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Households can get rid of hazardous waste

Households can get rid of hazardous waste

Wednesday 16 February 2004

Thousands of Bay of Plenty households will soon have the chance to get rid of their old paints, poisons and pesticides - safely.

Environment Bay of Plenty and local district councils are bringing the HazMobile, a household hazardous waste collection service, to four centres in the eastern and western Bay of Plenty over the next few weeks.

It will stop in Tauranga on Saturday, 5 March and Te Puke on Saturday 12 March and will visit Opotiki and Whakatane in April and May.

The HazMobile serviced close to 1000 loads of hazardous waste when it visited the region last year but Environment Bay of Plenty’s Paul Futter expects it to be even busier this time.

“Many sheds and garages are full of quite hazardous junk,” he says. “Often, people don’t know what to do with it because they realise they can’t put it out with the normal rubbish. So they really appreciate having the opportunity to safely dispose of it.”

Mr Futter points out that hazardous waste stored in a house, shed or garage can be dangerous both to the environment and to people’s health.

“Sometimes materials can react with each other and cause a fire or create toxic fumes. A container may leak and contaminate the soil or groundwater, and ultimately streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean.”

The Hazmobile will accept hazardous materials like solvents and paint strippers, glues, all types of garden chemicals and cleaners, batteries and even old gas cylinders. However, it is not allowed to accept medical waste or explosives and cannot transport materials containing asbestos. It also does not take waste from commercial operators.

Mr Futter asks people bringing material to the HazMobile to make sure all containers are in good condition so they travel safely. “Please check for holes and leaky lids and transport them upright and secured so they cannot fall over. Leaking containers must be re-contained first in buckets with a lid or inside plastic or glass containers that can be sealed. Please label the container clearly.”

For more information, contact your district council or Environment Bay of Plenty on 0800 ENV BOP (368 267) or go to www.envbop.govt.nz.

ENDS

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