PROSSER - The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is sponsoring free pesticide disposal events this year near Prosser, Seattle, Walla Walla and Spokane.
Advance sign-up is required and deadlines are approaching.
The sign-up deadline for the disposal of commercial and agricultural products in Prosser is Wednesday, Aug. 31. The date of the disposal event is Oct. 20.
WSDA encourages farms, businesses, residents and landowners to inspect their storage sheds, barns, shops and garages. The agency will accept any agricultural and commercial-grade pesticides that are no longer needed.
Last year, WSDA collected more than 183,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides.
"People want to do the right thing to protect their local environment," said WSDA's Joe Hoffman.
He said, "Proper pesticide disposal helps keep our land and water clean, prevents expensive clean-up projects and protects public health. Growers seeking good agricultural practices certification will want to remove unwanted pesticides before their inspection."
Products accepted for disposal include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and most chemicals that kill, repel or prevent unwanted pests.
Customers transport unwanted pesticides to the collection site where WSDA takes possession. A hazardous waste company works with WSDA to segregate and package the pesticides for safe, legal transportation and disposal.
Call 1-877-301-4555 (toll free) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Customers will receive the supplies necessary to protect broken or leaky containers to ensure safe transportation to the collection site, as well as directions to the site, hours of operation and transportation documents. Customer names do not appear on any retained documents. Upon request, WSDA will provide free assistance at a customer's property to help inventory unwanted pesticides and package leaky containers.
WSDA does not accept empty pesticide containers, fertilizers, motor oil and household hazardous waste. Contact your local solid waste program for assistance with these items.
WSDA regulates the registration and sale of pesticides. The department also enforces state and federal laws to protect people, property and the environment against the improper use or disposal of pesticides. Through its disposal events, WSDA has collected and properly disposed of more than 2.5 million pounds of waste pesticides since 1988.