Maine’s Obsolete Pesticide Collection Program – free disposal after registration

Pesticide

MAINERS URGED TO SIGN UP FOR FREE DISPOSAL OF BANNED,  UNUSABLE PESTICIDES

AUGUSTA—It’s not uncommon for new owners of older homes or farms in Maine to discover they have inherited hazardous waste—caches of old pesticides around their property. Old chemicals like DDT, lead arsenate, 2,4,5-T, and chlordane are often discovered in barns, basements, sheds, or garages. When these discoveries are made, homeowners quickly learn that disposal of old chemicals can be complicated and very expensive.

Fortunately, there’s an option that’s legal, responsible, and free. Just contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) for details. This fall, the state regulatory agency will dispose of banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable. And, again, there is no cost to homeowners.

“We urge people holding these chemicals to contact us immediately to register,” says Paul Schlein, BPC Public Education Specialist. “There will be four sites throughout the state where participants will be able to bring their obsolete pesticides.”

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the US EPA where they are incinerated or reprocessed.

“Disposal of obsolete pesticides is expensive for the state,” notes Schlein, “but it’s clearly much less than the cost of cleaning up contaminated soil or water. However, it’s worth noting that future funding is not guaranteed, so be sure to take advantage of this year’s collection while you can.”

Preregistration is required by September 30, 2011. To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at www.thinkfirstspraylast.org. Or, call the BPC at 287-2731.

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The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) is the lead state agency for pesticide regulation. An administrative unit of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, policy decisions are made by a seven-member, public board. The BPC is creator of “YardScaping,” a statewide program that recognizes the connection between backyards and watersheds, and calls for Maine citizens to make lawn care choices that don’t compromise the environment or the beauty of their lawn.

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