How do you properly – and legally – dispose of unwanted pesticides?
It partly depends on whether you are a household (individual), a farmer or a business.
Regardless of your classification in those three categories, the preferred method is to reuse the pesticides. Check with the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Pesticides at 573-751-5504 to see if the pesticides are banned or if there any restrictions for using the pesticide.
Missouri law requires householders, farmers and exempted persons manage hazardous wastes, which could include pesticides, they generate so as not to harm human health, threaten the environment or create a public nuisance.
If you have pesticides you’ve used at home, you are allowed to dispose of them with your normal trash. Your trash hauler could, however, refuse to pick these up. In this case you may have to seek other methods of disposal.
If you are unable to dispose of pesticides with your trash, the next option would be to take them to a household hazardous waste collection facility if they are willing to accept them.
Contact your Solid Waste Management District to locate the nearest collection facility.
There might also be a hazardous waste collection event in your area that would accept unwanted pesticides. The department maintains a list of these events.
If you are a farmer, a person primarily engaged in the production of crops or livestock for agricultural purposes, or both, many of the exemptions that apply to household hazardous waste also apply to you. Disposal in your trash may be legal, but you must ensure your pesticides don’t create a danger to human health or the environment.
Check the labels to see if there are any directions or recommendations for disposal. Sometimes manufacturers will offer options such as drop-off or take back programs.
Also check with the Bureau of Pesticides to see if there are restrictions on using the pesticide.
If there are no manufacturer options available or if the use of the pesticide is restricted, contact your Solid Waste Management District for additional options. As a final resort you may opt to hire a licensed hazardous waste transporter to take the pesticides to a permitted Treatment, Storage or Disposal facility.
An unused pesticide product becomes a waste when it is permanently removed it from service. If you have determined the pesticide is a waste you must then determine if it is a hazardous waste.
If it is a hazardous waste you are required to dispose of it at a permitted Treatment, Storage or Disposal facility. You are also required to use a licensed hazardous waste transporter to ship them.
If they are not hazardous wastes, they may be disposed of at a solid waste landfill or transfer station. Some special waste requirements may still apply, and would be determined by the solid waste facility receiving the waste.
If you have any questions about properly disposing of pesticides, give us a call at 800-361-4827.