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Jun 02, 2023


Pesticides play a crucial role in pest management, both in agriculture and

Pesticides play a crucial role in pest management, both in agriculture and beyond. However, the safe handling of these chemicals, from purchase to disposal, is vital to maximizing benefits while minimizing risks.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska witnesses the application of tens of millions of pounds of pesticides annually, resulting in a significant number of empty plastic pesticide containers. To address this issue, the Nebraska Pesticide Container Recycling Program has been operating for 32 years, offering private and commercial applicators in the state a free and responsible method of disposing of their pesticide containers.

The program exclusively accepts containers that previously held pesticides for crop, ornamental/turf, forestry, aquatic, and public health pest control. It also welcomes containers that contained crop oils, surfactants, and adjuvants. However, containers that held consumer pesticides, such as home and garden products, are not accepted through this program. Household hazardous waste disposal events organized by some cities or counties cater to these types of products.

Collection sites across the state accept one- and 2.5-gallon plastic containers, with some sites accommodating 15-, 30-, and 55-gallon plastic drums as well. Specific details regarding accepted container sizes can be found on the Nebraska Extension's Pesticide Safety Education Program website, along with a comprehensive list of collection sites and their respective schedules.

The recycled plastic from these containers finds new life in industry-approved products like pallets, drain tile, underground utility conduit, landscape edging, and nursery pots. Instead of contributing to landfills, consider recycling empty pesticide containers this year, contributing to a more responsible and eco-conscious approach to waste management.