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Nearly 100 tonnes of hazardous waste diverted from landfill in two years

A phenomenal 97 tonnes of potentially hazardous material has been disposed of safely and at no cost through the household chemical and paint drop off facility at the Heathfield Resource Recovery Centre since it opened in September 2019.

What that means is that in the last two years Adelaide Hills residents and the broader community have responsibly managed the disposal of more tonnes of hazardous waste, including chemicals, paints, insecticides, varnishes and solvents, than the maximum take-off weight of a Qantas Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Mayor Jan-Claire Wisdom says the Adelaide Hills Council knows how passionate the community is about sustainability and doing their bit to keep materials out of landfill and this increase in paints and chemicals being recycled is a real testament to this commitment.

"The Council is proud to be able to offer this service and excited to see how the community is choosing to protect their families and the environment through a 242% increase in the safe disposal of hazardous waste by weight in the past twelve months," Mayor Wisdom says.

"We are very pleased to continue to support this important work with the Adelaide Hills Region Waste Management Authority and Green Industries SA, offering this free service to Adelaide Hills residents and the broader regional community."

Adelaide Hills Region Waste Management Authority (AHRWMA) Strategic Resource Recovery Coordinator, Sarah Barrett, is delighted with the 242% increase in hazardous waste being dropped-off in the last twelve months to the Heathfield Resource Recovery Centre, which is owned by the Adelaide Hills Council and operated by AHRWMA.

"Instead of Adelaide Hills residents placing their hazardous waste materials in kerbside waste bins or pouring them down the drain, potentially causing all sorts of environmental damage or detrimental health effects, there has been a huge 665% increase in kgs of waste oil, a 278% increase in kgs of solvent-based paint and a 254% increase in kgs of water-based paint being dropped-off for safe disposal," Sarah says.

"These are just some of the waste materials that make up the more than 69,000 kg, or 69 tonnes, of hazardous waste that responsible residents have dropped off free of charge to the Heathfield Resource Recovery Centre (HRRC) in the 20/21 financial year alone.

"With people spending more time at home, and with word spreading about the Heathfield Centre proving to be a great solution, less potentially hazardous waste is now sitting in homes or sheds.

"We hope this trend continues and encourage everyone to bring items they need to dispose of to the Heathfield Centre where the staff will happily answer any questions and explain whether their waste is on the very long list of items that can be accepted."

Green Industries SA Manager of Local Government and Infrastructure, Justin Lang, says it is pleasing to see the significant increases in items such as paint, oil, flammable and corrosive liquids being safely managed.

"It has been amazing to see such an overwhelming uptake of the household chemical and paint drop-off service that is resulting in huge volumes of material being diverted from land-fill waste and in many instances being recycled," Justin says.

"We know how important it is for residents to take these unwanted materials to their local waste management facility and so we are encouraging everyone to continue to make use of this free service thereby minimising the risk of environmental damage."

The list of the top ten most disposed of hazardous waste items is below but more information, including a full list of what can and can't be accepted by the centre, can be found at www.ahrwma.com/heathfield-services.

Top ten hazardous waste quantity increases (by percentage) by category at the Heathfield Resource Recovery Centre:

Chemical name
​2019-20 (kg)
​2020-21 (kg)
​Grand Total
​Waste oil
​Solvent-based paint
​Water-based paint
​Carbon Dioxide canister
​Gas bottles LPG
​Alkaline batteries
​Aerosol paints
​Flammable liquids

*Creosote is a toxic organic liquid

The Heathfield Resource Recovery Centre is located on Scott Road at Heathfield and is open Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 4 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 4 pm.

How to dispose of your unwanted paints and chemicals for free:


Mayor Wisdom at the Chemical and Paint drop off centre
Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
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