AS THE festive season rolls around once more, residents are encouraged to get ready by decluttering their homes of household chemical waste and hazardous materials.
The NSW Environmental Protection Authority is calling on people to take advantage of the frequent Chemical CleanOut events and make the most of community recycling centres.
Across the Riverina this year, the EPA held 12 Chemical CleanOut events, which offer residents the chance to dispose of old and unwanted household chemicals safely at no cost.
These items include solvents, poisons, pool chemicals, batteries, paint, motor oils and fluids, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
There was 5471.50 kgs of household chemicals collected across nine local government areas in the Riverina, EPA data shows.
"It was excellent to see such large contributions by the Riverina region at the events in May this year," a Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokesperson said.
"Wagga's site had a strong response, with 3209 kgs returned across two events.
"Lockhart also performed strongly with 703 kgs returned at its sole event."
Of the total household chemicals collected, 1325 kgs were solvent and water-based paint, 973 kgs were general household chemicals and 1146 kgs were pesticides.
LGAs that participated in the 12 Chemical CleanOut events: Bland, Coolamon, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Greater Hume, Junee, Lockhart, Temora, Snowy Valleys and Wagga.
While no CleanOut events are scheduled for the Riverina this December, residents may still dispose of such materials at community recycling centres.
"Many of these materials can be recycled so not only will residents be helping to reduce pollution, they will also be helping in resource recovery efforts," Department of Planning, Industry and Environment executive director Sanjay Sridher said.
Many of these materials can be recycled so not only will residents be helping to reduce pollution, they will also be helping in resource recovery efforts.Sanjay Sridher, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment executive director
"Last financial year, over 1,500 tonnes of household hazardous waste were recycled or safely disposed of through this CleanOut program."
In 2018-19 householders disposed of 119,061 kilograms of gas cylinders, 113,939 kilograms of batteries and 147,387 kilograms of oil at CleanOut events.
More than 895,000 kilograms of paint was collected and recycled.
Mr Sridher advised people to transport chemicals safely by making sure containers were upright, any lids tightly secured and packed carefully to avoid the risk of spills.
Car windows should be opened if disposing of flammable or odorous materials.