Plastics make up the majority of chemical containers. Pest managers can take note that containers displaying the drumMUSTER logo have a suitable recycling pathway aimed at reducing Australia’s carbon emissions and conserving our resources.

Once the stored, empty, clean containers are collected, they are shredded and granulated, processed into pellets via heat extrusion, then re-used to to make wheelie bins, fencing, pipes, bollards, road markers and public furniture.

Dominique Doyle, Agsafe’s general manager, said of the program, “Pest control businesses who frequent drumMUSTER sites are setting a good example of how the simple act of recycling can keep land and waterways cleaner and litter-free, and communities safer.”

There are over 800 drumMUSTER collection sites across Australia where pest managers can drop of their empty, clean chemical containers to be processed and recycled. Visit www.drummuster.org.au to find the nearest location.

Pest managers with unwanted or obsolete chemicals can dispose of them safely by visiting www. chemclear.org.au and registering them for collection. Collection events are scheduled on demand, based on the volume of chemical registrations received by each region and state across Australia, usually two or three state collections and several regional collections annually. Those in Sydney or Melbourne can dispose of chemicals at the permanent collection sites in each city.