The Sampson County Extension Center in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program, a non-regulatory and cost-free program, recently held a Pesticide Disposal Event for farmers and gardeners in Sampson County and all of the surrounding North Carolina counties. The goal of the Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program is to assist the citizens of North Carolina by managing and supervising the safe collection and lawful disposal of banned, outdated, or unwanted pesticides.
The N.C. Pesticide Board adopted governing regulations in 1976 concerning disposal of pesticides. The regulations made it illegal to dispose of pesticides in landfills. This posed a dilemma for farmers and gardeners in need of properly disposing pesticides. From the adopted regulations, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services developed what is known today as the Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program.
In 1980, with financial support from the General Assembly, the environmental stewardship program was created to provide opportunities for proper disposal of unwanted or unusable pesticides. In 1990, the program changed a bit. Instead of NCDA traveling across counties collecting pesticides from farms and residence, they developed special Pesticide Disposal Collection Days with a partnership among N.C. Cooperative Extension County Centers.
Each year the Pesticides Disposal Assistance Program (www.ncagr.com/PDAP) visits between 40-50 counties to collect unwanted and unused pesticides through this non-regulatory program. This means that a collection day of this kind only happens about once every other year in each county.
N.C. Cooperative Extension of Sampson County recently hosted a Pesticide Disposal Collection event, where we collected a total of 5,847 pounds of pesticides, with the bulk of the containers being quart size to 2.5 gallon jugs and all in between. This is not the highest collection event for Sampson County since the program began. This program is still needed to help farmers and gardeners to properly dispose of leftover and unwanted pesticides.
Della King is an extension agent with the Sampson County Cooperation Center specializing in field crops.