LIKE many of us, I was glued to the TV set watching the recent incredible floods which rivalled 1974 in many instances.
The disturbing images of livestock being washed downstream was one thing but the other concern I had was the number of drums getting swept away as well. I have no idea whether they were all full or empty but they are not going to do any good with the direction they were heading.
We answered the call of drumMUSTER, with more than 20 million containers recycled so far it is an excellent effort from all.
Now, I keep seeing an old 20-litre drum of cattle dip getting washed downstream in its bright yellow container. It obviously had some liquid or crystallised product still in it from its upright passage downstream. I recognised it from long ago and did not need the visible skull and cross-bones to tell me it was toxic.
Obviously, someone had stored this drum - maybe consciously in a properly bonded and secured area - but now it was out and who knows what repercussions it may have in the future?
So what can you do and, more specifically, should you do, despite being time-poor? Get onboard with drumMUSTER and add ChemClear to your list.
The numbers are staggering and my old farming mate Col Hoey, now drumMUSTER and ChemClear co-ordinator, provided me with some figures, which were more than 341,000 litres of unwanted ag and vet chemical has been collected across Australia since 2003.
From this more than 112,000 litres is just from Queensland, with 53,000 in 2011 alone.
You can bet your socks it won't all be traditional glyphosate, that is for sure.
ChemClear has some rules - as does drumMUSTER - and here are a few of them to evaluate the size and cost of your leftovers for ChemClear.
The Group 2 classification for collection is: No longer registered products from over two years ago, unknown, unlabelled, expired or just a forgotten mixed combo and you will invariably be quoted a cost figure for you to dispose of these through the program.
The Group 1 free acceptance provisos are: In their original container with an intact and readable label, inside the past two years de-registered period, within a two-year non-expired period and, finally, carry no unwanted inventory tag on them from agribusiness.
ChemClear is on again in either April or May for collection dates, depending on volumes as needed by the rural community.
We all need a few clean, empty drums around as they are very handy for many a job.
But with the quantities we use these days, recycling and responsible disposal become a must for all of us as product-users.
I will take the liberty of adding the busy Col Hoey's phone number, 0428 964 576, or recommend the ChemClear website, chemclear. com.au, for all you technical gurus so initial contact can be undertaken.
Bit of a different pace this week - but a mighty important subject.
Paul McIntosh is a former manager of Landmark Emerald, now based on the Darling Downs.
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