ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Regulation Section has announced the 2021 dates and drop-off locations for its Pesticide Container Recycling Program. On certain days from June through September farmers, pesticide applicators, and other pesticide users can recycle used plastic pesticide containers at no cost at locations in Frederick, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Talbot, Washington, and Wicomico counties.
“For the past 28 years, the department has provided farmers and pesticide applicators with the opportunity to dispose of used pesticide containers safely and responsibly for free at convenient locations around the state,” said Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder. “This program not only recycles plastics, it also helps keep pesticide residue out of our local waterways and soil, ultimately helping to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.”
Those participating in the program are asked to properly rinse containers before drop-off. Containers acceptable for recycling will be chipped into recyclable plastic flakes by the Agricultural Container Recycling Council and transported to an approved recycling facility. Since its inception, the program has yielded over 1 million tons of recyclable plastic flakes.
Maryland’s Pesticide Container Recycling Program is a combined effort of state, county, and federal agencies and the private industry working together to protect the environment. Rinsing and recycling empty pesticide containers will help to reduce the potential for contamination in groundwater and the Chesapeake Bay while also saving valuable landfill space. The program is free and open to all agricultural producers and pesticide applicators.
A schedule of 2021 collection dates and locations is available on the department’s website. Please be sure your containers meet the department’s specifications prior to drop-off.
Additionally, for farmers or producers who want to safely dispose of any unwanted or unusable agricultural pesticides, the department also offers the Maryland Pesticide Disposal Program. To participate in this free, voluntary program, farmers must submit an application before Sept. 15, 2021.
For more information on Maryland’s Pesticide Container Recycling Program, contact the department’s Pesticide Regulation Section at (410) 841-5710 or visit the department’s website.
–Megan Guilfoyle, Maryland Department of Agriculture