Mainers are urged to take advantage of a free opportunity to dispose of banned or unusable pesticides that they may have in their homes or elsewhere on their properties.

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 Sept. 27.

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, according to a news release from the DEP.

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

To register or get details, go to the BPC Web site at thinkfirstspraylast.org, or call 287-2731.