SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) collected over 16,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides at their annual “Clean Sweep” unwanted pesticide collection event. This year’s event held in Pinckneyville, served 12 counties in southwestern Illinois and included the collection of unwanted or unusable pesticides such as DDT, chlordane, dicamba, and lead arsenate.

“Often people inherit farms or have some old containers of pesticides on their property and don’t quite know what to do with them. That’s why we started the ‘Clean Sweep’ program in 1990,” said Doug Owens, IDOA Environmental Programs Bureau Chief. “It’s a great way to ensure the proper disposal of these pesticides and protects the environment of the state of Illinois.”

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The Department is able to provide the service free of charge thanks to a grant obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. All pesticides collected were registered with IDOA prior to the actual collection date helping IDOA to determine the products eligible for collection. The waste pesticides were collected and disposed of by a licensed hazardous waste disposal company in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.

IDOA wrapped up another recycling program in September successfully completing its 2019 Pesticide Container Recycling Program. This year 30 single-day collection events were held throughout the state. IDOA personnel inspected and collected approximately 95,000 pounds of #2 HDPE plastic pesticide containers from pesticide users. The inspected containers were prepared for shipment by a recycling contractor to be used in the manufacture of other agrichemical-related products.

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