STILLWATER, Okla. — Now that spring has sprung, many Oklahomans are busy with seasonal cleaning. While much of the focus is on removing dust bunnies in the corners and uncluttering closets and cabinets, one shouldn’t forget about old pesticides lurking on dusty shelves in the barn or garage.
To help make disposing of these unwanted chemicals easier, Oklahoma State University’s Pesticide Safety Education Program is partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to host two unwanted pesticide disposal days in Ada on April 26 and Hobart on April 28.
The Oklahoma Unwanted Pesticide Disposal Program events will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pontotoc County Agri-Plex, 1710 N. Broadway in Ada; and the Kiowa County Fairgrounds, 302 N. Lincoln St. in Hobart.
Farmers, ranchers, applicators, pesticide dealers and homeowners are invited to bring up to 2,000 pounds of pesticides to the drop-off sites for proper disposal at no charge. A fee will be required for those bringing more than 2,000 pounds of pesticides.
Charles Luper, an OSU Extension associate with the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program, said the disposal days began in 2006 and have collected and properly disposed of more than 1.2 million pounds of unwanted pesticides.
“The last thing we want to see is these products disposed of improperly. By offering this free service a couple of times per year around the state, we’re helping keep these chemicals out of landfills, rivers, streams, storm drains and illegal roadside dumps,” Luper said. “This has a positive impact on our environment, lessens the chance of groundwater contamination and helps people get rid of containers taking up space in their barns, garages or businesses in an environmentally safe manner.”
Aside from cleaning out their own property, some families may be faced with cleaning out barns and storage buildings of older relatives who have passed away. Some of the chemicals they come across could be 40 or 50 years old. The Oklahoma Unwanted Pesticide Disposal Program is a great opportunity to safely get rid of these chemicals.
ODAFF has contracted with Clean Earth, a licensed hazardous waste company, to collect and properly dispose of waste pesticides. Pesticide dealers are asked to preregister through the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program. Applicators and agricultural producers are not required to preregister.
“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 the Clean Earth company know what will be needed on site to effectively handle the quantity of pesticides collected. Please keep in mind paint, batteries, oil or fertilizer will not be accepted.”
Participants will need to safely transport their pesticides to one of the collection sites. Pick-up services are not available. Please check out these safe transportation tips.
For more information, visit the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program website or contact Luper at 405-744-5808.
Oklahoma State University