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Free disposal of banned, unusable pesticides
REGION -- It’s not uncommon for new owners of older homes or farms in Maine to discover they have inherited hazardous waste—caches of old pesticides around their property. Old chemicals like DDT, lead arsenate, 2,4,5-T, and chlordane are often discovered in barns, basements, sheds, or garages. When these discoveries are made, homeowners quickly learn that disposal of old chemicals can be complicated and very expensive.
Fortunately, there’s an option that’s legal, responsible, and free. Just contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) for details. This fall, the state regulatory agency will dispose of banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable. And, again, there is no cost to homeowners.
“We urge people holding these chemicals to contact us immediately to register,” says Paul Schlein, BPC Public Education Specialists. “There will be four sites throughout the state where participants will be able to bring their obsolete pesticides.”
The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the US EPA where they are incinerated or reprocessed.
“Disposal of obsolete pesticides is expensive for the state,” notes Schlein, “but it’s clearly much less than the cost of cleaning up contaminated soil or water. However, it’s worth noting that future funding is not guaranteed, so be sure to take advantage of this year’s collection while you can.”
Preregistration is required by September 30, 2011. To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at www.thinkfirstspraylast.org. Or, callthe BPC at 287-2731.