Farewell your expired flares

Published on 21 November 2019

Marine flares.jpg

Local boaties who missed the expired flares collection earlier this year can soon take advantage of another collection round by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to the MidCoast region, coming up in November.

The mobile collection program will roll out again this year, after over 16,000 expired flares were collected from Tweed Heads in the north, down to Eden on the NSW south coast at their previous visit. The program offers convenient and free disposal of marine flares that have reached expiry, and serves as a reminder to boat owners that flares disposed of incorrectly can be hazardous.

For MidCoast boaties, mobile collection points in this round will be available in Taree (Queen Elizabeth Park) from 11.30am to 2pm on Saturday 23 November, at the Crowdy Head boat ramp from 3.30pm to 5.30pm also on Saturday 23 November, and then at the Forster boat ramp from 7am to 9am on Sunday 24 November.

Marine flares are used in boating emergencies as a signal for help, and to assist with establishing a vessel’s location. Most flares have a use-by date of three years from manufacture, and penalties apply where flares are not replaced within their expiry period. It is also an offence to set off flares except in the case of an emergency.

“Many people think flares can be placed into their general garbage collection, but flares are highly flammable and can be dangerous to the collectors,” explained Amy Hill, MidCoast Council’s Waste Program Coordinator.

“They can cause fire and damage to property, and they’re hazardous for the environment if they end up in our landfills.”

Local boat owners are encouraged to regularly inspect their on-board flares, check the expiry dates, and take advantage of the RMS mobile collection program in November.

For more information, and to view collection locations in other coastal locations, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/flares

The RMS will be returning for another collection round on 8 and 9 January 2020.