Garden chemicals such as weed killers, pesticides, and fungicides are an effective way of controlling weeds and pests but they are also a health and environmental hazard. It’s very important to not only store and use them properly but also to dispose of them carefully.
According to environmental protection agencies, here’s how to dispose of old garden chemicals properly and safely in order to protect your health and that of the environment.
How to Dispose of Old Garden Chemicals
Old, expired, or withdrawn garden chemicals should be dropped off at the local household hazardous waste collection center. Here’s is how to go about it:
Step 1: Call the local waste management or environmental agency to find out where and when you can drop off pest and weed control chemicals.
Step 2: Read and follow the disposal instructions on the label.
Step 3: Ensure the containers are sealed properly and have their labels intact. Do not mix different chemicals.
Step 4: Place the containers on a liner and take precautions to ensure they won’t shift or spill during transportation. Alternatively, you can arrange the chemicals in a plastic bin.
Step 5: Take care not to place the chemicals in a passenger compartment or near foodstuff.
Step 6: Drive straight to the collection facility and hand over the chemicals.
How to Get Rid of Empty Containers
Have you used all the chemicals and are only left with empty containers to get rid of? The proper way to dispose of empty weed killer, pesticides, insecticides, and fungicide containers is as follows:
- Wear proper protective gear such as gloves, masks, and eye protection goggles.
- Rinse the empty containers three times.
- Use the rinsing water the way the chemical was intended to be used. For example, you can spray it on a path in the garden.
Do not rinse the pesticide containers in a household sink or pour the rinsing water in a toilet, drain, ditch, stream, sewer, dry land, or anywhere else. The chemicals will eventually find their way into waterways and cause harm to plants, fish, animals, and human beings.
Dispose of the rinsed empty containers with solid waste for recycling or with hazardous waste, depending on what the label instructs.
Do not reuse the containers as the chemical residue will contaminate anything you put in the container and cause harm.
The proper way to dispose of old garden chemicals is to follow the disposal instructions and safety measures specified on the label. You can then drop off the old, expired, or banned chemicals at a designated household waste disposal facility near you. Empty containers can be triple rinsed and then disposed of with solid household waste or with hazardous waste.