Pesticide container recycling program begins

Submitted to the Dorchester Banner
Pesticide containers need to be recycled to help prevent pesticide residues from entering the soil and local waterways and to save valuable landfill space.

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s pesticide container recycling program will open its 27th year of operation in June for farmers, pesticide applicators, and others who wish to dispose of pesticide containers properly.

A total of 28 collection days are scheduled from June through September at seven locations throughout the state. Those participating are asked to properly rinse their empty pesticide containers before handing them in.

“This recycling program protects the environment from possible contamination and gives producers and others an easy, free way to dispose of pesticide containers,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “We are especially pleased with the cooperative effort of the Agricultural Container Recycling Council and USAg Recycling, Inc., which makes local recycling and special pick up for large quantities possible, providing a convenient and much cheaper alternative to landfill disposal.”

The purpose of this program is to help prevent pesticide residues from entering the soil and local waterways while saving valuable landfill space. Once the containers are recycled, the program then provides a source of recycled material for vendors.

Since the program’s inception, the department has recycled more than 1 million plastic pesticide containers, which have yielded nearly 1 million tons of recyclable plastic flakes.

The pesticide container recycling program is FREE and open to all agricultural producers and pesticide applicators. The Agricultural Container Recycling Council provides a chipper to grind the plastic containers into flakes, which are then transported to a contractor for recycling.

Maryland’s pesticide container recycling program is a combined effort of state, county and federal agencies as well as the private industry — working together to protect the environment and to reduce the landfill disposal of plastic pesticide containers.

Partners include: Angelica Nurseries, Inc., Chesapeake Ag Air, Crop Production Services Pocomoke, Delmarva Aerial Crop Service, Eddie Mercer, Inc., Frederick County Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Harborview Farms, Harford County Public Works, Hobbits Glen Golf Course, Kent County Public Works, Lippy Brothers, Inc., Martin’s Elevator, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Environmental Service, Mid-Shore Regional Solid Waste Facility, M-NCPPC, MRW Lawns, Shore Ag Air, Southern States Centreville Cooperative, Southern States Frederick Cooperative, Southern States Woodsboro Coop, The Mill of Black Horse, Tim’s Aerial Applications, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Wicomico County Public Works, Willard Agri Service Inc., and Maryland farmers and applicators.

A schedule of collection dates and sites are available on the department’s website. For additional information or to schedule a chipping date at your site, contact the department’s Pesticide Regulation Section at 410-841-5710.

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