Many chemicals come in drums or other containers, and these empty vessels need to be disposed of correctly.
To find out where to dispose of small quantities (up to 20 litres) of household liquid wastes in drums, like paint and other chemicals, use the legend on our Waste & recycling centres map page.
The disposal of larger drums at landfills is strictly regulated by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science under the Environmental Protection Regulation 2019 No: 79.
Commercial transporters of drums of regulated waste or non-commercial transporters of drums of regulated waste weighing more than 250 kilograms must comply with its regulated waste transport licensing and tracking requirements.
Regulation of drum disposal
Empty drums and drums containing solid waste are processed as 'special wastes'. They generally contain or have contained regulated waste. This requires different handling and treatment methods from ordinary waste to ensure safe storage, transportation and disposal.
Drums containing regulated waste will not be accepted at waste and recycling centres unless all requirements of the ERA No: 79 guidelines have been met. They will need to have documented verification of the appropriate treatment of the drums.
Customers will be required to provide information on the source of the drums/material and the method used to clean the drums. This includes a Material Safety Data Sheet or sample analysis confirming the contents of the load.
The guidelines are in place to protect the environment, staff and customers at the City's waste landfills and transfer stations.
Drums accepted at our centres
For drums to be accepted as waste suitable for disposal at a landfill, the following method or treatment is necessary prior to delivery.
Empty drums or containers:
- must have residual material effectively removed
- be punctured at the top, middle and bottom, along their height in 2 rows on opposite sides, with
- punctures at least 30 millimetres by 30 millimetres.
The drums will not be treated as regulated waste if they have not been triple rinsed, pressure rinsed or cleaned thoroughly by a method that achieves equivalent results. An example of an equivalent result is that achieved by pressure rinsing at a licensed drum reconditioning facility.
- must be solid
- the drums punctured at the top, middle and bottom, along their height in 2 rows on opposite sides to demonstrate that the waste is solid, with punctures at least 30 millimetres by 30 millimetres
- all inappropriate labelling must be obliterated or removed.
Waste paint containers:
- must be less than 205 litres in size
- have no more than 5% of their contents remaining
- must not contain regulated waste for the purposes of disposal at a licenced landfill
- must be in a completely solidified state.
Please follow all instructions provided by staff at the weighbridge and landfill drop off area.
For further information, please call us on 07 5667 5976.
If all requirements for the haulage and cleansing of drums are undertaken prior to transportation and the requisite paperwork is held, the drums are recyclable and therefore should not be disposed of at landfills.
You can find drum recyclers listed in the Yellow Pages under 'Drum manufacturers, reconditioners or dealers'.
drumMUSTER chemical container recycling program is available at Stapylton Landfill on a permanent basis. drumMUSTER is a national program for the collection and recycling of empty, cleaned, non-returnable crop production and on-farm animal health chemical containers stamped with the drumMUSTER eligible container logo.
Disposal of empty, clean plastic and steel chemical containers is available by making an appointment at the Stapylton Landfill by contacting the Stapylton Weighbridge on
07 5581 7347.
Steel drums are to be punctured as described above.
All drums must be residue free, with all lids removed.
For further enquiries, please visit the drumMUSTER website or contact drumMUSTER's Southern Queensland Representative on 0419 787 901.
ChemClear – chemical disposal
ChemClear is an industry stewardship program that collects and disposes Agvet chemical products from 99 manufacturers under a levy that is applied at the point of sale.
Non-participating manufacturers' products, unlabelled containers, unregistered and mixed chemicals can also be collected through ChemClear for disposal under a fee-per-litre charge.
Nationally, over 500,000 litres of unwanted chemicals have been collected through the ChemClear program since inception. More than 17,000 litres of Agvet chemicals have already been booked in for this year's Queensland collection.
City of Gold Coast has partnered with ChemClear since the introduction of the program in 2003. Collections occur approximately every 2 years.
You can register your chemicals with ChemClear for the next collection.
For all local enquiries, please call ChemClear Regional Consultant on 0419 787 901.