A "Clean Day" Pesticide Collection Event was held on December 4th at the former location of Dekalb Farmers Cooperative in Rainsville. The program allowed farmers, nurserymen and pest control operators to take advantage of safe disposal of unwanted or unused pesticide wastes at no charge.
Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks, who is a Fort Payne native, stated 44,112 pounds of unwanted and unusable pesticides were collected from 42 farmers in the Sand Mountain area. Sparks said he is pleased to give members of the agricultural community the opportunity to dispose of unwanted and unusable pesticides free of charge.
Sparks said many of the pesticides collected during Clean Day events are ineffective as a result of age, loss of labeling with directions for use or deteriorating containers. Other products may be banned due to state or federal restrictions or are simply unwanted or unneeded.
Hundreds of people have voluntarily delivered pesticide waste products to Clean Day pesticide collection events since the program began.
"Eliminating these potentially dangerous chemicals from our state ultimately makes Alabama a cleaner and safer place to live and work. We in the agricultural community are proud to be good stewards of the environment," said Sparks.
The Clean Day Waste Pesticide Collection Program is sponsored by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries along with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and is funded through an Environmental Protection Agency grant. The program has been going on for 15 years and moves around the state on an annual basis. This location was provided by Dekalb Farmers Cooperative.
Materials accepted included both known and unidentifiable pesticide waste, like insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other products as defoliants and growth retardants.
Participants pre-registered through their Extension agency. For more information on the Clean Day program, contact Tony Cofer, division director for the pesticide manager, at 334-240-7242 or 800-642-7761, Ext. 7242.