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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DEM offers free pesticide disposal for farms and businesses

Agricultural Community Can Dispose of Obsolete Pesticides at Three Collection Events to be held in November

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Agriculture has initiated a new program that allows businesses to properly dispose of obsolete pesticides. 

Among the products eligible for the take-back are those that are no longer able to be used for their intended purposes because they may have become caked, frozen or dried out, along with unregistered and banned pesticides.

The goal of the initiative, which is funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, is to collect obsolete, unusable pesticides and properly dispose of them in order to avoid any potential contamination that could result from these hazardous materials. 

It is not uncommon for these materials to accumulate when once-registered products become unregistered or banned; uses and target pests are removed from labels; and when the pesticides simply outlive their shelf life. There is no cost to the holders of the pesticides who bring them in for disposal.

The first three collection events, specifically targeted to the agricultural community, have been scheduled in November at RIDOT facilities in Johnston, North Kingstown and Middletown. They will take place on Tuesday, November 5 at the RIDOT Garage located at 317 Cherry Hill Road in Johnston; Wednesday, November 6 at the RIDOT Garage located at 439 Tower Hill Road in North Kingstown; and Thursday, November 7 at the RIDOT Garage located at 122 Wyatt Road in Middletown. 

Materials will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at each of the events, and participants are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to closing. Clean Harbors, a licensed hazardous waste contractor, will take possession of the obsolete pesticides at each collection event and properly dispose of them. Containers up to five gallons in size will be accepted.

DEM offers the following packaging and transportation guidelines for those bringing outdated pesticide products to the collection events:
  • Pesticides should not be transported in the passenger area of a vehicle; instead, place them in the trunk or truck bed. However, if you must transport pesticides in a station wagon or van, secure them in the back, away from passengers and pets and open the side windows.
  • Do not place pesticides with groceries or other household items.
  • Never leave pesticides unattended in an unlocked trunk or open truck bed where they may come in contact with children or others.
  • Make sure pesticide container lids are securely fastened. Secure containers in an upright position to ensure they cannot fall or be knocked over.
  • Dry materials must be wrapped in plastic bags and placed in cardboard cartons or plastic buckets. Liquids must be put into plastic containers with newspaper.
  • Be sure to attach labels to containers. Materials in containers larger than five gallons will not be accepted at the collection site.

Additional take-back events for businesses such as pest control companies and municipalities will be scheduled in 2014, along with additional collections for the agricultural community, if needed.

Information about the program is available on DEM's website at under "Timely Topics" on the homepage. For questions, call Howard Cook in DEM's Division of Agriculture at 222-2781 extension 4504, or contact him via email