Spring cleaning, a time to get rid of the old and start with the new! This can be great for closets and garages, but what can we do with unwanted pesticides? This blog will discuss how to avoid having unwanted pesticides in the first place, then steps to take if you have leftover products.
Avoid Unwanted Pesticides
The best way to avoid unwanted pesticides is to only buy what you will need and use in a reasonable amount of time. It is best to think about what you plan to use in the next 1-2 years. There is no need to stock up for the next 10 years and doing so is just asking for trouble. Although bulk buying certainly can save money, it only saves that money if you don’t end up with a large stock of expired and unwanted pesticides. If you know you can’t use what you purchased, consider partnering with your neighbors to work through the stored products more quickly. Meanwhile, it is good practice to keep the older pesticides up front in storage, with the newer products behind them. This will encourage the use of the older materials first. Just like in the fridge, anything that gets pushed to the back can be forgotten…don’t let your pesticides spoil.
Dispose of Pesticides and Containers
The next question is what to do with the container after all the pesticide has been used. The first step is to ALWAYS consult the label. The label is the law and will tell you exactly how to dispose of an empty container. However, if the jug isn’t empty and you can’t apply it to a labeled site, then you may need to treat it as hazardous waste and dispose of it according to local regulations. Always check with your state, county, and local solid waste disposal entities for guidance on disposal.
If you need help getting started, you can always call Earth 911 (1-800-CLEANUP) or check out this article. https://earth911.com/recycling-guide/how-to-recycle-pesticides-containers/
In Florida check with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and their Cleansweep program https://floridadep.gov/waste/permitting-compliance-assistance/content/operation-cleansweep-pesticides
This program allows for agricultural operations, golf courses, pest control companies, and others within the state of Florida to dispose of up to 1,000 pounds of canceled, suspended or unusable pesticides. The program is NOT intended for universities, pesticide manufacturers or distributors, institutions, or state and local government. Pickup can be coordinated by calling the program at 1-877-851-5285
The best way to avoid unwanted pesticides is to make sure you know how much you will reasonably need in the first place. A little planning can go a long way! If you find yourself having to dispose of pesticide, NEVER dump it down the drain or in the street. ALWAYS consult the label, apply it to a labeled site, or dispose of it by following your state/local guidelines.