Free disposal service for expired boat flares in the Macleay

Media release - 2 January 2019

Macleay boat owners can safely dispose of their expired marine flares at a free temporary collection point at South West Rocks on Sunday, 6 January.

Maritime law requires boat owners to carry flares which, when activated, release an ongoing smoke signal that can be seen from a long distance. Most flares have a use-by date of three years and must be replaced before the expiry date.

Kempsey Shire Council’s Coordinator Waste Services, Gavin Hughes, encouraged boaties to take advantage of the Roads and Maritime Services’ free disposal service.

“Marine flares can be difficult to safely dispose of as they cannot go in kerbside bins and Council cannot accept, store or dispose of them at any of our waste facilities,” he said.

“It’s dangerous to needlessly store or carelessly dispose of marine flares as they can cause fire risks within our community.

“Disposing of out-of-date flares in a safe manner is essential to avoid any injury from unintended or deliberate ignition in a non-emergency situation.”

Collections will be undertaken at Mattys Flat Boat Ramp in New Entrance Road, South West Rocks on Sunday, 6 January between 8am and 11am.

Mr Hughes said the mobile collection is a great opportunity to check the expiry dates on flares and dispose of any that are unsafe to keep for marine emergencies.

For more information on the marine flares collection schedule or marine regulations visit the RMS website - www.rms.nsw.gov.au/flares 

Emergency flare being demonstrated on wharfDispose of expired marine flares at the South West Rocks collection point on Sunday, 6 January