Tips for Recycling Pesticide Containers in 2024

Pesticide containers
Recycled container plastic is repurposed for things such as pallets and culvert piping. (UNL PSEP file photo)

Tips for Recycling Pesticide Containers in 2024

It’s not quite time for spring cleaning yet, but you still might be considering cleaning out the old shed. You step inside and see lots of old pesticide containers, and it’s overwhelming to look at. Your first thought may be to burn the containers, and though that is a legal route of disposal in Nebraska, it is not the ideal disposal method. Research indicates that chemical containers that are burned produce PCDD/PCDF emissions that are harmful to human health. Rinsed containers produce less of these emissions when burnt but still pose some risk (Gullet et al., 2012).

Instead of burning pesticide containers, consider recycling them. There are several sites around Nebraska and one in northern Kansas that will accept pesticide container dropoffs year-round.

Available dropoff sites are listed at the 2024 Pesticide Container Recycling Sites page.

When selecting a site, dropoff times are listed under the tabs Collection Type and Collection Schedule. For more information on this program, please visit the Pesticide Container Recycling Program.

If you choose to pursue pesticide container recycling, there are a few things to keep in mind. All containers must be pressure- or triple-rinsed, and caps removed. The recycling facilities do not take caps.

Additional Information

For individuals who have very large quantities of containers (1,000 pounds or more), they can contact the Rural Recycling Grinding, LLC, who will send a truck to pick up containers. Typical pickups are in spring or fall, and you may be able to coordinate with neighbors and nearby groups to ensure there are enough containers to weight more than 1,000 pounds. At the time of pickup, the driver will call and let you know the day and time. Those wishing to receive pickup must call the driver back or the driver will not stop. As this is a free pickup service, they are on a strict schedule.

If you are interested in contacting this organization, be prepared with:

  1. Name of business/farmer
  2. Name of contact person
  3. Address
  4. Phone number (farmer or business number)

Reminders for Pickup (Rural Recycling Grinding)

  • Must be 1,000 pounds or more. Typical container weighs about one pound.
  • Must be pressure- or triple-rinsed with caps off.
  • They need to be tied up on a stringer. (Baling twine, 20 per string).
  • No seed sacks.
  • Must be 1,000 pounds or more in barrels of 15-, 30- or 55-gallon.
  • Barrels must also be pressure- or triple-rinsed with bungs removed.
  • Containers should be punctured with hole in bottom to make sure the water is drained and the container cannot be refilled.

States where they will pick up are:

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Michigan

Contact Information:

Michelle McCall
(319) 248-5550


Gullett, B. K., Tabor, D., Touati, A., Kasai, J., Fitz, N. (2012). Emissions from open burning of used agricultural pesticide containers. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 221-222, 236–241.

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