Safe Disposal of Pesticides
- Read the pesticide label for specific disposal instructions.
- Avoid disposal problems by purchasing only the amount of material needed for
one growing season. Do not stockpile.
- Use proper personal protective clothing and equipment when you dispose of
pesticide wastes and containers.
- Mix only the amount of pesticide required for a particular application. If
you mix too much, use the surplus by applying the material at the recommended
rate to one of the crops listed on the label.
- Do not dump pesticides or pesticide rinsates on the ground or pour them down
sinks, toilets, or other drains, including storm sewers.
- Pressure rinse or triple rinse empty pesticide containers with water and
pour the rinse water into the spray tank. Drain the containers for 30 seconds
- After rinsing metal, plastic, or glass containers, puncture, break, crush,
or in some way render unusable. Recycle plastic containers through the Plastic
Pesticide Container Recycling Program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department
of Agriculture (PDA). Contact your regional PDA office for further information.
Disposal in a sanitary landfill is desirable if conducted in accordance with
- If stated on the label and permitted by local ordinances, combustible
containers can be burned. However, do not burn pesticide containers near
residential areas or where the smoke can contact humans. Avoid exposure to the
smoke; it may contain toxic vapors. Bury the ashes, since they also may be
- Send large metal drums to a reconditioning company.
- Before disposing of pesticide concentrates, check with PDA’s CHEMSWEEP
Program, which provides disposal options for unwanted and outdated pesticide
concentrates free of charge.
- Do not reuse empty pesticide containers for any purpose.
- Clean up thoroughly after handling and disposing of pesticides.