Council introduces new marine flare disposal service

Published: 29 Jul 2022

Boat owners in Mackay and surrounding areas will be able to dispose of their expired marine flares as part of a new service operated by council.

Mayor Greg Williamson said council was pleased to take on this important service to the community.

“We offer a one-stop location for the disposal of all waste and recyclable goods at our Paget facility,” Mayor Williamson said.

“The flares are to be dropped off in person at the Incredable Drop Off area where there will be two bins – one for damaged flares and one for intact but out-of-date flares.

“It’s essential that these flares don’t end up in our kerbside wheelie bins or in the pits at transfer stations, as they could easily ignite and cause fires in our rubbish trucks or at landfill sites,” he said.

Maritime Safety Queensland General Manager Kell Dillon said this was an extremely important service offered to the boating community that enabled the safe disposal of marine flares, which are required safety equipment for boaties venturing beyond smooth waters.

"Marine flares, by their very nature, are combustible products that can become unstable once they've reached their use-by date,” Mr Dillon said.

"Expired flares cannot be safely retained onboard vessels, so it is important facilities are provided so boaties can safely dispose of them once that use-by date has been reached.

"Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) had been providing this service at its fire stations in Mackay and North Mackay.

"However, from July 31 this will end and council will step into the role and accept expired flares at its Paget Transfer Station."

Mr Dillon said it was important boaties understood expired flares should be replaced, and not retained or disposed of carelessly.

"MSQ's statistics show that not carrying the right, well-maintained safety equipment is one of the 'fatal five' mistakes Queensland boaties make.

"The bright orange or red smoke from a flare could make all the difference in surviving a boating mishap one day, so it is vitally important your flares work when you need them.

"Expired flares might not work, so before that expiry date is reached, they need to be replaced and when disposing of them, remember the only safe way to do so is by taking them to dedicated disposal facility,” he said.

The Paget Transfer Station is located at Crichtons Road, Paget.