MDA Collects 18 Tons of Empty Pesticide Containers for Recycling This Year

Program Encourages Proper Disposal to Protect the Chesapeake Bay

ANNAPOLIS (Dec. 20, 2007) - Each year since 1993, Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has operated a plastic container inspection and collection at least 17 locations in seven counties and at 10 pesticide dealer sites from June through September. During 2007, 35,000 containers, weighing nearly 18 tons, were collected from 123 participants. More than 20,000 pounds of pesticides were also collected from 30 farm sites.

The MDA offers empty pesticide container recycling programs for farmers, golf courses, government agencies and commercial applicators and unwanted pesticide disposal programs for farmers. Both of these programs are offered free of charge and are paid for through special fund revenues collected from pesticide product registration fees.

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, MDA has collected nearly 525,000 empty pesticide containers weighing more than 221 tons for recycling. Additionally, since 1995, MDA has collected approximately 150,000 pounds of unwanted and banned pesticides that are disposed of by incineration at an EPA licensed hazardous waste incinerator plant.

"These beneficial pesticide recycling and disposal programs help to protect the Chesapeake Bay by removing potential contaminants from the environment through proper disposal," said Agriculture Secretary Roger Richardson. "MDA encourages farmers and others who are eligible to participate in these programs, which are offered free of charge."

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) manages the use of pesticides through regulatory and educational programs for private (farmer), public agency and commercial pesticide applicators that operate in Maryland to ensure that pesticide are used properly and that adverse effects from their use are avoided or minimized.

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