Some 6,100 tonnes of Australian toxic waste will soon be making its way to Denmark to be destroyed at the Kommunekemi facility in Nyborg, following an export licence granted by the Australian Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett yesterday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Denmark has already approved the transaction, which will safely destroy thousands of tonnes of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) created during the production of plastics and solvents between 1964 and 1991.
Australia has no facility to safely destroy the material, which is part of some 16,000 tonnes of contaminated material currently stored in Botany Bay near Sydney. Half of the waste is chemical, while the Herald says that the rest is in products such as old building material, steel drums and protective clothing.
According to Orica, shipment will begin towards the end of the year, although the current 12-month licence will not be enough to complete transport, and the company intends to seek a new licence.
Orica is an Australian-owned multinational with operations in some 50 countries and 13,000 employees. The company developed from supplying explosives to 19th century gold fields in the state of Victoria to a major supplier to the mining, chemical and chemical-based consumable industries across the world.