Group disposes unused pesticides

— A free pick up of unwanted, outdated or unlabeled agricultural pesticides is planned this month by the Okanogan County Pest Board.

The program is for property owners who may have been growers and who still have agricultural chemicals stored on their property, or a new property owner who has discovered pesticide storage areas on their property, pest control coordinator Dan McCarthy said.

Pesticides that are collected will be disposed of through the state Department of Agriculture’s Waste Pesticide Program. Most commercial growers are involved in a warehouse-sponsored food safety program and have properly disposed of unusable pesticides, he said.

“The reason for the collection is to remove products that, if stored unsafely, may be a health risk to persons coming in contact with them,” McCarthy said. “Some old pesticides are outdated and have had the use label removed, making them illegal to use. Other pesticides have a restricted use label allowing them only to be used by a licensed applicator.”

The improper use or disposal of unwanted pesticides may be harmful to the environment and cause health risks to humans, domestic animals and wildlife, he said.

Household pesticides, paint, petroleum or other hazardous materials will not be accepted during the pest board event. Those products can be disposed of by contacting the Okanogan County Central Landfill.

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