Great DDT Muster FAQ’s – Ridding NZ of POPs

What are persistent organic pollutants?

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that persist in the environment and are known to cause adverse effects to health. They are bio-accumulative, building up in the tissue of living things, and can be passed between species through the food chain or from mother to baby.

From the 1940’s to the 1970’s many commercial pesticides (including insecticides) containing POPs were in widespread use on rural properties in New Zealand and worldwide. DDT is the most well-known but there are a number of others… (see below). As the harmful effects of these compounds became known, they were phased out of normal use.

How harmful
are they?

Among other effects, POPs have been identified as hormone disruptors which can alter normal function of endocrine and
reproductive systems in humans and wildlife.

Cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes have been linked to POPs. Exposure to POPs during pregnancy has been linked to developmental defects in the resulting offspring.

When were they banned?

At the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001, the international community agreed to eliminate or severely restrict POPs production due to health and environmental risks. 179 countries including New Zealand conform to Stockholm Convention guidelines.

Sale and use of POPs in New Zealand has been banned since 2004, however it is thought that at least five tonnes still remain at large on rural properties due to people being unsure of how to dispose of them.

Will I get into trouble?

Bookings made through The Great DDT Muster are strictly confidential and individual booking information will not be shared with third parties.

However it is illegal to use, store or discharge POPs into the environment, so this is a great chance to dispose of them safely and for free!

What will happen to the POPS collected?

All collected materials will be sent off-shore for high temperature incineration at specialised facilities as per New Zealand regulations. This is the safest disposal method available.

Please note, this does not mean you can safely dispose of POPs by burning them yourself! Low temperature or incomplete combustion is actually proven to create more POPs (specifically dioxins) which can be extremely harmful. Please book collection with The Great DDT Muster.

How should I store these items until they are collected?

Please refer to New Zealand Standard Management of Agrichemicals NZS8409:2004.

The Great DDT Muster

What will it cost?

Collection and disposal of POPs like DDT is usually costly but for a limited time funding is available to allow a limited volume of POPs to be collected and disposed of, at no cost to you.

All enquiries, bookings and collection information is strictly confidential. Funding and collection limits may apply.

How and when are they being collected?

Free collections will be carried out by 3R Group Ltd, programme manager for The Muster.

You can book collection of your POPs at any time online or you can download a booking form or call us freephone 0508 374 768 for more information.

Once we’ve received your booking, we will be in touch to confirm details.

Can I dispose of other unwanted or unknown chemicals at the same time?

Yes, other chemical types can also be booked but may be subject to collection fees. These will be quoted prior to any collection activity.

Who is funding The
Great DDT Muster

The Great DDT Muster has received funding support through the Waste Minimisation Fund.

More information about the Waste Minimisation Fund, which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment, is available here.

Who is operating The
Great DDT Muster

This collection is being managed by 3R Group Ltd. It follows on from previous efforts made by central and local government to remove POPs from circulation.

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Disclaimer: many of the images used by The Great DDT Muster are sourced from JBL Environmental Ltd. Others are sourced from the Internet and no liability is accepted.