Free disposal of banned, unusable pesticides offered

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AUGUSTA — This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Board of Pesticides Control will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to help Mainers dispose of banned pesticides or unusable pesticides.

This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collection will occur at sites located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland. To qualify, people must register by Sept. 25.

Gov. Paul R. LePage is urging Mainers to take advantage of this opportunity to protect the environment and save money through this once a year collection event that highlights cooperation between government agencies. “This is an opportunity for Mainers to dispose of unusable pesticides properly and at no expense,” said Governor LePage. “Through consolidated collections at four central locations and the use of in-house resources and expertise, disposal costs are reduced to about $2 per pound. That is a great value for Maine taxpayers lowers costs and helps protect the environment.”

It’s not unusual for homes and farms to have unintentional hazardous waste — banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable — sitting around in basements, garages, or barns. These chemicals can be difficult and expensive to dispose of; DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb stressed the importance of proper disposal of banned or unwanted pesticides.

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“It’s important for the protection of public, wildlife, and environmental health that these products are dealt with properly and not thrown in the trash or down the drain, where they can contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water,” said Commissioner Whitcomb. “People holding these chemicals should contact the BPC as soon as possible to register for the October collection.”

“Providing Maine residents with an easy and no cost solution to properly dispose of pesticides gives Mainers the unique opportunity to make a positive impact on our environment and public health,” said Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho. “The collection events cover the State and are held in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland, providing accessible methods of collection and future disposal.”

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed.

Registration is mandatory — drop-ins are not permitted.

FMI, register: http://www.thinkfirstspraylast.org, or call 207-287-2731.

FMI: http://www.thinkfirstspraylast.org, http://www.maine.gov/dep.

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