Dispose of expired marine flares safely

Community life - 20 March 2018

Boat owners across the Macleay can dispose of their expired marine flares safely at a temporary collection point in April for free.

Maritime law requires boat owners to carry flares which, when activated, release an ongoing smoke signal that can be seen from a long distance.

Flares signal that you are in trouble and provide an exact location for searching aircraft or vessels. It is an offence to set off flares, except in an emergency.

Most flares have a use-by date of three years and must be replaced before the expiry date.

To help boaties dispose of the flares, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) have launched a mobile collection service that is coming through our Shire soon.

Kempsey Shire Council’s Waste Strategy and Education Officer, Gavin Hughes, encourages boaties to take advantage of the free safe disposal opportunity.

“Disposal of 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 is dangerous to needlessly store or carelessly dispose of marine flares, as they can cause fire risks within our community,” Mr Hughes said.

“The safe disposal of out-of-date flares is essential to avoid any injury from unintended or deliberate ignition in a non-emergency situation.”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 South West Rocks on Sunday 8 April between 8am to 12 noon.  

Mr Hughes said the passing 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 

Marine flaresResidents can dispose of expired marine flares at a temporary collection point at Mattys Flat Boat Ramp on April 8