Storing and disposal of chemicals

Agricultural chemicals and veterinary products used on farms are safe when used, stored and disposed of correctly. 

Recycling and disposing of rural chemicals and containers

Dispose of agricultural and veterinary chemicals and containers safely to minimise contamination, environmental harm and risk to health and safety.
All product labels give disposal instructions. Read the labels and follow the advice.

Unused chemicals

Recycle unused chemicals

Pass the chemicals onto someone else who is eligible to buy and use the product. The product, container and label must still be:

  • registered for use
  • in good condition.

Take unused chemicals to Zero Waste

Take your chemicals to:

  • a Zero Waste temporary collection point
  • the Zero Waste collection depot at Dry Creek.

Register unused chemicals for a ChemClear collection

Register your chemicals for collection with ChemClear
Phone: 1800 008 182

Empty containers

Rinse chemical containers

Rinse all chemical containers before disposal. Follow the drumMuster standard for rinsing chemical containers.

Agvet chemical containers

Take empty agvet chemical containers to a drumMuster collection site.

Non agvet chemical containers

  • Puncture or crush the containers.
  • Dump the containers at your council rubbish tip.
  • Never burn chemical containers.

Bury chemical containers

Bury chemical containers as a last resort only.

  • Choose a site that will not allow seepage into watercourses or groundwater.
  • Bury the containers under at least 50 cm of soil.
  • Signpost the site as a contaminated area.

Related information

Agricultural and Veterinary Products (Control of Use) Act 2002
Environment Protection Act, 1993

Dangerous goods safety

Store agricultural and veterinary chemicals classified as dangerous goods safely and securely. Dangerous goods can be toxic, corrosive or flammable.

Class 6 toxic and class 8 corrosive dangerous goods

Storage requirements for class 6 toxic and class 8 corrosive dangerous goods include:

  • location
  • segregation from other goods
  • security
  • weather protection
  • ventilation
  • containment of spillage
  • chemical container management
  • signage.

These requirements are good practice for storing of all agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Location and segregation

  • Isolated, stand-alone buildings are required for large quantities of flammable chemicals.
  • Isolated, stand-alone buildings are preferable for large quantities of other dangerous chemicals.
  • Partitioned sections of multipurpose buildings are acceptable so long as people or animals do not live there e.g. a farm shed.
  • Steel cupboards within a multipurpose building are acceptable for small quantities of chemicals so long as people or animals do not live there e.g. garden shed.

Do not keep agricultural or veterinary chemicals in a house.
Do not store near food, feed packaging or medical supplies.

Security

  • Keep all chemical containers in storage when they are not in use.
  • Lock the chemical storage facility when no one is there.
  • Secure storage facilities located in multi-purpose buildings separately to prevent unauthorised access.

Weather Protection

  • Chemicals must be protected from moisture, rain, direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • Ventilation
  • Chemical storage facilities must have adequate ventilation to allow vapours to escape.

Containment of spillage

Contain spills or leaks of agricultural and veterinary chemicals within the storage facility: The facility should have:

  • Impervious floor resistant to chemical attack e.g. concrete with integrated perimeter bunding resistant to chemical attack.
  • Impervious floor resistant to chemical attack, sloped to a collection area.
  • Portable bunding resistant to chemical attack e.g. plastic trays.

EPA funding and Spill Management guideline

Chemical container management

Keep agricultural and veterinary chemicals in suitable containers to prevent accidental interaction or contamination. Keep the original containers with intact labels where possible.

Containers must be clearly marked or labelled with the:

  • name of the product
  • concentration of each active constituent

Food or drink containers must not be used to store agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Warning signs

Where Class 6 and, or Class 8 Dangerous Goods are stored display:

  • class label signs
  • signs prohibiting fire, naked flame and smoking
  • signs for other chemicals.

Report chemical misuse

Agricultural and veterinary chemicals misuse hotline: 1300 799 684
How to report chemical misuse

Related information

Store agricultural and veterinary chemicals safely
Dangerous Substances Act 1979
Dangerous Substances Regulations 2002
Australian Standard for the Storage and Handling of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals

 

Page Last Reviewed: 16 Feb 2015
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