Pesticides are one of many tools available for effective protection of crops from weeds, insects and diseases. Pesticides require special care and handling. The following practices outline safe, responsible and effective procedures for pesticide use and handling that can help protect our environment, our water supplies, and human health.

Pesticide users must follow all legal requirements, including:

  • Follow label use, storage and disposal instructions.
  • Store pesticides only in the original labeled container, separated from other products (such as food, feed and seed), and in a locked building with appropriate warning signs.
  • Pressure rinse or triple rinse containers immediately after emptying. Delay in rinsing pesticide containers may result in a residue that, upon drying, is highly resistant to rinsing. Use rinsate as dilution make-up water and apply evenly over labeled crops or sites.
  • Dispose of empty paper bags, plastic bags and other types of containers at sanitary landfills. Contact waste hauler or landfill operator for information.
  • Do not burn any pesticide container in an open fire, such as in the field, in trash barrels or on burn piles. This is illegal in Minnesota.
  • Do not reuse pesticide containers unless they are dedicated for reuse or unless they have been cleaned according to the pesticide manufacturer’s protocol and are intended to be refilled with pesticides.

Best Management Practices for Managing Pesticides:

  • Purchase only the amount of pesticide needed for the job.
  • Recycle triple-rinsed or pressure-rinsed rigid plastic pesticide containers through a local empty pesticide container recycling program. Contact your local pesticide retailer for recycling opportunities.
  • Dispose of unusable or unwanted pesticides properly. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Waste Pesticide Collection Program provides opportunities for the disposal of unusable and unwanted pesticides.