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Maryland Recycles Pesticide Containers for 25th Year; Collection Dates Open in June

ANNAPOLIS, MD –  For the past 25 years, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s pesticide container recycling program has helped prevent pesticide residues from entering the soil and local waterways and has saved valuable landfill space by recycling more than 900,000 empty, plastic pesticide containers. The program will open its 25th year of operation in June for farmers, pesticide applicators and others. A total of 24 collection days are scheduled June through September at six locations throughout the state. Those participating are asked to properly rinse their empty pesticide containers.

“This recycling program protects the environment from possible contamination and gives producers and others an easy, free way to dispose of pesticide containers,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “We are very pleased with the response by farmers, commercial agricultural pesticide applicators and other pesticide users to this program.”

In addition to removing potential contaminants through proper disposal, the program provides a source of recycled material for vendors.

The pesticide container recycling program is FREE and open to all agricultural producers and pesticide applicators. The Agricultural Container Recycling Council provides a chipper to grind the plastic containers into flakes, which are then transported to a contractor for recycling. The containers collected in Maryland have yielded 441 tons of recyclable plastic flakes.

“We are especially pleased with the cooperative effort of the Agricultural Container Recycling Council and USAg Recycling, Inc., which makes local recycling and special pick up for large quantities possible, providing a convenient and much cheaper alternative to landfill disposal,” said Secretary Bartenfelder. “With continued cooperation among the participating groups, farmers and pesticide applicators, the program will continue to be successful and will protect the natural resources of the state from potential contamination by pesticides.”

Maryland’s container recycling program is a combined effort of state, county and federal agencies, as well as private industry, working together to protect the environment. The program has been effective in reducing the landfill disposal of plastic pesticide containers and in allowing the plastic to be reused.

Partners include: Angelica Nurseries, Inc., Chesapeake Ag Air, Crop Production Services Pocomoke, Delmarva Aerial Crop Service, Eddie Mercer, Inc., Frederick County Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Harborview Farms, Harford County Public Works, Hobbits Glen Golf Course, Kent County Public Works, Lippy Brothers, Inc., Martin’s Elevator, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Environmental Service, Mid-Shore Regional Solid Waste Facility, MRW Lawns, Shore Ag Air, Southern States Centreville Cooperative, Southern States Frederick Cooperative, The Mill of Black Horse, Tim’s Aerial Applications, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Wicomico County Public Works, Willard Agri Service Inc., and Maryland farmers and applicators.

A schedule of collection dates and sites is available on the department’s website. For additional information, or to schedule a chipping date at your site, contact Rob Hofstetter, special programs coordinator, Pesticide Regulation Section, Maryland Department of Agriculture, at 410-841-5710.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889

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