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 please tell us what you have so we can secure additional funding for free collections!

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 tell us what you have so we can secure additional funding for 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?

Available funding has now been exhausted and we are in the process of collecting POPs that were booked under the previous funding.

While we welcome new bookings which will help us secure further funding, unfortunately we are unable to provide free collection and disposal for any new bookings at this time. Once further funding is available, we will be in touch with those who have told us they have POPs.

If you have an urgent booking or wish to dispose of other chemical types you can book these with us but they will be referred to a user-pays collection service and are likely to be subject to collection fees. These will be quoted prior to any collection activity.

All enquiries, bookings and collection information is strictly confidential.  Online bookings are done through 3R Group’s ChemCollect service.

How and when are they being collected?

Collections for POPs booked under the previous funding are currently being carried out by 3R Group Ltd, programme manager for The Muster.

Tell us what POPs you have so we can secure further funding. Use our online booking system or you can download a booking form or call us freephone 0508 374 768 for more information. (Please note, online bookings are done through 3R Group’s ChemCollect service.)

Once we’ve secured additional funding, 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 received funding support through the Waste Minimisation Fund, which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment.

More information about the Waste Minimisation Fund 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.