Free disposal of expired marine flares

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will visit the Mid Coast region in January to assist boat owners with the safe disposal of expired marine flares.

The mobile collection program is designed to assist with free disposal of flares that have reached expiry, and to serve as a reminder to boat owners that flares disposed of incorrectly can be hazardous.

Travelling down the NSW coastline, mobile collection points will be:

  • Taree: Fotheringham Park from 2pm – 6pm on Friday, January 19,
  • Forster: at the boat ramp from 2pm – 6pm on Saturday, January 20, and
  • Hawks Nest: Moira Parade Boat Ramp from 8am – noon on Sunday, January 21

Marine flares are used in boating emergencies as a signal for help, and to assist with establishing a vessel’s location.

Most flares have a use-by date of three years from manufacture, and penalties apply where flares are not replaced within their expiry period. It is also an offence to set off flares except in the case of an emergency.

“Many people think flares can be placed into their general garbage collection”, explained Amy Hill, MidCoast Council’s waste program coordintator.

“But flares are highly flammable and can be dangerous to the collectors, they can cause fire and damage to property, and they’re hazardous for the environment if they end up in our landfills”.

Local boat owners are encouraged to regularly inspect their on-board flares, check the expiry dates, and take advantage of the RMS mobile collection program in January.

For more information, and to view collection locations in other coastal locations, visit