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Daily Newscasts

WA's Fall Chemical Roundup Begins

August 17, 2009

Olympia, WA - Washington's fall roundup of pesticides from large farms and commercial users will soon be underway, and last year it netted more than 120,000 pounds. The state Department of Agriculture contracts with companies that take the chemicals to Utah or Arkansas, where they are incinerated at what Mike Louisell with the Ag Department calls state-of-the-art facilities. As more farms, golf courses and others "go organic," he says there's quite a variety of chemicals they no longer use.

"Typically, we get at these waste events, pesticides that are classified as herbicides, such as 2-4-D, Clopyrilid, Dynaseb; or insecticides, such as parathion, malathion. Or even DDT, we still get in some of our collections."

The state supervises collection of the pesticides because it's also responsible for regulating them and licensing users, so ensuring proper disposal is part of the cycle, Louisell says.

"Just safely getting rid of pesticides so that they don't end up harming the environment; they don't end up in streams, rivers or bodies of water. Or, they don't harm people that might stumble upon them."

The collections are only for commercial users, not homeowners. Businesses are asked to contact the Ag Department this month to let them know what's coming. In September, drop-off events are planned in Seattle on the first and Puyallup on the second; in Linden on the ninth, Longview on the 16th and Spokane on the 24th. The toll-free Waste Pesticide Program number is 877-301-4555.

The Web site is - click on "Pesticides and Fertilizers."

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA