It is a sure bet a quick look through just about any barn, storage building or garage in Oklahoma will turn up some old, unused pesticides. Instead of letting these chemicals take up space, make plans to properly dispose of them during an upcoming pesticide disposal event.
Slated May 21 at McAlester, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Unwanted Pesticide Disposal Program is hosting a day in which commercial and noncommercial applicators, pesticide dealers, farmers, ranchers and homeowners can bring up to 2,000 pounds of pesticides for proper disposal at no charge. A fee will be assessed to those bringing more than 2,000 pounds of pesticides.
This event will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the McAlester Expo Center, west of McAlester on Highway 270. Agricultural producers, commercial and noncommercial applicators, pesticide dealers and homeowners are encouraged to participate in the event.
Charles Luper, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension associate, said the program, funded by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, has been very successful over the years.
“This program began in 2006, and in the last 13 years has collected nearly 951,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides,” Luper said. “That’s about 475 tons of chemicals that have been kept out of landfills, storm drains, lakes and streams. This is a positive thing for the environment and reduces health and environmental concerns.”
Unwanted pesticides are classified as those that become unusable as originally intended for a variety of reasons, including leftover pesticides, pesticides that are no longer registered in Oklahoma and pesticides that no longer have labels or are no longer identifiable.
ODAFF has contracted with Stericycle, a licensed hazardous waste company, to collect and properly dispose of waste pesticides. Applicators and agricultural producers are not required to preregister for this event. Pesticide dealers are asked to preregister with Stericycle through the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program at http://pested.okstate.edu/html/unwanted.html.
“Pesticide dealers are asked to preregister because of the potential for large quantities of pesticides coming from multiple dealers or multiple locations,” Luper said. “This will help Stericycle know what will be needed on site to effectively handle the amount of pesticides collected. Please keep in mind paint, batteries, oil or fertilizer will not be accepted.”
For more information, visit the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program website or contact Luper at 405-744-5808.