pesticide spraying

Pesticide spraying.

Lancaster County farmers and agribusinesses will soon be able to safely dispose of outdated or unwanted pesticides.

The state Department of Agriculture offers a pesticide pickup each year in rotating counties under its CHEMSWEEP program.

A disposal program will be in Lancaster in 2018, the first pickup since 2014. At that time, an independent contractor hired by the state will pick up the pesticides at participating locations around the county.

The program is open to licensed pesticide applicators, pesticide dealers and commercial pesticide application businesses. They have until Feb. 28 to complete a CHEMSWEEP registration and inventory form. To obtain the form or for more information, go to www.agriculture.pa.gov.

“When pesticides outlive their usefulness, they can become a problem,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding in endorsing the collection program.

“Rather than leaving them sitting in barns and back rooms as threats to human safety and our environment, we provide this service to each of Pennsylvania’s counties every four years.”

More than 2.5 million pounds of unwanted or unusable pesticides have been properly destroyed — usually by incineration — through the program since it began in 1993.

Pesticides are not allowed to be disposed of in landfills.

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