After cyclones and floods tore through Queensland this year, most of the state's agricultural and veterinary chemical users could be forgiven for throwing in the towel.
Giving up may be easy, but those who took part in the opening fortnight of ChemClear's collection run are made of sterner stuff. Encompassing areas such as Atherton, Tully, Stotters Hill and Ingham, the unique ChemClear truck picked up hundreds of litres of unwanted, inherited or obsolete agvet chemical and will now continue on its journey south to regions such as Bundaberg, Gympie and Caboolture.
Assisting in the seven-week collection is the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), which has provided funding for users who have inherited or are holding damaged agvet chemical because of the natural disasters to hit the Sunshine State in the past 12 months.
Proving the service is useful to those from all aspects of the rural industry, resellers formed a significant percentage of those registered on the booking line; AgriSearch's Paul Hasenpusch being a prime example.
"I'm really pleased with how easy the whole process is and how the whole collection has gone," he said.
"I dropped off some out-of-date chemicals for my boss and ChemClear is a good service we hope to use in the future."
Cane and banana grower David Singh is grateful for the program's help after he struggled to store both inherited and obsolete products after Cyclone Yasi terrorised his property earlier in the year.
"The cyclone certainly made it tough for me to store this chemical but what can you do?" he said. "You've got to do the right thing and this is the only way to do it, ChemClear is the way to go."
With over 62,000 litres of chemical to be collected and disposed of during the mammoth operation, National Program Manager Lisa Nixon is pleased to get the 'ChemClear mission' off and running so successfully. "I'm delighted we have been able to help out so many agvet chemical users appropriately and safely dispose of chemicals they no longer require, or have inherited due to the cyclones and floods," Ms. Nixon said.
"We still have five weeks to go on this collection, so we have a long road ahead culminating in the last collection in Goondiwindi in mid October but we are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
"I was on the road with the ChemClear truck last week and what has really stood out for me is just the absolute resilience of these farmers and their ability to bounce-back in difficult times. "They have been hit hard by Mother Nature this year in particular but they keep on going without complaint and we are particularly impressed that appropriately disposing of their chemical waste is one of their priorities during their post-disaster clean-ups."
ChemClear is working hard for our future generations, with 98 per cent of all agvet chemicals collected under the program used as an alternate fuel source.
To find out more about the ChemClear program, simply call 1800 008 182 or log on to www.chemclear.com.au