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Waste Pesticide Collection Program

Unusable or unwanted pesticide products can accumulate for a variety of reasons, e.g., mistakes are made in calculating the amount of product needed or new product chemistries may be more effective at controlling target pests than those on hand, to name a couple. Because of human and environmental health concerns, disposing of these stockpiles can be a problem. Most pesticides have specific language on the label regarding disposal, making it against the law to dispose of them otherwise. And simply keeping them on hand can create problems down the road when the packaging inevitably corrodes and creates a hazard.

That's why several government agencies and organizations, including the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, the Nebraska Agri- Business Association, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension have sponsored a successful waste pesticide collection program the last several years. Normally held in the spring of the year, approximately 20 collection points are selected across the state. At each site, pesticides are accepted with no questions asked and at no cost. However, individuals having over 500 pounds of product are asked to provide a nominal fee for every pound over this amount to cover the costs of disposal.

To date, over 2,000,000 pounds have been collected through this program (see the links to the program's statistics below). NDA applauds the efforts of the many individuals and companies who have chosen to protect the environment and their neighbors by disposing of their pesticides properly.

To find the site nearest you in this year's Collection Program, click here.

Which Waste Pesticides Are Eligible For Collection?

Empty Pesticide Containers

Collections for empty pesticide containers are not accepted at these sites. However, the University of Nebraska Extension does offer collection sites for these materials, many of which are available year-around. Please see the Pesticide Safety Education Program site for these dates and locations of the collection points.

Summary Results of Previous Collections

2007 Site Totals (chart)
Cumulative Pounds by Site and Year (chart)
Cumulative Pounds by Site and Year (table)

How Nebraska's Program Compares with Other States

The U.S. EPA released its Clean Sweep Report 2001, which details the programs administered in each state. Based on data provided through the 2000 collection year, Nebraska ranks fourth in total pounds collected. While there are variations in the administration of these programs, the number of collection sites held, how much money is available for the program, who is eligible to participate, and how states report their results, we should be proud of the effects of Nebraska's program. This is especially true when comparing the number of years collections have been held, the dollars spent, and an estimate of the amount of pesticides used in each state. The following graphics are taken from the EPA report:

Related Links

Ag Container Recycling Council - A non-profit organization that promotes and supports collection and recycling of HDPE crop protection product containers.
Safe Transport, Storage and Disposal of Pesticides - University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension publication (search EC2507).