Disposing of hazardous substances
Safe disposal of hazardous substances plays an important role in reducing risks to both people and the environment.
Some transfer stations in the Waikato region take small quantities of household and farm hazardous substances. However, they usually don’t take hazardous substances from farms and orchards, commercial businesses or industries.
The best way to dispose of hazardous substances is to isolate them from other waste and send them for recycling or disposal at special facilities. While there are some collection sites for hazardous waste in the Waikato region, there are no disposal facilities. Currently, hazardous waste dropped off at collection sites is sent to Auckland for treatment and disposal as specialist sites.
There are some transfer stations in the Waikato region where people can drop off household hazardous substances.
Collection depots in the Waikato region usually don’t take:
- explosives - including flares
- radioactive material
- hazardous waste from commercial businesses or industries.
Your local district or city council will be able to tell you how to contact your nearest transfer station or where you might be able to dispose of your household hazardous waste. Its worth phoning to find out where you can take your household hazardous waste before making the trip.
Disposal of hazardous commercial and industrial waste is the responsibility of the operator. The names and contact details of commercial disposal operators can be found in Telecom's Yellow Pages under ‘Hazardous Industrial/Commercial Waste’.
Unfortunately, some hazardous wastes are dumped illegally at landfills. Landfills do not have the proper facilities to deal with hazardous wastes and there is a risk of hazardous wastes in landfills leaching into the environment. For some types of hazardous waste there are no facilities to treat, recycle or dispose of them in New Zealand. This waste is securely stored until it can be transported offshore for incineration or until suitable treatment options are available in New Zealand.
Waste from farms such as agrichemicals, silage covers and plastic wrap can be reused, recycled or carefully disposed of.
LTL Covers manufacture reusable silage covers. Find them at 1 Short Street, Matamata or ring them on 07 888 4007.
Agrecovery offer collection of unwanted agrichemicals as well as recycling of plastic containers and large drums. Find out more by visiting their website or ringing 0800 AGRECOVERY (0800-247326).
Find out more about disposing of unwanted agrichemicals.
Lead is a heavy metal that’s poisonous to people and animals. Although it’s not used for exterior house paint in New Zealand anymore, lead-based paint can still be found on some older houses (especially those built before the late 1970s).
The removal of lead-based paint during home renovation can put people and animals at risk. Unfortunately, cases of children getting lead poisoning from lead-based paint are still relatively common. Young children can swallow harmful amounts of lead by eating, chewing or putting lead contaminated paint flakes or dust in their mouths. Untreated, lead poisoning can lead to brain damage and even death.
If your home has lead-based paint, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of lead poisoning:
- Hire a professional to remove the paint when redecorating.
- Keep surfaces as clean and dust-free as possible.
- Wash your hands before eating.
- Keep children away from areas where paint is chipped or peeling.
WorkSafe New Zealand also has comprehensive guidelines for managing lead-based paint.
What we throw away - find out about the composition of waste going into landfills in our region.