Pesticide Container Recycling at 39 Sites
Recycling Sites and Schedule Collection site categories are listed by county. Sites accepting 15-, 30- and 55-gallon plastic drums are noted.
Year-round Collection Sites
April 18, 2008
Thirty-nine sites in Nebraska are accepting empty, plastic pesticide containers for recycling this year.
This is the 17th year for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension's plastic pesticide container and crop protection drum recycling program, said Clyde Ogg, UNL pesticide safety educator and program coordinator. The program helps recycle 1- and 2.5-gallon plastic pesticide containers and 15-, 30- and 55-gallon plastic chemical drums.
Plastic from collected containers is turned into industrial and consumer products such as shipping pallets, drain tile, dimension lumber and parking lot tire bumpers. Last year, the UNL program helped recycle more than 70 tons of containers, contributing to a 16-year total of over 800 tons of containers.
"Teamwork and cooperation have been at the core of this activity from the beginning," Ogg said, citing invaluable assistance from UNL extension educators and Nebraska collection site managers.
"Most of the (collection) sites are at agricultural chemical dealerships or community recycling centers, all of which volunteer to take on this additional responsibility," he said.
The program accepts pressure-rinsed or triple-rinsed 1- and 2.5-gallon plastic pesticide containers. They must be clean and drained, inside and out. Caps, labels and slipcover plastic labels must be removed since they cannot be recycled as part of this program. They should be disposed of as solid waste.
Of the 39 sites, 22 accept 15-, 30- and 55-gallon plastic crop protection chemical, crop oil and adjuvant drums. These drums must be thoroughly rinsed before delivery to collection sites and should not be cut or opened in any way.
Mini-bulk, saddle tanks and nurse tanks, which can be made of fiberglass or plastics not compatible with the recycling program, are not accepted.
Before delivery to collection sites, containers and drums should be cleaned, rinsed and drained. Rinsate should be returned to the spray tank. Remove and properly dispose of booklets and caps from containers; and remove and properly dispose of plastic shrink-wraps. Glued-on paper labels can be left on the container.
Of this year's 39 collection sites, seven collect year-round, 15 collect May through August, 13 collect on specific dates and three collect by appointment only.
Program funding, which includes second-inspection and collection of containers by Container Services Network of Greenville, Sc., is by a national coalition of agri-chemical manufacturers through the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Washington, D.C. For more information on the program, visit UNL's Pesticide Education Resources web site includes guidelines, participant roles and details about the pesticide container inspection and recycling processes. Go online to http://pested.unl.edu/recycling.
Steven W. Ress
Communications coordinator, UNL Water Center