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Mini-Bulk Pesticide Container Recycling Program

Mini-Bulk Pesticide Container Recycling Program

Iowa farmers who have plastic pesticide mini-bulk containers can remove and recycle them through the 2011 recycling program developed by ISU Extension and partners.

A new EPA Pesticide Container and Containment Rule that goes into effect Aug. 11, 2011 will change the requirements for repackaging bulk pesticides and will make many plastic pesticide mini-bulk containers unusable. The following information on that topic comes from Kristine Schaefer, Iowa State University Extension pesticide education and environmental program specialist.

Applicators with these containers have the option to remove and recycle used mini-bulk containers through a program developed by ISU Extension Pest Management and the Environment Program, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, and Iowa Institute for Cooperatives with contractor TRI-Rinse, Inc.

The 2011 recycling program is available for 85 to 350 gallon stand-alone or caged pesticide mini-bulk tanks. This is an excellent opportunity to help solve the problem of increasing stockpiles of damaged or non-compliant mini-bulk tanks. To participate in the program an inventory form should be filled out and mailed to TRI-Rinse, Inc. no later than July 15, 2011. This information is necessary to determine how many pesticide mini-bulk tanks are available for recycling, and which locations will be selected as collection sites in Iowa. The recycling fee is $15 per tank

Deadline to participate in this recycling program is July 15, 2011

Tri-Rinse will provide instructions for preparation of the tanks.  Collections will begin in late summer or early fall. Additional details are included in this notice. Chemical companies are providing the major funding for their containers under their return programs. Questions regarding the program can be directed to Mark Lohafer, IDALS, at 515-281-8506.

What about recycling smaller pesticide containers?

To find a place to properly recycle smaller pesticide containers, such as plastic jugs, barrels or other types of packaging, call the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in Des Moines. Or contact your nearest county landfill and ask for suggestions and instructions.

Everyone who uses or handles pesticides has a role in protecting the environ­ment. Proper cleaning and disposing of pesticide containers is an important

part of pesticide and environmental stewardship. Since 1990, Iowa pesticide

users have recycled more than 5 million pounds of plastic pesticide contain­ers by participating in a pesticide container recycling program.

The recycling program has reduced the volume of pesticide containers that are disposed in sanitary landfills or burned, and enhanced the recovery of plastic resources. Surface and groundwater sources are also protected from contamination by the proper management and disposal of both pesticide rinsate and containers.

The Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Department of Agriculture and

Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Iowa State University participate in and help promote Iowa's pesticide con­tainer recycling program. The Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC) is the nonprofit organization of crop protection product manufacturers, packagers, and formulators that sponsors the pesticide container recycling program na­tionwide.

Which containers can be recycled under the ACRC program?

• Non-refillable containers made from high density polyethylene (HDPE),

embossed with recycling symbol #2.

• Containers used for EPA-registered products labeled for agriculture, forestry,

vegetative management, and specialty pest control, and containers holding

adjuvants, crop oils, and surfactants.

• Containers for products applied by private or commercial applicators.

No veterinary, consumer, or home and garden protection products.

• All sizes up to 55 gallon drums.

How should containers be prepared?

• Rinse containers immediately after contents have been emptied. Residues

may dry and be extremely difficult to remove if the containers are allowed

to sit too long before rinsing.

• Always wear personal protective equipment when handling and cleaning


• Remove and dispose of all non-HDPE parts, such as caps, metal handles,

and rubber linings, separately. Remove any attached labels and booklets.

• Drain containers into spray tank for 30 seconds.

• Triple rinse or pressure rinse containers and let dry.

• Store containers so the inside surfaces remain dry.

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