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AUGUSTA—This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help Mainers dispose of unusable and waste pesticides. The Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, jointly sponsored by the BPC and DEP, and funded through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 99 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.
This free annual program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collections will occur at four sites: Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland. Participants must pre-register by September 29, 2017. Drop-ins are not permitted. The collected chemicals will be taken to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed.
Pesticides may become unusable due to age, freezing or evaporation, or because their legal registration changes. It is important to remember that the term “pesticides” includes not only insecticides, but also herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides. Past participants in the program have reported finding obsolete pesticides in barns of inherited properties, garages of newly purchased homes and other unexpected places.
Governor Paul R. LePage is urging Mainers to take advantage of this opportunity to protect the environment and save money through this once a year collection event that highlights cooperation between government agencies. “This is an opportunity for Mainers to dispose of unusable pesticides properly and at no expense,” said Governor LePage. “Through consolidated collections at four central locations and the use of in-house resources and expertise, disposal costs are reduced to about $2 per pound. That is a great value for Maine taxpayers lowers costs and helps protect the environment.”
DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb is encouraging Mainers to seize this free opportunity for pesticide disposal. “This program provides essential protection of the public, wildlife, and environment. Pesticides thrown in the trash or poured down the drain contaminate drinking water and cause environmental damage,” said Commissioner Whitcomb. “I urge people storing these products to contact the BPC and register as soon as possible for the October program.”
“Providing Maine residents with a free and easy solution to properly dispose of pesticides gives everyone an opportunity to make a positive impact on our environment and public health,” said Paul Mercer, DEP Commissioner.
To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at thinkfirstspraylast.org , or call 207-287-2731.
· For more information on the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, go to: thinkfirstspraylast.org.
· For more information on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, go to: maine.gov/dep