Pesticide Collection Tops Two Million Pounds; State Says “Keep It Comin’”
Olympia, WA – The State of Washington will collect its two-millionth pound of unwanted chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides from farms, golf courses and other businesses this year. The signup deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 5, for collections in Eastern Washington that begin in October.
Joe Hoffman, of the Washington State Agriculture Department (WSDA), says they pick up quite a mix of items, including some that have been sitting around since they were banned.
"The oldest thing we can verify that we’ve collected was a package from 1913 of lead arsenate. We’ve disposed of a lot of Dinoseb and Endrin*, and some fairly nasty insecticides."
Hoffman adds the service is free, and the benefit to businesses is that they give up all legal responsibility for the waste when they hand it over at the collection sites.
"The buck stops with us. If anything were to happen once we get the materials from the customer, it removes that liability from the customer."
Hoffman explains the collection program will start in Eastern Washington because more chemicals are being banned for use in orchards there. Participants must register in advance so the state will know what materials to be prepared for. The waste is sent to two licensed, out-of-state facilities to be burned.
The October pickup sites are in Pasco, Okanogan, and Orondo. WSDA’s Waste Pesticide Program signup information is available online, at http://www.agr.wa.gov.