Agricultural growers and commercial pesticide applicators can help get empty pesticide containers out of the waste stream through a recycling program from the Delaware Department of Agriculture.
Owners can drop off their clean, used pesticide containers for recycling through October at the Sussex Conservation District maintenance yard near Georgetown, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.
DDA Pesticides Administrator David Pyne said the program has been a powerful success, with more than 286,000 containers recycled since it began in 1993. More than 40,000 empty containers were recycled in 2012 alone.
“We want to assist farmers and pesticide applicators in their work to help the environment,” Pyne said. “This is a simple way to combine our resources and get these containers out of the trash.”
Every ton of high-density polyethylene plastic that is recycled saves what amounts to 450 gallons of gasoline, according to the Ag Container Recycling Council.
Containers dropped off are inspected for cleanliness - triple-rinsing or the equivalent - and labels and lids should be removed.
The containers are baled and stored for shipment to a recycling plant where they are processed and the plastic reused for items including fence posts, park benches, pallets and pilings. The plastic is not used in consumer packaging.
Farmers or commercial pesticide applicators with large quantities of containers - more than 100 jugs - should contact the department to arrange on-site pickup.
To arrange a pickup or drop-off, contact Chris Wade at 302-698-4574 or Kenda Galipo at 302-698-4571.