Pesticide collection day slated for Aug. 29

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

Safely disposing of various pesticides is the goal of a pesticide collection day in Clanton on Aug. 29.

The program will allow farmers, pesticide applicators, pesticide dealers, nurserymen and pest control operators to bring up to 1,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides for safe and environmentally sound disposal.

The Clean Day Waste Pesticide Collection Program is sponsored by Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries along with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System with funding provided by a grant from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4.

“Sometimes when pesticides get old or lose their registration, people might not know how to get rid of them,” Regional Extension Agent Gary Gray with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System said. “We have done this before in Chilton County and it was a successful event.”

The event will also involve residents of Bibb, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Lowndes, Perry and Shelby counties who can also bring their outdated and banned pesticides to the collection event in Chilton County.

Participants must register to bring their pesticides by Aug. 27, by filling out a form available at local county extension offices.

Chilton County Extension Coordinator Gay West said participants must register for the event due to the exact location for the collection along with a specified time given upon registration.

Registration is also required due to the program being limited to 80,000 pounds of chemicals.

Organizers will set up drop-off times’ and all records will be destroyed afterward.

Household chemicals, explosives or other materials will not be accepted.

Gray said products such as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides would be some of the items that will be accepted.

“Originally, this event was started about 15 years ago and is held for different counties throughout Alabama,” Gray said. “The primary focus at one time was the agricultural side for farmers and pesticide dealers, but in recent years, it has been opened up to anyone who wants to register and participate.”

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries has spent about $800,000 so far and disposed of about 670,000 pounds of chemicals, according to program director Tony Cofer in a release.

The program is funded by grants and by the end of 2013, the program will have covered more than 25 counties in Alabama.

“If you’re not going to use it, you need to try to dispose of it,” Cofer said in a release. “All of those chemicals are potential groundwater contaminators. You don’t want your children playing in empty barns where old chemicals are stored. The chemicals collected will be sorted by compound and trucked to an EPA-approved incinerator in Ohio.”

For more information about registering for the event, contact the Chilton County Extension Office at (205) 280-6268.