You might be surprised to learn that common items from our homes, such as batteries, fluorescent lights, unused medicines and flares can be hazardous.
Household hazardous waste can’t be poured down the sink or put in the waste or recycling bin, because it can damage the environment including waterways, vegetation and soil. So where do we take it?
Household hazardous waste includes a broad range of products that are flammable, toxic, explosive or corrosive. A substance is hazardous if:
- it can catch fire
- react or explode when mixed with other substances
- releases dangerous vapours or
- is corrosive or toxic.
Some medical waste, such as sharps and syringes, are classified as bio-hazardous waste.
Hazardous and bio-hazardous waste items should not be placed in your kerbside waste or recycling bin, but taken to your closest drop-off point.
Disposing of hazardous and bio-hazardous waste correctly will not only protect our environment, but the people who collect our kerbside bins, sort our recycling and work at our landfills.
We’ve listed local drop-offs below to help you correctly dispose of your hazardous waste.
Unwanted ammunition should be taken to your local police station (which will issue a property receipt), a licensed firearms dealer, or through an individual who is appropriately licensed under the Firearms Act 1996.
It is recommended that you contact your local police station or the premises of a licensed firearms dealer to arrange for surrender of the ammunition.
If you are required to transport the ammunition for disposal purposes, you must ensure that it is transported in a safe and secure manner that is not dangerous, and that you take reasonable precautions to ensure that the ammunition is not lost or stolen.
The disposal of asbestos, whether from a workplace or household, is controlled by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The Drysdale landfill is EPA-approved to receive small quantities of asbestos only, such as those from a DIY job.
The asbestos must be correctly packaged or may be refused by the landfill.
Call the EPA on 1300 372 842 for advice or visit the EPA website.
Batteries (single-use and rechargeable)
Batteries can contain toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead that may contaminate soil and groundwater if they are sent to landfill. Small household batteries are the most common form of hazardous waste in Australia.
Drop off your AA, AAA, C, D and 9volt batteries (domestic quantities only) free of charge at:
Gas BBQ bottles
Drop off for free at:
Flares have a serviceable life of three years and must be replaced when their use-by-dates are expired.
Flares can be dropped off at your local police station but contact them first to confirm they can accept them.
Fluorescent tubes and lights
Used tubes and bulbs are the largest source of mercury contamination in landfills. The mercury inside them converts to methyl mercury, a toxic and volatile gas that can easily escape into the environment.
Drop off your fluorescent tubes free of charge at Geelong Resource Recovery Centre.
You can drop medicines off for free at your local pharmacy through the Returned Unwanted Medicines (RUM) project. The pharmacist will put the medicines in a secure bin for collection and safe disposal.
Visit Return Unwanted Medicines for more information.
Motor oil (limits apply)
A maximum of 30 litres in any one transaction will be accepted. Maximum size of oil container is five litres.
Domestic quantities only – up to 30 litres in one transaction.
Accepted free of charge at:
Medical sharps (syringes and needles) disposal bins can be found at the following locations:
- Bellarine Community Health Centre - 78 Presidents Avenue Ocean Grove
- Belmont Community Health Centre - Reynolds Rd Belmont
- Belmont Library - 163 High Street Belmont
- Corio Community Health Centre (Carpark of building) - Gellibrand Street Corio
- Corio Community Health Centre (Street side of building) - Gellibrand Street Corio
- Drysdale Library - 2-8 Wyndham Street Drysdale
- Geelong Hospital (Front Emergency Entrance) - Ryrie Street Geelong
- Geelong Library - 51 Little Malop Street Geelong
- Geelong West Library -153a Pakington Street Geelong West
- Labuan Square - Labuan Square Norlane
- Newcomb Community Health Centre - 104-108 Bellarine Highway East Geelong
- Renal Services - Home Dialysis - Unit 74-76 Swanston Street Geelong
- Waurn Ponds Library - 140 Pioneer Road Grovedale
Sharps disposal locations are subject to change. Always check with the centre/organisation beforehand.