AUGUSTA — This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Board of Pesticides Control will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to help Mainers dispose of banned or unusable pesticides.

This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collection will occur at sites located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland. To qualify, people must register by Sept. 26.

Gov. Paul LePage is urging Mainers to take advantage of this opportunity to protect the environment and save money through this once-a-year collection event that highlights cooperation between government agencies.

It’s not unusual for homes and farms to have unintentional hazardous waste ”“ such as banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable ”“ sitting around in basements, garages or barns. These chemicals can be difficult and expensive to dispose of; DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb stressed the importance of proper disposal of banned or unwanted pesticides.

“It’s important for the protection of public, wildlife and environmental health that these products are dealt with properly and not thrown in the trash or down the drain, where they can contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water,” said Whitcomb. “People holding these chemicals should contact the BPC as soon as possible to register for the October collection.”

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, where they are incinerated or reprocessed.

Registration by Friday, Sept. 26 is mandatory; drop-ins are not permitted. To register, get details and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of pesticides, go to the BPC website at thinkfirstspraylast.org or call 287-2731.

The Maine Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, jointly sponsored by the BPC and DEP, and paid for entirely through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 90 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.



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