By CAROL RYAN DUMAS
Southwestern and northern Idaho agricultural producers, dealers, applicators and homeowners who are storing unusable pesticides will have a safe, legal and free opportunity to dispose of them in May.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture will collect pesticide in Nampa, Weiser, Lewiston and Coeur d'Alene. Disposal collections will be offered in the Magic Valley and eastern Idaho in the fall.
The program offers a free way to dispose of any unusable pesticides, said Vic Mason, ISDA pesticide disposal program manger.
Unusable pesticides might result from the product being frozen, losing registration or being canceled by the Environmental Protection Agency. It could also be a matter of a grower changing cropping practices or buying property where unwanted pesticides have been stored, he said.
The program, held annually, offers safe and environmentally sound disposal at no cost.
Participation is free for the first 1,000 pounds of unusable pesticides per participant, and growers are encouraged to combine loads with neighboring growers. If combined loads exceed 1,000 pounds the department can separate the load at disposal, he said.
"We try to make it as user-friendly as we can. The whole idea is to help folks get rid of this stuff," he said.
People don't want to get rid of pesticides illegally so they often store them, and the program offers an easy way to practice good stewardship, he said.
Since the program began in 1993, ISDA has collected and safely disposed of 1.3 million pounds of pesticides. The pesticides are shipped to an EPA-certified incinerator in Utah or Texas, he said.
The agency will accept herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides but cannot accept fertilizer, micronutrients, paint, solvents or motor oil. People should contact their county landfill for disposal of those products, Mason said.
Disposal will take place between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the following locations:
Nampa: May 6, Pickles Butte Landfill, 15500 Missouri Ave.
Weiser: May 7, Idaho Department of Transportation, 550 Indian Head Road.
Lewiston: May 8, Nez Perce County Fairgrounds 1229 Burrell Road.
Coeur d'Alene: May 9, Coeur d'Alene Transfer Station, 3650 Ramsey Road.
For more information about the collections, visit: http://www.agri.idaho.gov or call (208) 332-8628 or (208) 332-8605.