Salt Lake City – Communities across the state are a little safer now, thanks to a series of pesticide waste collection events that wrapped up in October. Organized by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) with the help of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and Clean Harbors Environmental, the events yielded 24.8 tons of pesticide waste.
UDOT collection sites in Logan, Spanish Fork, and Cedar City were up and running on three separate dates in October, with Logan collecting 5.8 tons, Cedar City 8.8 tons, and Spanish Fork 10.1 tons.
“Much of what was collected was in the realm of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, other unusable or EPA-canceled materials,” said Henry Nahalewski, UDAF Pesticide Program manager.
UDAF officials state that older pesticides are prone to leaks, risks for fire, floods, and storms, all of which can lead to unhealthy exposure to humans, livestock, and pets through direct contact and contaminated soil. They can also be expensive and time-consuming to clean up and restore.
“We are hoping that the success of this event will spawn a more frequent reoccurrence of these,” said UDAF Commissioner Kerry Gibson. “While we feel really good about the amount we collected, I am hopeful pesticide users will recognize the on-going importance of proper disposal of these hazardous materials.”
The collection events were held at no charge to pesticide applicators, primarily those working in the agriculture community. Individual homeowners with small amounts of unusable pesticides continue to be directed to their city or county for residential programs in their area.
For more information about pesticides, call UDAF at 801-538-7185 ext. 2.