Unwanted Pesticide Disposal Target of CHEMSWEEP 2020
“CHEMSWEEP of the Department of Agriculture is for pesticide applicators and dealers,” announced Commissioner Wayne Brosius on Tuesday morning. “Each year, certain counties are picked, and businesses in that county can participate. 2020 is Clarion County’s year and will not be able to participate again until 2024 at the earliest.”
Other regional counties targeted include Venango, Forest, and Armstrong Counties.
CHEMSWEEP collected over 2.6 million pounds of unwanted pesticides through 2019.
The program is open to farmers, private applicators, pesticide application businesses, and pesticide dealers. The first 2,000 pounds per applicant are free. The registration/inventory form must be sent to the Department of Agriculture by February 28.
The Department of Agriculture works with the contractor to pick up the items at the applicant’s location.
Each year, pesticide products are canceled by the manufacturer or phased out by operations, leaving growers and applicators with quantities of unwanted or unusable pesticides. Due to the nature of these materials, there are often limited options available for responsible management. The high cost of disposal prohibits many users from hiring professionals to dispose of these materials, which can postpone disposal decisions indefinitely. The unwanted pesticides may then become a safety hazard and environmental liability through long-term storage in barns and other areas in and around the farm or business.
According to a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, “CHEMSWEEP provides pesticide applicators and dealers with a means to dispose of canceled, unwanted or unused pesticides. Participation for farmers, private applicators, pesticide application businesses, and pesticide dealers are free for the first 2,000 pounds of waste pesticides. Amounts over 2,000 pounds will be direct-billed to the participant at PDA’s contracted price at date and time of collection. The funding source for this program comes from pesticide registration fees, pesticide applicator license fees, and pesticide business license fees paid annually to PDA.
“This registration/inventory form is being mailed to licensed private applicators, pesticide application businesses, and pesticide dealers in the counties selected for CHEMSWEEP 2020. Those counties are Armstrong, Blair, Cambria, Chester, Clarion, Delaware, Forest, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Snyder, Somerset, Union, Venango, and Wyoming. If you have old pesticides that you wish to dispose of, please complete the enclosed application and return it to the PDA Regional office address listed on the application form no later than February 28, 2020. Please note this deadline for inventory returns! Inventories received after this date will not be accepted, and it will be several years until the program will include your county again. This program is your chance to dispose of your unwanted pesticides, so don’t delay.”
After you return the inventory form, a PDA Regional inspector will visit your location to verify the inventory, sample any unknown pesticides if necessary, and assess any specific needs. If you have more items to add to the inventory after verification is complete, please contact me for assistance. A collection schedule is created once all inventories are verified. The actual collection of your old pesticides should occur between June and November of 2020. You will receive a yellow postcard notification from the contractor (MXI Environmental, Inc.) of the exact collection date two weeks before the collection. The generator of record of your waste pesticides will be the PDA contractor.”
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