OSU extension helps recycle pesticide containers

October 22, 2004

PENDLETON - Pesticides demand careful handling, but what happens to pesticide containers once they're empty? In the past, they were burned or tossed into landfills. But now they can be recycled.

Oregon State University Extension Service is hosting a Pesticide Container Recycle Day on Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pendleton Grain Growers' McKennon Station in Pendleton. The containers collected will be shredded into chips and recycled into plastic pallets and fencing materials.

Now in its second year, the pesticide container recycling effort has been highly successful, according to Mary Corp, OSU extension cereal crops agent.

"Last fall we generated 5,300 lbs of shredded plastic at the event, and I would like to see us surpass that amount this year," Corp said.

Recycle Day is a cooperative effort between OSU Extension, agricultural pesticide dealers and Northwest Ag Plastics, a recycling company based in Yakima, Washington. The event will accept clean plastic containers from half pints to 55-gallon drums that held pesticides, micro-nutrients, adjuvants and cleaners. The service is provided at no charge.

Corp encourages commercial applicators, agencies and farmers to use this opportunity to clean out empty pesticide containers that would otherwise have to be stored under lock-and-key until decontaminated. She also suggests people plan ahead to participate in the spring Recycle Day in late May.

"Preparing containers as you empty them does not require significant time or effort, and it saves money by making efficient use of expensive materials," said Corp.

To prepare containers for Recycle Day:


  • Rinse containers until no residue remains;

  • Drain so that they are dry inside and out;

  • Remove slip-on labels and label booklets;

  • Remove hard plastic lids, place in separate container for recycling;

  • Remove most of the foil seal.

For additional details call the OSU Extension Service office in Umatilla County at 541-278-5403.

Author: Peg Herring
Source: Mary Corp