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Pesticides: Disposal

Pesticide disposal is an important part of a pesticide applicator’s responsibilities. The simplest way to dispose of unwanted pesticides is to use the product according to the label until it’s gone. If you cannot use them, ask your neighbors if they have a similar problem and can use them. NEVER dump pesticides down the drain or into storm drains, even if they’re diluted.

Household quantities of pesticides can be disposed of at a Hazardous Disposal Materials collection site or on collection day, if one is available in your county. The Colorado Department of Agriculture – Conservation Division provides a map to help you locate a site for the disposal of pesticides. Click on a county on the map to display contact information. When contacting a county be sure to check residency requirements, as well as what types of pesticides are accepted. Colorado ChemSweep Pesticide Disposal Program also offers another option to get rid of unwanted pesticides but does charge fees for this service.

An empty pesticide container is not as empty as you think; a significant amount of pesticide residue can remain inside it. When disposing of empty containers that held liquid product, rinse the container by filling one-fourth of the way with water and allow it to drain into the sprayer used to apply the pesticides. Repeat this procedure three times and then apply the liquid rinses to the treatment site as if it were not diluted. Puncture the empty container and leave the lid off to allow it to dry completely before taking it to the landfill or burning. Containers can ONLY be recycled through a pesticide container recycling program such as the Container Service Network and should NOT be placed in a main-stream recycling collection site. Container Service Network has a collection site in Wellington, CO. NEVER reuse containers that held pesticides for any other purpose as they may still contain small amounts of residue.

More information about the ChemSweep and CSN programs is available on the “Pesticide Disposal” page of the CSU Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program website.


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Updated Wednesday, September 24, 2014