The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has partnered with counties to provide a service to safely dispose of unwanted and unusable pesticides through the Waste Pesticide Collection Program. Unused and unwanted pesticides must be disposed of according to label directions. It is illegal to burn or bury a pesticide.
This program provides expanded opportunities to dispose of potentially hazardous waste pesticides. Through the Waste Pesticide Collection program, pesticide users in every county around the state will have opportunities to dispose of unwanted agricultural (ag) pesticides through county household hazardous waste facilities, their mobile events or by attending MDA scheduled events. Participants can drop off up to 300 pounds free of charge. Counties may require pre-notification from farmers and others so as to better prepare for the delivery. Household waste pesticides can be disposed of during HHW routine operating hours or your county's scheduled mobile events. Find contact information on waste pesticide disposal by locating your county on the state program schedule.
Waste pesticides can be hazardous and may pose dangers to public health and the environment. Disposing of unusable pesticides eliminates the potential dangerous materials. Since 1990 more than 7.5 million pounds of waste pesticides have been collected and disposed of through the MDA sponsored programs. Waste pesticides collected in Minnesota are destroyed at an out of state incinerator specifically designed to handle hazardous waste materials.
Pesticides are unusable when:
- They undergo a physical change due to freezing and thawing or age.
- The pesticide is banned from use because of state or federal restrictions (i.e. DDT, Chlordane).
- The label on the pesticide container is unreadable or detached.
- The pesticide is unwanted or no longer needed.
The longer a pesticide is stored, the more likely:
- the container will deteriorate and release the contents.
- the product label will become detached or unreadable, leaving the container and its contents unidentifiable.
- someone may accidentally be exposed to harmful chemicals.
- the location and contents of the pesticides may be forgotten.
Best Practices for Safe Handling and Transportation of Waste Pesticides
- If the pesticide container appears unsound (rust, water damage, fatigue) place the container into a larger container (pail, barrel, bag, etc) for safe transport. Wear chemical resistant gloves when handling unsound containers.
- Secure the waste pesticide containers in your vehicle to prevent container breakage, tipping or spilling while transporting.
- Ensure that the container has a cover or lid to prevent splashing while starting and stopping during the drive.
- Do not transport waste pesticide in the cabin of a vehicle.
- At the waste pesticide collection site, the Hazardous Waste Contractor will unload the waste pesticide from your vehicle.
- Individuals are responsible for their waste pesticides, including accidental spills, until they are delivered to the collection site.