The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) helped hundreds of Minnesotans safely dispose of more than 18 tons of unwanted, unusable or out-of-date pesticides in 2012 through its Waste Pesticide Collection Program.
Over the summer of 2012, MDA worked with local officials to organize a series of collection events around the state. This year, the collection events were offered in 35 counties. At each site, residents are invited to drop off waste pesticides. The collection events typically attract a wide range of people, including farmers, ag-chemical dealerships, golf course workers, nursery and garden center staff, and homeowners. The program is funded by a surcharge paid to MDA by pesticide registrants, and the collection and disposal was provided at no cost to any of the participants.
In addition to eliminating the 18 tons of agricultural waste pesticides from our state, MDA worked with counties to collect and remove more than 103 tons of household waste pesticides so far this year. Under an agreement with the state and most Minnesota counties, MDA pays for transportation, disposal, and other costs.
MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson said the program helps homeowners, farmers, and others by giving them a safe and convenient option for disposing of waste pesticides.
“It’s great to see so many people taking advantage of this opportunity to get rid of waste pesticides in a safe way,” Commissioner Frederickson said. “We are especially thankful for the partnership and support of local government organizations, because they are so important in helping make the collection events happen.”
Since 1990, MDA’s Waste Pesticide Collection Program has safely collected, managed, and disposed of more than 2,500 tons of waste pesticide. The removal of these unwanted pesticides helps protect the environment and human health and limits the risk of accidental release of product into the environment through aging product bags or storage containers.
Minnesotans can learn more about the program and check whether their county accepts waste pesticides through their household hazardous waste program or through an MDA waste pesticide collection event by calling their solid waste office. They can also get more information by going to the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us and entering the term “waste pesticide collection” into the search field near the top of the page.