Harrisburg, PA - Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 19 counties across the state can dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily next year through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s CHEMSWEEP program.
“When pesticides outlive their usefulness, they can become a problem,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Rather than leaving them sitting in barns and back rooms as threats to human safety and our environment, we provide this service to each of Pennsylvania’s counties every four years.”
The program is offered in different counties each year. In 2018, it will be available in Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Franklin, Jefferson, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Potter, and Washington counties.
More than 2.5 million pounds of unwanted or unusable pesticides have been properly destroyed through the program since it was established in 1993.
Every year, many pesticide products are discontinued, phased out or become unusable, leaving growers, commercial establishments, and professional applicators with potentially dangerous and toxic materials that cannot be placed in landfills. The unwanted pesticides often become a safety hazard and an environmental concern through long-term storage in garages, barns, or other areas.
Licensed pesticide applicators, pesticide dealers and commercial pesticide application businesses from the designated counties are eligible to participate by completing the CHEMSWEEP registration and inventory form that will be mailed directly to eligible applicators, dealers, and businesses. The registration period ends February 28.
An independent contractor hired by the state agriculture department collects and packages all waste pesticides at each participating location, primarily for incineration at facilities approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. CHEMSWEEP covers the disposal cost for the first 2,000 pounds per participant. Above that level, participants are billed at the agriculture department’s contracted price.
The program is funded through annual registration fees paid by pesticide manufacturers and applicators.
For more information, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Will Nichols - 717.787.5085
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