Waste Pesticides & Containers
Outdated, solidified, or unusable pesticide products sit isolated in the corners or back shelves of many storage buildings, just waiting for the day they meet their fate.
Changes in agricultural production have led to the development of new pesticides and the cancellation of older commonly used pesticide products. In many cases these canceled pesticides can no longer be used legally and disposal of these materials must be handled safely and effectively by hazardous waste facilities. Such disposal can be very expensive and are often so cost-prohibitive that growers may be forced to store these pesticides until a better disposal solution is made available or, in some cases, seek out illegal disposal methods.
Improper disposal of pesticides can lead to environmental problems such as contamination of groundwater, soils, plants, and animals. In recent years it has become obvious that some mechanism for the disposal of canceled/suspended pesticides is necessary for Georgia.
Empty pesticide containers can be a nuisance: sometimes they are not easy to dispose of and they clutter workshops and storage areas. It is against the law to reuse or burn pesticide containers in the State of Georgia, so how can you dispose of your empty, unwanted pesticide containers? Recycle them!
Recycling & Disposal Options
Properly-rinsed pesticide containers can be chipped and used to make such things as plastic fence posts, pallets, and various other industrial supplies. There are several locations around Georgia where you can bring your empty pesticide containers to be chipped, free of charge. Please contact us for more information on container chipping locations as they are subject to change.
- USAg Recycling Service – USAg recycles crop production containers, free of charge, through support from the Ag Container Recycling Council. Containers must meet certain requirements for size and type of plastic. You may request a pick-up through the USAg website.
- Clean Day – The Georgia Department of Agriculture hosts single-day events, known as Clean Days, to collect waste pesticide on an (at least) annual basis, as funding allows. These collection events are held all over the State of Georgia and are funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are free of charge for Georgia farmers, commercial pesticide applicators, and the general public. Upcoming Clean Day events will be announced here, along with instructions for pre-registering. See currently-scheduled Clean Day.
- Additional Container Collection & Recycling Resources – The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) has compiled a list of companies that currently collect mini/intermediate bulk containers for recycling. You may search the TPSA database for companies by state.
- Once a pesticide container has been emptied, read the label affixed to the container for instructions on how to dispose of the container properly.
Disposal of Small Quantities
- Small quantities of waste pesticides may be disposed of as household trash. For disposal of larger quantities please contact our office.