Maryland Recycles Pesticide Containers for 21st Year

May 4, 2013

Collection Dates Open in June

For 20 years, Maryland’s pesticide container recycling program, offered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), has helped prevent pesticide residues from entering the soil and local waterways and has saved valuable landfill space by recycling more than 743,000 empty, plastic pesticide containers. The program will open its 21st year of operation in June. MDA asks farmers, pesticide applicators and others to properly rinse and recycle their empty pesticide containers. A total of 24 collection days are scheduled in June through September at six locations throughout the state. A schedule of collection dates and sites is available on the MDA website at http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Documents/recycle.pdf

“This beneficial pesticide recycling program is a win-win situation for everyone and protects the environment from possible contamination. We are very pleased with the response by farmers, commercial agricultural pesticide applicators and other pesticide users to this program,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “The program offers producers and others a free way to dispose of pesticide containers, protects the Chesapeake Bay and keeps Maryland smart, green and growing by removing potential contaminants through proper disposal. It also provides a source of recycled material for vendors. As word has spread about the benefits of the program, participation has consistently increased.”

The pesticide container recycling program is free and open to all agricultural producers and pesticide applicators. The Agricultural Container Recycling Council (ACRC) provides a chipper to grind the plastic containers into flakes, which are then transported to a contractor for recycling. The containers collected in Maryland have yielded nearly 280 tons of recyclable plastic flakes. Thanks to a cooperative effort among the Ag Container Recycling Council and USAg Recycling, Inc., the program can also pick up large quantities of special local recycling, which provides a convenient and much cheaper alternative to landfill disposal.

Maryland’s container recycling program is a combined effort of state, county and federal agencies, as well as private industry, working together to protect the environment. MDA’s partners include: the Mid-Shore Regional Solid Waste Facility, Kent County Public Works, Wicomico Public Works, Frederick County Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Harford County Public Works, Crop Production Services Centreville, Crop Production Services Pocomoke, Southern States Centreville Cooperative, Southern States Kennedyville Cooperative, Martin’s Elevator, Angelica Nurseries, Inc., The Mill of Black Horse, Willard Agri Service Inc., Chesapeake Ag Air, Tim’s Aerial Applications, Allen Chorman and Son, Delmarva Aerial Crop Service, Lippy Brothers, Inc., Eddie Mercer, Inc., Hobbits Glen Golf Course, USDA, ARS, Maryland Environmental Service, and Maryland farmers and applicators.

For additional information, or to schedule a chipping date at your site, contact Rob Hofstetter, special programs coordinator, Pesticide Regulation Section, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Annapolis, telephone 410-841-5710.

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