Mainers urged to sign up for free pesticide disposal
Augusta — This October, the Maine Board of Pesticides Control will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to dispose of banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable.
This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. All people need to do is register by September 27, 2013.
It is not unusual for homes and farms to have unintentional hazardous waste — old or unusable pesticides sitting around in basements, garages, or barns. Old chemicals like DDT, lead arsenate, 2,4,5-T, and chlordane, can be difficult and expensive to dispose of properly.
While removal of these pesticides can seem daunting, it is important for the protection of public, wildlife, and environmental health that they are dealt with properly and not thrown in the trash or down the drain, where they can contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water.
“We urge people holding these chemicals to contact us immediately to register,” said BPC Director Henry Jennings, in a news release. “There will be four sites throughout the state where participants will be able to bring their obsolete pesticides and dispose of them conveniently and at no cost.”
The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed.
Registration by Friday, Sept. 27 is mandatory — drop-ins are not permitted. To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC website at thinkfirstspraylast.org, or call 287-2731.
The Maine Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, jointly sponsored by the BPC and DEP, and paid for entirely through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 90 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.
For more information on the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, go to thinkfirstspraylast.org. For more information on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, go to maine.gov/dep.