Doing Your Part: Recycle plastic ag pesticide containers for useful products

Sites
Now in its 28th year, 18 sites are available for recycling plastic ag pesticide containers.

May 16, 2019

Lincoln, Neb. — Recycling plastic is the right thing to do -- especially when it diverts about 75,000 pounds of pesticide containers annually from Nebraska landfills.

“Clean containers are made into useful products for U.S. agriculture and industry,” said Clyde Ogg, Pesticide Safety Education Program extension educator. “Nebraskans are known to be good stewards, and this is just another example of that.”

Now in its 28th year, 18 sites are available for recycling statewide (see list). Again, producers and commercial applicators pay no fee. Before taken to the sites, however, containers must be triple- or pressure-rinsed. Label booklets and caps must be removed, though base labels can remain.

Randy Saner, Nebraska Extension educator in Lincoln-Logan-McPherson counties, applauds participants who recycle.

“Recycling is a good choice for people. We don’t need to be filling up our landfills with plastic. Recycling saves the environment and money,” Saner said.

Thorough rinsing helps ensure all product gets used. It’s very easy to leave 6 or more ounces of pesticide in a 2.5-gallon container, or about 2 percent.

Containers must be rigid, high-density polyethylene, 55-gallon size or smaller. Containers originally held pesticides for crop, turf/ornamental, forestry, aquatics, public health and pest control; as well as adjuvants, crop oils and surfactants. Containers that originally held consumer products, or home and garden pesticides are NOT accepted. Containers must be triple- or pressure rinsed.

Ogg advised wearing proper personal protective equipment when rinsing and handling empty containers. That includes long-sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, chemical-resistant shoes, goggles, and chemical-resistant apron.

Apply rinsate immediately to the load and spray on a labeled site; never dispose of it on the ground, in water or any other nonlabeled area. Never store unused pesticide in any container other than the one it came in. 

Clean containers are collected, ground up, and reused in industry-approved products such as ag drain tile/pipe, pallets, underground utility conduit, landscape edging and nursery pots.

To see a container preparation checklist and any additional sites as added during the year, and more, go to http://pested.unl.edu/recycling. For easy-to-follow instructions on triple-rinsing drums and pressure-rinsing, see G1736, “Rinsing Pesticide Containers,” http://extensionpubs.unl.edu/publication/9000016364796/rinsing-pesticide-containers-g1736/ .

Collection Sites

YEAR-ROUND

  • Buffalo: Kearney Recycling Center, Kearney, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cass: Wilber Ellis, Plattsmouth, call 402-298-8550 to schedule
  • Cuming: West Point Transfer Station, West Point, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., accepts drums
  • Dawson: Country Partners Cooperative, Lexington, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts drums
  • Lincoln: ABC Recycling, North Platte, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; accepts drums
  • Scotts Bluff: Gering Landfill, Gering, Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., accepts drums

MAY-AUGUST

  • Antelope: Central Valley Ag, Royal, accepts drums
  • Dawes, Solid Waste Ass’n of Northwest Nebraska, Chadron, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., accepts drums
  • Saunders: Helena Agri Enterprises, LLC, Ashland, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

OPEN SPECIFIC DAYS

  • Dakota: Central Valley Ag, South Sioux City, Wednesdays in June and July, 11 a.m. to noon, accepts drums
  • Johnson: Midwest Farmers Co-op, Tecumseh, July 22-Aug. 2, accepts drums
  • Lancaster: Midwest Farmers Co-op, Waverly, June 14

BY APPOINTMENT

  • Burt: Tekamah Transfer Station, Tekamah, year-round by appointment, call 402-374-2929
  • Custer: Custer County Recycling, Broken Bow, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment, call 308-870-0313, accepts drums
  • Lincoln: North Platte Transfer Station, North Platte, by appointment, call 308-535-6700, accepts drums
  • Otoe: Midwest Farmers Co-op, Nebraska City, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment, call 402-873-3391, accepts drums
  • Sarpy: Farmers Union Co-op, Gretna, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment, call 402-332-3315
  • Thurston: Papio NRD, Walthill, monthly by appointment, call 402-846-5463, accepts drums

Clyde Ogg
Director
Pesticide Safety Education Program
402-472-1632
cogg1@unl.edu

Cheryl Alberts
Program Coordinator
Pesticide Safety Education Program
402-472-1696
calberts1@unl.edu