2011 June: Zetland 50 year old pesticide dropped off. Pesticide: DDT

Sydney clean out rounds up 16 bottles of DDT

The NSW Government’s CleanOut Collections Program achieved one of its major aims at a collection in the inner Sydney suburb of Zetland recently, when a householder dropped off 16 bottles of 1940s-manufactured DDT.-Believed to have been stored in a garage for more than 50 years, the haul verifies the program aims to capture old stocks of banned and illegal substances and keep dangerous materials out of the environment and waste stream. Glen Sheffer of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water’s (DECCW) Sustainability Programs Division said while organochlorines and PCBs were dropped off fairly frequently at collections, the labelled DDT bottles were unusual. “This householder absolutely did the right thing by dropping these off at their local collection,” he said. “These dangerous toxins would have been sitting in a garage for years. Now they’re securely out of the environment and out of anyone’s home to be safely destroyed and properly disposed of by our contactor, Chemsal.” Sheffer said DECCW has run more than 340 collections since the CleanOut service was set up in 2003, with 138,000 householders depositing more than 5,000 tonnes of potentially hazardous materials. The Clean Out Collections are funded by DECCW’s Resource Recovery section and hosted by councils across Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra. Funding is also provided to regional councils to run their own CleanOut Collection service DDT, or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, was banned in Australia in 1987. Internationally its use has been linked to breast, prostrate and liver cancers, miscarriage and diabetes, as well as animal species loss.