It’s not uncommon for new owners of older homes or farms in Maine to discover they have inherited hazardous waste — caches of old pesticides around their property. Old chemicals like DDT, lead arsenate, 2,4,5-T, and chlordane are often discovered in barns, basements, sheds, or garages. When these discoveries are made, homeowners quickly learn that disposal of old chemicals can be complicated and very expensive.

Fortunately, there’s an option that’s legal, responsible, and free. This fall, the Maine Board of Pesticide Control, will dispose of banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable. And, again, there is no cost to homeowners.

“We urge people holding these chemicals to contact us immediately to register,” said Paul Schlein, BPC Public Education Specialist, in a news release. “There will be four sites throughout the state where participants will be able to bring their obsolete pesticides.”

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the US Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed.

“Disposal of obsolete pesticides is expensive for the state,” notes Schlein, “but it’s clearly much less than the cost of cleaning up contaminated soil or water. However, it’s worth noting that future funding is not guaranteed, so be sure to take advantage of this year’s collection while you can.”

Preregistration is required by Sept. 30. 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 the BPC at 287-2731.