The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) has announced the recycling of over a quarter-million pounds of empty plastic pesticide containers.

The 2010 Full Circle Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program collected and granulated a total of 266,246containers or approximately 268,642total pounds of properly-rinsed plastic pesticide containers at recycling sites throughout the state.

Farmers and commercial pesticide applicators in Alabama use thousands of pesticide products each year. All pesticide products are held in some type of container (plastic container, aerosol can, bait station, or bag). 

Most plastic containers are a little over a foot tall and occupy about half a cubic foot. That may not sound like a big deal but, consider there are over 600 structural pest control operators, 800 certified nurseries, 2,000 lawn care companies, and 8,000 private applicators in Alabama. That’s a lot of plastic that could be taking up valuable landfill space, being improperly dumped or burned. But there is an alternative — recycling.

The Department of Agriculture and Industries works in conjunction with the Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC) to collect and recycle non-refillable, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic crop protection and other pesticide product containers through the Full Circle Container Recycling Program.

The Full Circle Container Recycling Program is a non-profit, non-regulatory, consumer service program that provides cost-free assistance to farmers or commercial applicators. Since 1992, over 1240 tons (2,481,604 pounds) of containers have been recycled.