What Do I Do With Old Pesticides?

Photo from PPP-142 “Is This Pesticide On My Shelf Still Good? Dr. Fred Whitford

As spring is in the air, many of us will start cleaning things up. Some may simply move the piles around a bit. As you are cleaning, you may find old forgotten pesticides, now what? What Do I Do With Old Pesticides? Keep reading to find out and jam out a little.

That’s right, back by popular demand a song play list. I gotta give the people what they want! Back to the original question, how do I deal with old pesticides? Which is more likely, how do I get rid of pesticides I don’t want anymore? The first solution is to travel back in time and only purchase the amount of pesticide you will need! There is no need to hoard pesticides like some wyvern on a treasure pile. Only buy what you will use within a year or so.

Can you still use it?

For those that don’t possess a DeLorean and a reckless disregard for town clocktowers, you are stuck with pesticide you don’t want or might not be able to identify anymore. These are two different problems with very different solutions. Let’s start with the stuff you have, but you don’t think you will use. Can you share it with a friend? Word of caution here, you can’t share pesticides that are Restricted Use Products (RUP), as there are license requirements for that. You also can’t sell that pesticide, yes that means you can’t trade it for tasty adult beverages either. That would count as distributing a pesticide. BUT if you have a neighbor that could use the little bit you have left, you could share.

IF the product you don’t want still has a label you can always apply pesticides to a registered site (the places the label tells you that you can apply it). However, I am going to guess if you want to get rid of it, that is because you either can’t use it or fear it is too old. Well good news, we have an entire blog all about determining if your pesticide is still good.

If you are able to use up the pesticide, you may wonder “Can I recycle this container?” Well good news, you certainly can BUT not with your other recycling. You must recycle it with those capable of doing that, and luckily there are resources to help:

How do I get rid of it?

We have tried everything and you have followed Marie Kondo, this pesticide sparks no joy, it has to go! Or perhaps you would like to dispose of it by applying to a site, but you don’t even know what it is anymore. There is no label, and it looks old enough to be DDT! Well now it needs to be gotten rid of. Notice I did not say “thrown away” you can’t just dump this in the garbage. You must dispose of it properly. Check with your county for local support and possible hazard waste disposal sites and guidance. If you find a lot of old stuff, there are companies that will take care of that for you: https://fldeploc.dep.state.fl.us/www_rcra/reports/CommHWTransport.asp but your best source is going to be your local solid waste department.

If you are an agricultural operation or commercial business that has unwanted pesticides, the Operation Cleansweep might just be for you. This is a program offered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which will come to your business to collect old pesticides. This is NOT meant for household waste, not available to anyone other than businesses, and ONLY available while funds are available. For more information contact Theresa Chandler (Theresa.chandler@fdacs.gov).

There we have it we now know What Do I Do With Old Pesticides. Our best solution is to not overload with them in the first place, only buy what you need. Failing that, share with a friend, apply to a properly labeled site, contact local solid waste department or even Operation Cleansweep. Lots of options available for What Do I Do With Old Pesticides.


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Posted: March 29, 2024

Category: Agriculture, HOME LANDSCAPES, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Brett Bultemeier, Old Pesticides, Operation Cleansweep, Pesticide Disposal, Pesticide Information Office

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