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Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Chemicals and pesticides

How to recycle (or dispose of) empty pesticide containers

What to do with your empties before disposal/recycling?

Empty pesticide containers are classified as a hazardous waste meaning they are a danger to public health and the environment.

Before disposing of or recycling your empty pesticide containers you must triple rinse them.

Triple rinsing and reusing rinsate (a mixture of pesticides dilluted by water, solvents, oils, commercial rinsing agents or any other subtances) in your tank saves money by reducing chemical wastage. It is the most responsible way to handle your waste to protect the environment.

More information on rinsate can be found in the Guidelines for managing the disposal of pesticide rinsate factsheet (PDF 126KB).

The following steps outline the triple rinse process.

Step 1: empty remaining contents of the chemical container into your spray tank (for reuse later) and allow to drain for an extra 30 seconds after flow reduces to drops.

Step 2: fill container with clean water between 20-25% full and replace cap securely.

Step 3: Shake, rotate, roll or invert the container vigorously for at least 30 seconds.

Step 4: Pour the rinsate (rinse water from Step 3) into your spray tank. Let it drain for an extra 30 seconds after flow reduces to drops.

Step 5: Repeats Steps 2 to 4 another two times.

Step 6: The container needs to be fully drained and left to dry with cap off after rinsing.

If you have any unwanted chemicals that need disposing a program called ChemClear can be utilised. More information on ChemClear can be found at the ChemClear site.

How to recycle your empties

The drumMUSTER Program

What is it?

It is a National Program for the free collection and recycling of empty chemical containers. A 4c per litre/kilogram levy has been included in the purchase price for all containers part of the drumMUSTER program.

drumMUSTER Logo

Eligible containers

Not all containers are eligible. Only chemicals displaying the drumMUSTER symbol are eligible. The symbol will either be a sticker, included as part of the product label or embossed into the container.

Benefits of using drumMUSTER program

  • It meets the requirements of Quality Assurance programs and Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Users of the program are provided with a receipt for participating in the program.
  • An effective way of recycling the empty chemical containers.
  • Reducing risk of harm to the environment and public health


How do I dispose of empties that aren't part of drumMuster?

Containers that aren't part of the drumMUSTER program still need to be appropriately disposed of or recycled. What you do with them depends on whether they have been triple rinsed or not.

Triple rinsed

If you have triple rinsed your containers, and they are under 1 litre/1 kilogram you will either be able to dispose or recycle them in your household curb side collection (for small scale operators), commercial bins (for larger scale operators) or take them to a local waste facility, where you may be charged a fee to dispose of them. Your local council will be able to advise the appropriate option to take.

For containers/drums greater than 1 litre/1 kilogram they will generally not be able to be collected as household waste and will need to go to a waste facility that can accept them. You may be charged a fee, your local council or the EPA can advise on this.

Not triple rinsed

If pesticides containers are not triple rinsed they are classed as hazardous waste and therefore cannot be disposed of in your local household curb side collection. They will need to be disposed of at a facility that can lawfully accept such waste. These facilities have costs for disposal and recycling. Your local council can advise on such facilities in your area.

Further information

DrumMuster: Sydney Region Locations

Site No. Site Name Suburb Address Contact details Operating times
1 JK Plastics - Pick up service Homebush, Padstow, West Pennant Hills, Liverpool & Gordon 3/19-23 Harris St, North St Marys NSW 2760 0416 146 675 Pick up service by appointment only
2 Maxwell & Kemp Milperra A2/66 Ashford Avenue, Milperra 2214 0419 646 024 make appointment
3 Sydney Weed & Pest Management Prospect Unit 3A 7 Stoddart Road, Prospect 2148 0417 443 151 Monday mornings & Friday afternoons, make appointment
4 Drum Reconditioners-NSW Seven Hills 30-32 Powers Road, Seven Hills 2147 02 9624 6455 Appointment required
5 North Turramurra Golf Club Turramurra 361A Bobbin Head Road, Turramurra 2074 0400 225 321 Call to make appointment, normal working hours
6 Arcadia park (old tip site) Arcadia Arcadia Road, Arcadia 2159 9847 4858 Operates on specific days, booking essential
7 Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility South Windsor The Driftway, South Windsor 2756 02 4560 4444 Mon–Fri mornings by appointment
8 JK Plastics St Marys 19-23 Harris St, St Marys 2760 0416 146 675 Normal working hours – make appointment
9 T & W Greenhouse Kemps Creek 855 Fifteenth Ave, Kemps Creek 2178 02 9606 0091 Normal opening hours 8:00am–5:00pm
10 Ace Ohlsson Bringelly 1675 The Northern Rd, Bringelly, 2556 02 4774 8164 8:00am–4:00pm Monday to Friday
11 Mangrove Mountain Rural Fire Department Mangrove Mountain Bloodtree Road Mangrove Mountain, 2250 0411 205 405 (Andy Schneider)
0428 113 269 (Rob Carraro)
Call to arrange appointment
12 Globe Padstow 39 Gow Street, Padstow, 2211 02 9793 7984 8:00am–3:30pm Monday to Friday
13 Globe Gateshead 11 Nevin Close, Gateshead, 2290 02 4942 3833 8:00am–3:30pm Monday to Friday
14 Globe Condell Park 87 Allingham Street, Condell Park, 2200 8713 5555 Call to arrange appointment
15 Bargo Waste Management Centre Bargo 31 Anthony Road, Bargo 2574 0419 490 599 8:30am–4:15pm Monday to Friday, booking essential

DrumMuster: Major Regional Locations*

Site No. Site Name Suburb Address Contact details Operating times
1 Moss Vale Resource Recovery Centre Moss Vale 177 Berrima Road, Moss Vale NSW 2577 0406 745 030 By appointment every Tuesday and Thursday
2 Minnamurra Recycling Depot Minnamurra Riverside Drive, Dunmore, Minnamurra, NSW 2533 02 4237 5148
0406 745 030
By appointment on first Monday of each month – 8:00am to 4:00pm
3 Goulburn Resource Recovery Centre Goulburn 54 Sinclair St, Goulburn, NSW 2580 02 4821 4830
0406 745 030
Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm
4 West Nowra Waste & Recycling Depot West Nowra Flatrock Road, West Nowra, NSW 2541 4429 3374
0406 745 030
By appointment every Wednesday
5 Landmark - Country Hope Wagga Wagga 53-55 Moorong St, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678 6921 1511
0406 745 030
By appointment
6 Bourke Waste Depot Bourke Kidman Way, Bourke, NSW 2840 0439 105 960
0427 925 274
By appointment
7 Tharbogang Landfill Tharbogang Hillside Drive, Tharbogang, NSW 2680 02 6963 6491
0406 745 030
By appointment Monday to Friday 8:00am to 12:00 noon
8 Whylandra Waste and Recycling Centre Dubbo Cooba Road, Dubbo NSW 2830 6887 3382
0427 925 274
By appointment Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm
9 Mudgee Waste Facility Mudgee 129 Hill End Road, Mudgee, NSW 2850 02 6378 2770
0427 925 274
First Wednesday of every month
10 Tamworth Waste Management Facility Tamworth 123A Forest Road, Tamworth NSW 2340 02 6761 3687
0427 925 274
By appointment
11 Armidale Transfer Station Armidale 108 Long Swamp Road, Armidale, NSW 2350 6772 7090
0427 925 274
Monday to Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm
12 Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Park Coffs Harbour Lot 32b Englands Rd, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 6648 4580
0417 226 985
Monday to Friday 7:30am to 3:00pm

Note*: Not all regional locations have been listed

Examples of Non-drumMuster locations

Site No. Site Name Suburb Address Contact details Operating times
1 Toxfree – Links Rd depot St Marys 66 Links Road, St Marys NSW 2760 02 9851 4200
1300 869 373
Call to make arrangements
Does not need to be triple rinsed
Charges apply
2 Toxfree – Christie St depot St Marys 40 Christie Street, St Marys NSW 2760 02 9851 4200
1300 869 373
Call to make arrangements
Does not need to be triple rinsed
Charges apply
3 Toxfree – Heather St depot Heatherbrae 42 Heather Street, Heatherbrae NSW 2324 02 4987 7022
Call to make arrangements
Does not need to be triple rinsed
Charges apply
4 Suez – Wetherill Park Wetherill Park 20 Davis Road, Wetherill Park NSW 2164 13 13 35 Drop off only, must be triple rinsed
Charges apply
Mon–Fri: 6am–4:30pm
Sat/Sun: 8:30am–3:00pm
5 Suez – Camellia Camellia Grand Avenue, Camellia NSW 2142 13 13 35 Drop off only, must be triple rinsed
Charges apply
6 Suez – Belrose Belrose Crozier Road, Belrose NSW 2085 13 13 35 Drop off only, must be triple rinsed Charges apply Mon–Fri: 5:00am–5:00pm Sat/Sun: 8:00am–3:00pm
Page last updated: 02 February 2017