HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 21 Pennsylvania counties will be able to dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily in 2011 through the CHEMSWEEP program, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today.
CHEMSWEEP is offered in different counties each year. In 2011 it will be offered in Adams, Cameron, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lehigh, Mercer, Monroe, Northampton, Perry, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Somerset and Westmoreland counties.
"Pennsylvania is committed to protecting the environment and the CHEMSWEEP program offers citizens a safe, legal way to dispose of unwanted or unusable pesticides," said Redding. "Since 1993, the program has helped the state's agriculture industry and homeowners dispose of nearly two million pounds of pesticides."
Each year, many pesticide products are discontinued or phased out, leaving growers, commercial establishments and applicators with quantities of potentially dangerous and toxic materials that cannot be placed in landfills. The unwanted pesticides often become a safety hazard and an environmental concern through long-term storage in garages, barns or other areas.
Licensed pesticide applicators in agribusinesses and commercial enterprises from the designated counties are eligible to participate by completing the CHEMSWEEP registration/inventory form that will be direct-mailed. The registration period ends March 31.
To obtain forms or to find additional information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on "Programs" and search "CHEMSWEEP."
An independent contractor hired by the Department of Agriculture will collect and package all waste pesticides primarily for incineration at facilities approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. CHEMSWEEP will cover the disposal cost for the first 2,000 pounds per participant. Above that level, participants will be billed at the department's contracted price.
The program is funded through annual registration fees paid by pesticide manufacturers and applicators.
Homeowners can use CHEMSWEEP by participating in county or municipal Household Hazardous Waste, or HHW, collection events in counties where the agriculture department and the disposal contractor is partnered with the state Department of Environmental Protection.
For more information about the Household Hazardous Waste collection program, call 1-800-346-4242 or visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and select "DEP Programs A-Z," then "Household Hazardous Waste."
Media contact: Jean Kummer, 717-787-5085
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture