Maine DEP, Board of Pesticides Control Sponsors Free Pesticides Disposal For Maine Homeowners, Family Farms

August 30, 2012

CONTACT:
Henry Jennings, Director of the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, 287-2731 or Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Communications Director samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov / (207) 287-5842

AUGUSTA— Maine’s Board of Pesticide Control and Department of Environmental Protection are partnering to provide homeowners a free opportunity this fall to dispose of old pesticides that may be stockpiled on their properties.

Required registration – the deadline for which is September 28 – is now open for the disposal day, which gives owners of homes and family farms and greenhouses the opportunity to safely and legally get rid of pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable, including those that are banned in the state.

It’s not uncommon for new owners of older homes or farms in Maine to discover they have inherited hazardous waste in the form of pesticides with old chemicals like DDT, lead arsenate, 2,4,5-T and chlordane left behind in barns, basements or garages.

While disposing of these chemicals can seem daunting, it’s important for the protection of public, wildlife and environmental health they are dealt with properly and not tossed in the trash or down the drain where they can contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water.

“We urge people holding these chemicals to contact us immediately to register,” says BPC Public Education Specialist Paul Schlein. “There will be four sites throughout the state where preregistered participants will be able to bring their obsolete pesticides and dispose of them conveniently and at no cost.”

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed. Due to safety and regulatory requirements, disposal “drop-ins” are not allowed and so registration by the September 28 deadline is necessary. The BPC will contact registrants several weeks prior to that drive to inform them of their local collection date and location.

To register, get additional details or learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to http://www.thinkfirstspraylast.org or call the BPC at 287-2731.

Through their jointly-sponsored disposal events – which are funded entirely through pesticide product registration fees – BPC and DEP have kept about 90 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since 1982.

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