Pennsylvania facilitates safe disposal of pesticides

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is making it easier than ever for agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 20 counties statewide to safely discard pesticides, according to a press release.

The 2012 options for CHEMSWEEP this year will differ from last year. The effort is especially necessary because pesticide products often are discontinued or phased out of service, which leaves questions as to how to dispose of them. Taking them to landfills is not an option since they often are toxic or dangerous.

“CHEMSWEEP provides a safe, legal way to dispose of unwanted pesticides,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “Since 1993, the program has helped our agriculture industry properly dispose of nearly 2 million pounds of unwanted or unusable pesticides, helping to safeguard our environment.”

The pesticides typically present a hazard to public safety and they pose dangers to the environment if placed in barns, garages or other areas for the long-term.

The Department of Agriculture intends to hire an independent contractor to collect and package the pesticides, which will be checked out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and later incinerated. The program will cover expenses for the first 2,000 pounds and participants will be billed for the excess.

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