This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Board of Pesticides Control and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will help Mainers dispose of banned or unusable pesticides. The Maine Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program is a free annual program for homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. 

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb says collections will occur at sites in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland.  Participants must register by September 23, 2016.

Whitcomb says homeowners and farmers inadvertently store banned pesticides or pesticides that have become unusable. They can be found in basements, garages, barns, and recently purchased homes. He says the Maine Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program helps prevent unwanted pesticides from being thrown in the trash or poured down the drain, potentially contaminating the land or drinking water.

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Maine DEP Commissioner Paul Mercer says the collection events are held at several locations across the state and registering is free.

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed.

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Mercer says registration by September 23, 2016, is mandatory. On-site drop-ins are not permitted. To register, get details, and learn information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the Think First Spray Last  website or call 207-287-2731.

Officials says the Maine Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, paid for through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 97 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.