Recycling and Safe Disposal of Chemicals and Batteries
Many chemical products pass their expiry date, are replaced by newer products, are banned by legislation, or are simply no longer needed. What do you do with these old products? How do you dispose of them safely?
Products you may need to dispose of
- Smoke alarms
- Batteries - regular batteries and lead acid batteries for cars and boats, etc
- BCF fire extinguishers containing halon gases that affect the ozone layer
- Distress flares
- LPG cylinders and other gas bottles
- Paints and solvents
- Motor oils and other oils
- Household cleaners
- Garden chemicals and pesticides
How and where to dispose
All over NSW there are Community Recycling Centres (CRC) and Household Chemical CleanOut events, where you can drop off household problem waste for free. Most of the above products in household quantities and amounts can be taken to a CRC or a Cleanout event. For your nearest CRC venue and Cleanout event times visit the EPA website [external link].
For any business and commercial quantity waste enquiries, visit https://businessrecycling.com.au [external link].
Ionisation type smoke alarms are slightly radioactive, and up to 10 may be placed in the regular household rubbish. See our Safe disposal of smoke alarms fact sheet. They may also be taken to a CRC or a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link].
Batteries - rechargeable and non rechargeable
Any brand of AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries can be recycled at any Aldi store or Battery world. For more information and to locate your closest store visit the Planet Arc website [external link]. They may also be taken to a CRC or a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link].
Batteries - lead acid (car batteries)
Most car workshops, scrap metal dealers and service stations will accept used car batteries for recycling. They may also be taken to a CRC or a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link].
BCF and other fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers may be taken for disposal and/or recycling to a CRC or a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link].
Hazadous chemicals including but not limited to: poisons, household cleaners and chemicals, pool chemicals, garden chemicals and pesticides, cosmetics and skincare products can be taken to a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link]. Chemicals should never be placed in household waste or disposed of into drains.
NSW Roads and Maritime maintains a program each year to help boaters dispose of expired and unwanted marine flares at various state-wide locations. For venues and dates near you visit the RMS website [external link].
LPG and other gas cylinders
Gas bottles/cylinders may be taken for disposal and/or recycling to a CRC or a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link].
Return any unwanted medicines and medications to your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist has access to a secure bin used for collection and safe disposal.
Paints and solvents
Paints and associated solvents may be taken for disposal to a CRC or a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link].
Used motor oil
Supercheap Auto now runs a used motor oil recycling scheme free of charge. Pour your used motor oil into sealable bottles and take to any of their stores Australia wide. Locate your nearest store here [external link]. Used motor and other oils may also be taken for disposal and/or recycling to a CRC or a Household Chemical Cleanout event [external link].
Storing and transporting unwanted chemicals
- Never mix chemicals as this may produce dangerous reactions.
- Wherever possible keep all chemicals in their original containers.
- Ensure containers are clearly labelled and well-sealed. If you do not know the contents, label the container 'unknown chemical'.
- Liquid can leak during transport: wrap containers holding liquids securely in newspaper, place in sturdy plastic bags and then in plastic buckets or trays.
- Keep household chemicals away from passengers, for example, by placing them in the boot of your car.
- Follow first-aid instructions. If skin or eyes are burnt, if chemical has been swallowed or ingested or fumes inhaled - seek immediate medical attention.
- Remember the Poisons Information Line: 131 126
In an Emergency Call Triple Zero (000)
A collaboration of the Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service