The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Pesticide Control Board have announced the results of the recycling program for empty plastic pesticide containers.

The 2010 Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program collected and granulated a total of 66,569containers or approximately 64,923total pounds of properly-rinsed plastic pesticide containers at 31 sites, including 18 localities, 12 licensed dealers and commercial applicators and one private pesticide applicator. 

Localities included the counties of Accomack, Brunswick, Culpeper, Dinwiddie, Frederick, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Madison, Mecklenburg, New Kent, Northampton, Orange, Prince George, Rockingham, Southampton, Sussex and the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

Since its inception, the Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program has collected a total of 1,042,371 containers, which equates to well over 1,114,923 pounds of plastic granulated and remanufactured into new products. The program is an environmentally-responsible alternative for container disposal.

Granulated chips are transported to recycling facilities and fabricated into items such as pallets, fence posts, field drain tiles and parking stops, keeping the containers out of landfills.

“We believe there are several reasons for the dramatic increase in the number of containers recycled in 2010,” said Matthew J. Lohr, VDACS Commissioner. “Certainly part of it is that we had an increase in recycling sites and greater applicator participation. We also saw increased use of insecticide products that do not come in bulk packages.”

Lohr explained that the overall trend is toward bulk and refillable containers, which means fewer containers to recycle. “This past year, because of increased stress on plants caused by the drought, we had more insect infestations and many of the products used on these pests are available only in smaller containers,” he said.

To participate in the Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program, a locality must apply to VDACS and agree to collect, inspect and store the properly-rinsed containers until granulation. VDACS provides up to $1,875 in reimbursement costs to each participating locality to offset the cost of the program. The program is available statewide each year. Click here for more information on the plastic pesticide container recycling program, including contact information for staff.