GLADSTONE police have confirmed that the
GLADSTONE police have confirmed that the "suspicious object" found at the Benaraby Landfill at about 11am today, was an unconfirmed amount of the chemical mercury. Scott Kovacevic

Air monitored after dangerous chemical dumped

UPDATE: 6.43pm: 

BENARABY Landfill was closed after a small amount of mercury was found leaking from a bottle yesterday.

Gladstone Regional Council and police confirmed the chemical, mercury, was found at the facility.

The site was closed from about 11am until 4pm yesterday.

The chemical was identified as mercury by scientific officers from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Council chief executive officer Mark Holmes said the item was contained within general household waste delivered to the site through the wheelie bin waste collection service.

"The item was discovered by vigilant members of staff when distributing waste products using established procedures," he said.

Mr Holmes said it was difficult for the council to control what was placed in household general waste or recycling wheelie bins.

"The onus is on residents to place the correct items in the bins and find other means of disposal for restricted items such as the one which was found (yesterday)," he said.

"Council treats incidents such as this as serious matters and adheres to the relevant procedures that have been put in place to deal with such occurrences.

"The safety of the public and staff members at council facilities is of the highest importance."

Mercury is a heavy silvery-white metal which is liquid at ordinary temperatures.

"Part of the reason mercury is extremely toxic is because it can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption," according to the Global Healing Centre.

There will be no further investigation by the council.

UPDATE 12.05 PM

GLADSTONE police have confirmed that the "suspicious object" found at the Benaraby Landfill at about 11am today, was an unconfirmed amount of the chemical mercury.

The site, which remains closed, was attended to by Gladstone firefighters, where the chemical was identified by scientific officers.

A crew conducted air monitoring at the landfill. But investigators have handed the scene back to Gladstone Regional Council. 

The Gladstone Regional Council is currently making arrangements to remove the mercury.

Gladstone police said there was no indication of how the chemical was left at the site, however, a spokesman said it was likely to have been dumped.

Mercury is a heavy silvery-white metal which is liquid at ordinary temperatures.

According to the Global Healing Centre, "Part of the reason mercury is extremely toxic is because it can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion or skin absorption".

More to come.

EARLIER

A SUSPICIOUS object has forced the temporary closure of the Benaraby Landfill facility.

The council posted on Facebook the site would be closed until it was investigated.

"All patrons are being redirected to the Gladstone Waste Transfer facility," the post reads.

"We will advise when Benaraby Landfill re-opens to the public."



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