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Sprayer operators can generate three types of pesticide waste:
- Surplus spray & rinsate
- Empty containers
- Unwanted pesticides
Here is some basic advice on disposal, but always refer to your local environmental authority.
Surplus spray & rinsate
Spray it into the crop. Dilute the surplus to a 1:10 ratio (1 part surplus or rinsate, 9 parts clean water) and spray it out in an un-sprayed or under-dosed portion of the crop. Never exceed the maximum labelled dose for the crop.
Another option is to drain spray washings to a storage tank, which is then sent for disposal. This isn’t the preferred method because it introduces additional handling and therefore raises the possibility of operator exposure. Further, it creates a “witches brew” of unknown products. Still further, it’s very expensive to have it disposed of.
Better to do some spray math to reduce the surplus as much as possible and spray the diluted remainder onto the crops. It will dissipate and break-down the way the agrichemical company that developed it intended.
Use returnable or refillable containers when possible. Recyclable containers should be triple-rinsed, perforated and taken to a pesticide container depot. Non-recyclable containers should be triple-rinsed (if appropriate) and taken to municipal landfill. Empty paper or cardboard containers taken to a pesticide container depot or a municipal landfill – it’s preferable not to burn them.
Unused, unwanted or obsolete Pesticides
Your local distributor may take back unopened containers with complete and current labels. In Canada, there are province-wide obsolete pesticide collections programs that run periodically. Empty Pesticide Container Recycling and Obsolete Pesticide Disposal (CleanFARMS) can be reached at 877.622.4460.