Issues 70
March 2005
Toxic Waste

Stephen Luntz

Defusing the Contamination Time Bomb
Paul Perkins, Chair, Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment
Toxic contamination of over 80,000 sites presents a threat to the health and environment of Australia, as well as a potentially major expense. The new Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment will put Australia at the forefront of finding better ways to deal with these problems.

Drugs As Toxic Waste
Dr Stuart Khan, Research Fellow, Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Wollongong
Pharmaceuticals are passing through our bodies and making the environment sick.

Endocrine-Disrupting Compounds in Kakadu National Park
Alicia Hogan, Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist, Northern Territory
Chemicals that disrupt hormone function, also known as endocrine disruptors, have proved to be disturbingly widespread. Alicia Hogan went looking to see if they were in dangerous quantities in Kakadu National Park.

Radioactive Waste at Lucas Heights
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Australia’s only nuclear reactor produces no high-level waste. Low-level and intermediate-level waste is handled according to strict procedures.

Wasting the Future
Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation
Nuclear waste is produced at every stage of the nuclear cycle, and is a menace for future generations.

Nuclear Waste
Ian Hore-Lacy, Uranium Information Centre
Nuclear waste comes in a number of different forms. Each needs to be treated differently, but safe handling and storage is straightforward and is already done around the world. Disposal poses no major technical problems.

A Tale of Two Toxic Time Bombs
Damien Spry, Greenpeace
Sydney’s inner harbour and its eastern suburbs beaches are highly prized real estate. Why would anyone want to build a toxic incinerator in them?

Waste Disposal at Botany Bay
Stewart Murrihy, Orica
Finding a way to dispose of hazardous waste located at an old chemical factory has proved a long and arduous business for Orica.

Mallee Fowl or a Toxic Dump?
Harry van Moorst, Western Region Environment Centre
Victoria was on the path to lead the country in the treatment of hazardous waste. Then it all started to go wrong.

Why Nowingi Was Chosen
Major Projects Victoria
A site near Nowingi in north-western Victoria is under investigation as the location for a proposed toxic waste storage facility. This article explains the process for investigating the site and answers some frequently asked questions.

Using Plants to Improve Degraded Environments
HortResearch, New Zealand
Plants pump large amounts of water, solutes and organic matter as part of their normal physiological processes. This pumping action can be exploited to improve degraded environments by stabilising, removing or breaking down contaminants.

Clinical Waste Management: Burn, Bury or Ignore
Trevor Thornton, Deakin University, and Pam Keating, Australian and New Zealand Clinical Waste Management Industry Group
Waste containing blood or other human body fluids arouses particular community concern, so they must be treated with particular care.

Bioremediation of a Former Gas Works Site Using Microbes
David Sheumack and Marianne Muir, Hanitro Pty Ltd; Brian Bicknell, Australian Catholic University; and Tim Cook and Con Lambous, Sydney Olympic Park Authority
The Sydney Olympics provided an opportunity for thorough restoration of a site with severe toxic waste contamination.

Issues: Published by Control Publications, publishers of Australasian Science.
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