The Star-Herald

State plans collection of unusable pesticides

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — This October, Mainers can dispose of unusable and waste pesticides thanks to a project sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Board of Pesticides Control and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. 

Collection in Aroostook County will take place in Presque Isle. The deadline to pre-register is Monday, Oct. 7. Unregistered drop-offs will not be permitted. All details, including drop-off locations and program dates, will be supplied following registration. 

This free annual program is open to homeowners and family-owned farms and greenhouses. To register and access important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, visit the BPC website at http://www.thinkfirstspraylast.org, or call 207-287-2731.

Other collections will take place in Augusta, Jonesboro and Portland.

“The Obsolete Pesticide Collection Program is an excellent opportunity for free disposal of unusable and unwanted pesticides,” said DACF Commissioner Amanda Beal. “Register in advance, bring your pesticides to one of the designated collection sites, and let the professionals dispose of these materials in a responsible and safe way.”

The Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, funded through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 106 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.

Pesticides accepted for collection include: herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides and similar products used in agricultural production or around the home. Past participants in the program have reported finding obsolete pesticides in barns of inherited properties, garages of newly purchased homes, and other unexpected places. While removal of these pesticides can seem daunting, it is important for the protection of public, wildlife and environmental health that they are dealt with properly and not thrown in the trash or poured down the drain, where they can contaminate land and water resources.

When improperly disposed of in the trash, poured into the environment, down the drain, or kept in storage for long periods of time, pesticides threaten wildlife and the quality of our drinking water sources, said Jerry Reid, DEP commissioner. He encouraged Mainers to bring their pesticides for collection.

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