Pesticide Container Collection Day is Jan. 18

Chad Gulley

What to do with all the empty plastic pesticide containers? It is important to dispose of these containers properly. Empty plastic pesticide containers should be cleaned, stored properly and rendered unusable for other purposes.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Smith, Cherokee and Rusk counties will have an Empty Plastic Pesticide Container Collection Day on Jan. 18. This collection day will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tri-County Livestock Exchange parking lot, 23733 U.S. Highway 79 North, New Summerfield.

Only clean, empty plastic pesticide containers will be collected. All containers need to be triple rinsed and clean of any residue before being dropped off at the collection site. Any container not meeting the specifications will not be accepted. No chemicals, oils, fuels or other substances will be accepted at this collection site.

All empty plastic pesticide containers from 55 gallons or less will be accepted. Stains are allowed on containers as long as no residue is present. Lids and labels should also be removed. The USAg Recycles Co. will collect these containers that day. USAg is supported by Ag Container Recycling Council. ACRC is a nonprofit organization that encourages the proper management of plastic crop-protection product containers.

ACRC is an industry funded organization that safely collects and recycles one-way rigid HDPE plastic agricultural crop protection, specialty pest control, animal health, micronutrient/fertilizer and/or adjuvant product containers. This is done through member funding of cost-effective programs that foster public health and safety, environmental protection, resource conservation and end user convenience.

It is illegal to burn empty pesticide containers in Texas. For those who drop off empty containers at this collection, a roster will be kept and each person will receive a certificate for their records of proper disposal. This certificate could be important for Texas Department of Agriculture requirements for your files.

Follow these steps in preparing your containers:

-- Discard caps. They are usually made of a different kind of plastic and cannot be recycled. Be sure to clean the cap at the time the container is rinsed. Never put a cap back on a cleaned container. Dispose of the cleaned caps as normal solid waste.

-- Remove labels. Labels and booklets interfere with the recycling process.

-- Cleaned containers must be kept out of the rain and away from the rain water. Store cleaned containers in a roofed building, an enclosed trailer or in plastic bags.

For more information on this collection day, contact the Smith County Extension Office at 903-590-2980. Information on steps for preparing the containers can be found at www.usagrecycling.com.

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