Smart ways to safely dispose of pesticide wastes

What is pesticide waste?

Pesticides waste includes pesticide solutions, ready-to-use formulations, concentrates, pesticide packaging and contaminated equipment and materials. Below we examine different ways of disposing of pesticide waste;

  1. Reducing the amount of waste we produce

By reducing the number of pesticides we use, we can also reduce the number of waste pesticides and empty containers we produce.  Ask yourself the following questions;

  • Do I need to use the pesticide and if it is a must, can it be reduced?
  • Could I possibly be having pesticides in stock and can I make fewer orders?
  • Have I chosen the most suitable pack size?
  • Can I control and manage the used pesticide any better?

Use other means of reducing packing waste like;

  • Returnable containers
  • Soluble packs
  • Closed-transfer systems
  • Direct-injection system
  • For low-volume sprayers use a flushing system
  • Find out whether your distributor will take back properly washed empty containers?
  1. Disposing of ready-to-use formulations and unwanted pesticide concentrates
  • Avoid disposing of pesticides just because they are out of date or because they have deteriorated.
  • Avoid storing unwanted pesticide if it is illegal or if the storing approval has been withdrawn.
  • If package or container is damaged but the pesticide is still approved for use carefully transfer it to the equipment that will be used to apply it hence only the container will need to be disposed of.
  • Despite trying to manage pesticides you may have ready-to-use or concentrates that need to be disposed of. To dispose of such consider the following points;

pest waste controlAsk your supplier if they can take back unwanted and unused pesticides that are still properly packaged, labeled and good quality.

Pesticides concentrates are hazardous therefore should only be disposed of according to the licensed waste-disposal regulations like recycling and other methods.

Store ready-to-use formulations and unwanted concentrates in a store to ensure any accidental spills are contained

  • Keep a record of where and when hazardous waste was disposed for at least three years.
  • Unwanted waste-disposal should only be done by a licensed wastes-disposal contractor.
  • As the owner of the waste, it’s your responsibility to ensure your waste-disposal contractor is genuine and he follows the law regarding unwanted concentrate waste disposal.
  1. Disposing dilute pesticide waste
  • Dispose of all dilute pesticide waste including sprayer washings and leftover pesticides safely and legally to protect humans, animals and the environment especially surface water and groundwater.
  • After finishing to apply pesticide clean the used equipment both inside and outside according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help to;

Reduce the risk of handling contaminated surfaces.

Prevent damaging other crops and environment

Reduce the possibility of blockages

  • Read and follow label instructions before you begin cleaning your equipment to understand;

The use of appropriate PPE when cleaning the contaminated surface

Decontaminating any herbicides that many need to be de-activated using ammonia-based agents.

  1. Disposing of dilute pesticides
  • Apply contaminated water to the treated or untreated area or crops as long as the terms of using the product is approved.
  • Store contaminated water in an airtight container to be collected by a licensed waste – disposal contractor.
  • When using agricultural pesticide dilute waste can be disposed on grass or soil. This land you use to dispose of must be;

Be able to absorb the water volume without flowing or leaving puddles

Must not be within reach of wildlife and watercourses

Not able to reach the water table (groundwater)

Be putting signpost and fencing to keep off livestock and people

  • If authorized you can use suitable equipment used to treat liquid waste that contains pesticides to dilute the waste yourself.
  • You can dispose of it into a sewer under consent from the environmental agency.
  1. Disposing of waste pesticide containers

Pesticide containers should not be used for other purposes after content is finished unless;

It is specified and labeled to be returned for refill by distributers.

You are refilling with an identical pesticide due to damage of container.

  • Check on the label if it is required to be rinsed after emptying it.
  • Ensure is it empty before disposing of it.
  • Containers of products that are used directly as concentrates should be thoroughly rinsed before being disposed of.
  • Containers used for zinc phosphides, magnesium, aluminum or hydrogen cyanide gassing powders should not be cleaned or rinsed.
  1. Disposing of other pesticide waste materials
  • Contaminated equipment, packaging, unwanted protective clothing, wastes resulting from leaks and spills should be disposed of through a licensed waste disposal contractor.
  • Dead bodies, pesticide baits, and used vertebrate control agents should be disposed in line with the guidance outlined on the product label. If there is no guidance a licensed waste – disposal contractor should be able to know how to correctly dispose them of.
  • Other disposable wastes like treated seeds, plant material and plant covers which are contaminated with pesticides are also subject to be disposed of by a licensed waste – disposal contractor.

In conclusion

Pesticide waste can be hazardous to human, both domestic and wild animals and also to the environment if not correctly disposed of. Hence a lot of caution is required and should be regulated by relevant authorities. You can hire profession company to do pest controlling and removal, so it makes it easier.

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