The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Pesticide Control Board have announced the results of the 2010 Pesticide Disposal Program. Through this free program,

VDACS removed a total of 70,509 pounds of unwanted pesticides, including 55,615 pounds of liquid product and 14,894 pounds of solid.  

The Pesticide Disposal Program assists agricultural producers, licensed pesticide dealers and pest control firms, golf courses and homeowners with the proper disposal of unwanted pesticides. The program is available at no cost to eligible participants and is supported by pesticide fees collected by VDACS. Since the program’s inception, more than 1.6 million pounds of pesticides have been collected and destroyed.

Collected pesticides through the years have included DDT, Chlordane, Dursban, Paraquat, arsenic-containing pesticides, toxaphene, dieldren, silvex, 2,4,5-T and more.

In the initial phases of the program, many of the pesticides collected had been banned and farmers or pest control firms had been holding onto the materials waiting for a safe collection method. “We have been coordinating the pesticide disposal since 1990,” said VDACS Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr, “and in the early years, we collected huge amounts of material. By now, we have been through the entire state three times so we are really in more of a maintenance phase. Pesticide use has changed considerably over these past 20 years. Farmers are using less product and they’re using different formulations like concentrated liquids instead of powders. The use of GPS and other technologies allows them to target their applications very specifically to reduce the amounts applied instead of applying products to entire fields.”

Participating localities in 2010 were the counties of Arlington, Caroline, Essex, Fairfax, Gloucester, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Loudoun, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmoreland and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas and Manassas Park. In 2011, the program will take place in the counties of Albemarle, Augusta, Bath, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Frederick, Greene, Highland, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Page, Rappahannock, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Warren and the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester.

Eligible participants should contact their local Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent for details. The Web address for a list of county offices is http://www.ext.vt.edu/offices/index.html.