Hazardous waste removed by truckload

SHELLEY ROBINSON
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2014

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Five kilograms of hypodermic needles, 39kg of medical waste, 4527 spray cans and 257,970kg of paint are among the hazardous household materials cleared from Christchurch's residential red zone.

Demolition contractors and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority have picked through properties in the Government's derelict red zone recovering 320,500kg of hazardous waste.

Paint was the most common, with 257,970kg recovered.

Household chemicals were second with 27,963kg.

Among the more eyebrow-raising in the collection are 5kg of hypodermic needles, 39kg of medical waste and 2323kg of intractable waste that must be incinerated.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) said the needles came from a vet clinic.

The Waste and Environmental Management Team, a special taskforce set up by the Government, ECan and district and city councils to manage hazardous waste related to the earthquake, has completed clearing 86 per cent of the red zone properties.

The taskforce was set up to avoid long-term problems in waste and contaminated land.

Before the earthquakes, Christchurch's waste industry could cope with 225,000 tonnes of city waste and 600,000 tonnes of contaminated waste yearly.

It has been estimated that the earthquakes would end up producing 8.75 million tonnes of contaminated waste.

Most of the hazardous material is recycled or disposed of in New Zealand but fluoro bulb tubes are sent for recycling to Australia and intractable waste is sent off shore for incineration.

Fuel is recycled for industrial re-use.

Needles and medical waste are sent to Sanipak for disposal.

Clearance of household hazardous waste is expected to be completed by December with the exception of the Port Hills properties.

WASTE RECOVERED:

Aerosol cans 4527

Car batteries 501

Fluorobulb tubes 264

Ni-Cad batteries 136

Gas cylinders 0.5kg

405 Gas cylinders 9kg

268 Gas cylinders 45kg

40 Agrichemicals liquid 4542kg

Agrichemicals solid 1385kg

Fuel 1780kg

Household chemicals 27,963kg

Intractable waste 2323kg

Medical waste 39kg

Other 753kg

Organic biological waste 242kg

Oxidisers-pool chemicals 1143kg

Sharps 5kg

Solvents 4853kg

Paint 257,970kg

Waste oil 9269kg

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