of the waste-treated timber is enormous, particularly if existing
CCA-treated timber structures are to be replaced by safer alternatives,
as this report recommends. However there are already large amounts
of waste CCA-treated timber being produced annually in Australia
and overseas. A major source of this is the wine industry.
a report prepared for the South Australian Environmental Protection
Authority (EPA) found that wineries were the largest purchasers
of preservative CCA-treated timber in South Australia. They estimated
that 75% of the approximate 60 to 120 million vineyard stakes were
made from CCA-treated timber. The SA EPA has found the growth of
the wine industry has paralleled the increase in CCA timber manufacture.
Since annual stake damage is around 15%, it is anticipated that
in 2024, a peak volume of between 8 and 16 million posts will require
disposal (cited in Smith and Mollah, 2004). There are already 816,000
posts stockpiled (Bell, 2005). The South Australian EPA warns that
a toxic disposal crisis is looming, with ‘no acceptable disposal
option for CCA’ in SA and no life cycle management for the
heavy metals in the CCA. One way of easing the waste problem would
be to encourage the wine industry to change its material choice
for vineyard stakes. (Scott, 2004).
timber disposal crisis is already being experienced in California.
San Joaquin grape-growers turned to other crops after several difficult
seasons, and removed thousands of tonnes of CCA-treated stakes.
They are not permitted to burn these due to air pollution risks,
and disposal to a landfill is not only costly but brings with it
the ‘lifetime liability’, as disposer identities are
logged and they can be held responsible in the event of ensuing
problems at the landfill site (Pollock, 2004).
Warken (2004: 44) notes in his Masters thesis on wood waste in Sydney
that “there would still be treated timber in the waste stream
for the next 10 – 25 years, even if CCA treatment was banned
F. (2005), ‘Managing Treated Timber Vine Posts’, paper
present to 3rd Australian Wine Industry Environment Conference,
D. (2004), ‘Arsenic and Old Stakes: Too dangerous to burn
or bury, treated wooden grape stakes sit in piles of thousands’,
FresnoBee.com, California, October 10.
G. (2004), ‘CCA Treated Timber: A Problem?’, WMAA
Towards Zero Waste Conference, Australia, April.
T. And Mollah, M. (2004), ‘CCA Review Implications For Viticulture’,
The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower And Winemaker,
Ryan Publications, April.
M. (2004), ‘Optimal Recovery of Resources: A Case Study
of Wood Waste in the Greater Sydney Region’, Master of Engineering
Research Thesis, Chemical Engineering, University of Sydney, March.