Managing CCA Timber and Ash After a Bushfire

Managing CCA Timber and Ash After a Bushfire

Landfill sites that can accept CCA timber and ash:

Southern Waste ResourceCo
McLaren Vale depot
08 8327 3914

Integrated Waste Services Dublin
08 8243 2644

Cleanaway Inkerman Landfill
Prime Road, Inkerman
08 8867 1355

Copper chromated arsenate (CCA) treated timber is wood that has been treated with a preservative containing copper, chromium and arsenic. CCA treatment prolongs the life of the wood and has commonly been used to treat timber used for fence posts, along with other outdoor usage. Although the chemicals are fixed within the dry wood in CCA-treated timber, concerns have been expressed internationally about the potential for harm, especially when the timber is burnt or has become ash. 

 It's important that when fences are being rebuilt, the old, burnt and ash posts are handled appropriately with safe handling procedures.

 Current advice for growers, farmers and householders with burnt CCA and CCA ash:

  • ensure when handling CCA treated timber, personal protective equipment (including mask, goggles and gloves) are worn
  • CCA ash should be bagged and sealed in heavy duty plastic bags
  • store the bagged ash with other CCA posts and sleepers
  • all CCA ash and CCA treated timber needs to be stored separately and should not be mixed with non-treated timber, organics or crops (this will result in the entire amount being treated as hazardous)
  • do not chip or mulch CCA timber, burn or use onsite as a ground cover
  • CCA timber should be stored on a waterproof lining and not left in contact with soil
  • CCA timber must be disposed of through a landfill licensed to handle chemical waste only (see above)

The South Australian Government, through Green Industries SA (GISA), is coordinating collections and drop off sites for CCA timber from fire affected properties to take CCA timber to landfill. Get a voucher for free CCA post disposal here.

For more information see the  Environment Protection Authority’s fact sheet on CCA timber.