For the first time, farm operators statewide will be able to dispose of unusable or unwanted agricultural pesticides this year under a program sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) in cooperation with the Maryland Department of the Environment, the University of Maryland Extension and various agricultural organizations.
“This is an excellent opportunity for growers to safely dispose of old,
banned, unwanted or unusable pesticides that may have been stored on their property for years,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “This
beneficial program helps to protect the Chesapeake Bay and keep Maryland
smart, green and growing by removing potential contaminants from the
environment through proper disposal.”
The Pesticide Disposal Program has been available to Maryland farmers and
agricultural commodity producers since 1995 on an annual rotating basis.
This is the first year the program will be open to operators statewide. More
than 170,000 pounds of unusable or unwanted pesticides have been collected from more than 330 farm sites throughout Maryland since the program was first initiated. The program is funded through registration fees collected from pesticide manufacturers and registrants.
Maryland’s 2011 pesticide disposal program is available free of charge to
all farmers, nurserymen, greenhouse operators and Christmas tree growers.
Registration forms to participate in the program are available online at
MDA’s website: www.mda.state.md.us/pdf/regform.pdf or from University of Maryland Extension offices. The deadline for registration forms to be
submitted to MDA is Jan. 16, 2012.
Once producers submit a registration form listing the types and quantities
of pesticides to be disposed, MDA inspectors visit the storage site to
estimate the weight of the materials and to tag the pesticide containers for
collection. A contract is awarded by MDA to a certified hazardous waste
hauler who makes arrangements with the grower to pick-up the pesticides.
The entire process from registration to pick-up takes approximately eight to ten months.
In addition to the unwanted pesticide disposal program, MDA operates an
annual empty pesticide plastic container inspection and collection program
open to the public in at least seven locations statewide from June through
September. In addition, 14 pesticide dealer sites participate in the program. During 2011, 42,000 containers, weighing 20 tons, were collected from about 110 participants. The pesticide containers are collected, chipped, processed and remanufactured into new pesticide containers by a contractor hired by the pesticide manufacturing industry. Since the program began in 1993, MDA has collected 700,000 empty pesticide containers—weighing approximately 300 tons—for recycling.
For additional information, contact Rob Hofstetter, special programs
coordinator, Pesticide Regulation Section, Maryland Department of
Agriculture, Annapolis, MD 21401, telephone 410-841-5710.