A hazardous substance is any substance that may be explosive, corrosive, flammable, able to oxidise, toxic or eco-toxic (see image below). Most of us use hazardous substances every day at home and at work. Unwanted hazardous substances should not be disposed of with general rubbish - the annual Hazmobile collection is a safe and easy way to dispose of such waste.
Hastings District and Napier City Councils host an annual hazardous waste collection in November every year. The Hastings collection this year will be in the Splash Planet car park between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday 12th of November. The Napier collection will be on Sunday 13th of November at Eastern Truck and Marine during the same hours. HazMobile is a mobile, household hazardous waste collection service. It's a free service for householders provided by the Hastings District Council and Napier City Council
Hazardous waste can be dangerous at every stage of its 'life'. Hazardous materials stored at home could react with one another and cause a fire or toxic fumes. Children could poison themselves. A container may leak and contaminate the soil or groundwater. If hazardous waste is disposed of with the rest of the household rubbish or put out with the inorganic rubbish collection, the people who pick up the rubbish could be injured. Hazardous waste that ends up in our landfill could pollute our environment.
By offering a special collection for this waste, the Hastings District and Napier City councils provide householders with a chance to 'do the right thing' for everyone's health and for the environment - and it's a great opportunity to raise awareness about hazardous waste!
Information about what the HazMobile accepts and refuses:
All containers should be in good condition - this means they should not have holes or be brittle, and the lid must be fitted tightly. They must be transported upright and secured so that they cannot fall over or leak liquid or gas. If you do have a leaking container, put it into a bucket with a lid, and please remember to do this outside so that any fumes can disperse easily. Heavy-duty plastic bags may be acceptable for solid wastes. Please label the container clearly to help the person receiving the waste. You can help us - and yourself - by putting your household hazardous waste upright into cardboard boxes. This way, you protect your car from leaks, and when you arrive at the HazMobile all we need to do is lift out the box and you can be on your way!
But if you have to have hazardous materials at home, make sure they are always stored safely and securely:
- Keep hazardous materials dry and away from heat or flames
- Always keep things in their original container so that you know what it is
- If the container is leaking and you have to use another, label it correctly
- Keep lids tightly closed
- Always keep hazardous materials out of the reach of children - for example in a locked cupboard
The majority of the waste we collect is in fact recycled, or can sometimes be re-used.
Approximately 75% of the waste paint collected is recycled, the final product being used for anti-graffiti work. The remainder, usually toxic or otherwise unusable paint, is treated before disposal to landfill. Paint cans are recycled as are plastic paint pails.
Much of the waste oil and petrol is used as a fuel source for heating, for example to fire a large New Zealand cement Kiln. Wet cell batteries (lead-acid) are recycled in New Zealand, while rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium and mercury-containing batteries are recycled overseas.
Risks posed by hazardous substances
We are also broadly familiar with the most important risks they pose, for example:
- The flammability of methylated spirits or petrol
- The oxidising capacity of a common household bleach
- The ecotoxic nature of some garden chemicals
In reality, most hazardous substances have more than one hazardous property, that is, they are hazardous in a number of ways.
For example, methylated spirits and petrol are not only flammable but also toxic. Some common garden pesticides not only kill garden pests but also beneficial organisms, and may be toxic to humans.
Anyone who uses or is involved with hazardous substances needs good information on their potential risks and how to use them safely. The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act provides a platform for completely assessing a hazardous substance so that it can be managed appropriately.
Visit the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) website for more detailed information about hazardous substances in New Zealand.
OSH keeps New Zealander's safe and healthy at work. OSH administers the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act) that encourages employers to follow a systematic approach of hazard identification and management to workplace safety.
OSH also administers the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 which covers the health and safety of people and the protection of the environment by setting standards for managing the adverse effects of hazardous substances and new organisms.
National Poisons Centre
This is a nationwide service providing information on poisons and hazardous chemicals to health authorities, emergency services and the public. The centre provides excellent information in an event of drug overdose.
Postal Address: PO Box 913, Dunedin
Physical Address: Otago Medical School, Dunedin
Phone: 03 474 7000 24hrs Emergency, 0800 POISON (0800 746 766)
Fax: 03 477 0509