Nebraska's pesticide container recycling program in its 25th year

April 25, 2016

Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska’s voluntary pesticide container recycling program has reason to shout. In its 25th year, the program has recycled more than 2.27 million pounds of pesticide containers since its modest beginnings in 1991.

In 2016, clean pesticide containers may again be taken to 24 Nebraska sites at no cost to participants, said Clyde Ogg, pesticide safety extension educator with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

“Triple-rinsing and recycling containers is the right thing to do,” Ogg said. “It’s cost-effective, cooperative and an environmental way to dispose of these containers.”

The program accepts pressure-rinsed or triple-rinsed 1- and 2.5 gallon plastic pesticide or crop oil containers, as well as 15-, 30- or 55-gallon drums. Containers must be clean and drained, inside and out. Caps, labels, booklets and slipcover plastic labels must be removed. Glued-on paper labels may be left on the container. Rinsate should be returned to the spray tank.

The full set of sites, guidelines and how to participate are at UNL’s Pesticide Education Safety Program site, http://pested.unl.edu/recycling.

On average, 75,000 pounds of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic are recycled annually in Nebraska, Ogg said. In 2015, Nebraska ranked 19th nationally, with an even greater amount – 83,000 pounds – being recycled.

Currently, the clean HDPE plastic that is collected and granulated by Ag Container Recycling Council contractors is then processed for ACRC-approved use by drain tile (corrugated pipe) manufacturers. Other approved uses include fence posts, sign posts, underground utility conduit, certain industrial pallets, rebar chairs for concrete forms and more.

 “The fact that Nebraska’s program has been going strong for 25 years demonstrates responsible and dedicated stewardship by the agricultural community,” Ogg said.

For information on how to properly rinse containers, see G1736, Rinsing Pesticide Containers at http://tinyurl.com/jn5bnvt.

County collection sites, by category, are listed below. Sites accepting 15-, 30- and 55-gallon drums are noted.

Collection sites year-round:

Buffalo: Kearney Recycling Center, Kearney, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cass: Wiles Bros. Fertilizer, Plattsmouth, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cuming: West Point Transfer Station, West Point, Monday through Friday, normal business hours, accepts drums.

Washington: Washington County Recycling Center, Blair, Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, accepts drums

 

Collection sites May - August:

Antelope: Central Valley Ag, Royal, accepts drums

Burt: Helena Chemical Company, Oakland, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dawes: Solid Waste Association of Northwest Nebraska, Chadron, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts drums.

Dawson: Country Partners Cooperative, Lexington, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts drums

Dixon: Central Valley Ag, Newcastle, May 6, 20; June 3, 10; July 8, 15;  Aug. 5, 12. 8 a.m. to noon

Holt: Central Valley Ag, O’Neill, accepts drums

Kearney: Cooperative Producers Inc., Minden, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sarpy: Farmers Union Co-op, Gretna, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts drums

Saunders: Reid’s Farmacy, Ashland, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Scotts Bluff: Gering City Landfill, Gering, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. accepts drums

 

Collection sites open specific days:

Clay: Cooperative Producers Inc. (CPI), Sutton, August 11-12, accepts drums

Dakota: Central Valley Ag, South Sioux City, June and July, Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to noon, accepts drums

Hamilton: Aurora Cooperative, Aurora, July 25-29, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Cooperative Producers Inc. (CPI), Giltner, July 28-29, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lancaster: Midwest Farmers Cooperative, Waverly, June 20, accepts drums; Midwest Farmers Cooperative, Bennet, July 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts drums.

Otoe: Midwest Farmers Co-op, Nebraska City, July 25-29, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts drums

 

Collection sites by appointment only:

Burt: Tekamah Transfer Station, Tekamah, year-round by appointment, (402) 374-2929

Custer: Custer County Recycling, Broken Bow, (308) 870-0313, accepts drums

Lincoln: North Platte Transfer Station, North Platte, (308) 535-6710, accepts drums



Ag Container Recycling Council

Pesticide container recycling programs such as those in Nebraska and 43 other states are funded by crop protection product manufacturers through the Virginia-based Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC). ACRC is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization that safely collects and recycles agricultural crop protection, animal health, and specialty pest control product jugs and drums.

ACRC reports that farmers, retailers and applicators nationally recycle an average of 10 million pounds – 5,000 tons – of containers each year. More than 200 million containers have been recycled in the last two decades, said the ACRC. Laid end to end, they would circle the earth three times.

Every ton of HPDE recycled into products such as field drain tile, compared with using new plastic, saves the equivalent of 450 gallons of gasoline, besides saving landfill space.  

Nationally, ACRC said about one-fourth, or 1,500, of the nation’s 6,000 ag retailers, currently are involved with the pesticide container recycling program.



Clyde Ogg
UNL Pesticide Safety Educator
402-472-1632
Cheryl Alberts
Project Coordinator
402-472-1632