Women in Farming: Dispose Responsibly

A Guide to State Pesticide Disposal Programs

Chemicals and pesticides can become hazardous if not disposed of properly. Since its inception in 2005, the Agricultural Abandoned Pesticide Program in Arkansas has collected over 3.6 million pounds of unwanted pesticides. The farmers and landowners disposing of these pesticides do not have many other options for disposing their unwanted pesticides. Twice a year, counties across Arkansas hold free and anonymous collection events for farmers and non-industrial landowners, providing a safe and regulated way of disposing of outdated pesticides and unregistered pesticides that have been exposed to the elements.

From Coast to Coast, many states have similar programs.

Virginia's program requires a pre-registration form to be filled out and farmers are encouraged to contact their Virginia Cooperative Extension agent or the Office of Pesticide Services with questions. Since 1997, Virginia has collected and destroyed over 1.5 million pounds of unwanted pesticides.

Kentucky's Agricultural Chemical Collections Program is also free, but slightly different in execution. The Department of Agriculture will send a representative to collect unwanted chemicals and dispose of them in a safe way.

Michigan's Clean Sweep Program has disposed of over 2.2 million pounds of pesticides. The Clean Sweep program has specific drop off sites that can be found on the Michigan Department of Agriculture website.  This program is also free for any Michigan resident. For those who have chemicals and materials they are uncomfortable transporting, because they may be unsafe, contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture to set up a pick up by a state representative.

Serving over 7,600 Washington residents, the state's Pesticide Identification and Disposal Program has safely disposed of over 2.9 million pounds of pesticides since 1988. To attend a collection event, residents must complete an inventory form which can be found on the Washington State Department of Agriculture's website.

Always dispose of pesticides and chemicals in safe and legal ways and do not use expired chemicals or chemicals in unmarked containers. If you are interested in finding a program in your state, contact your State Department of Agriculture.

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