Repackaging & Destruction of Stored HCB Waste
What is HCB?
HCB is a white crystalline solid waste byproduct that is practically insoluble in water and has a low solubility in oil and petrol. It is not flammable and not volatile. It is not reactive with most common materials. HCB is bioaccumulative (i.e. it tends to accumulate in an orgnism especially with prolonged or frequent exposure), is very resistant to degradatiion in the environment and has been classified as a possible human carcinogen. HCB has an organic odour similar to mothballs. If you do not swallow or consume HCB there is minimal risk. Internationally, HCB is known and classified as a priority Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
HCB was produced as a waste by-product in the former solvent and plastic manufacturing plants at BIP between 1963 and 1991.
How is HCB Waste Stored at Botany Industrial Park?
HCB waste is safely stored in secure packaging at BIP in licensed storage facilities and managed in accordance with the government endorsed Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council's (ANZECC) National HCB Waste Management Plan (the 'Management Plan').
The HCB waste stored at Botany is not flammable or volatile and does not present an unacceptable health risk to BIP workers or the community.
The storage of HCB waste is licensed under Orica's Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act Licence No. 26 - 20 July 2012 (573KB).
Why Is The Waste Repackaged?
The drums containing HCB waste deteriorate over time and thus require repackaging. In mid 2007 Orica commenced automated repackaging of the HCB Waste into approved containers. By April 2011 all of the waste has been repackaged . Monitoring of the packaging will continue and future repackaging will be undertaken when required.
Why Does it Need to be Destroyed?
HCB is a priority POP, and Orica has one of the world's largest remaining stockpiles. There is also international pressure to destroy POP waste (the Stockholm Convention). Furthermore, repackaging activity creates additional waste in the form of used personal protective equipment, crushed drums and pallets.