BANNED pesticides will be destroyed at a Laverton North company from Friday during a three-month trial of new technology to be overseen by the Environment Protection Authority.
EPA major projects manager German Ferrando-Miguel said the trial of new methods would involve the destruction of half a tonne of a total of 80 tonnes of banned pesticides.
The chemicals had been stored in UN-dangerous goods approved drums sitting on pallets at a chemical storage facility in nearby Fitzgerald Rd for more than 15 years, he said.
The waste would be transported in drums in a truck the two kilometres between Fitzgerald and Dohertys roads on Friday, March 11.
He said that following the 2001 Stockholm Convention — an international treaty to protect human health and the environment from persistent pollutants — the use of certain pesticides, fungicides and other veterinary chemicals were banned in Victoria.
The collection of these chemicals from across Victoria at the time, mainly from the agricultural and veterinary sectors, totalled 235 tonnes.
“Most of the collected chemicals were able to be treated, disposed of or destroyed safely and easily however the EPA, on behalf of the State Government, currently manages the remaining 80 tonnes that were unable to be treated due to them being a complex mix of pesticides,” Dr Ferrando-Miguel said.
“Until recently, there has not been a viable and safe solution for the treatment and destruction of these chemical wastes and they have been securely and safely stored in Melbourne over the past 15 years.
“Fortunately, technology at waste management facilities has since evolved to now allow these chemical wastes to be treated and destroyed safely.”
Dr Ferrando-Miguel said following a rigorous and extensive process, Sterihealth in Dohertys Rd, Laverton North, and another facility in Queensland, had been selected to trial their proposals.
“The EPA, together with an independent technical expert, will assess the results of the trial to determine the most effective treatment methodologies and determine the most appropriate solution to treat the remaining waste,” he said.
“The EPA will oversee the trials to ensure they are conducted according to best practice methods that also apply to the treatment and destruction of similar chemicals.
The aim is to ensure that minimal end products remain following treatment.”