Pesticides are used in homes and across many industries in Vermont: lawn and landscape, hospitals, food processing facilities, and farms. Pesticides are useful tool for managing pests in these locations, but it is important, and a requirement of the law, for these products to be used in accordance with the label. That includes proper handling and disposal of the empty containers that held the pesticide product. It is illegal to reuse a pesticide container for any purpose.
Pesticide labels include instructions for Pesticide Storage and Disposal. For products that are in plastic containers (primarily HDPE), one disposal option is recycling – but only under a specific government-industry partnership. DO NOT PLACE PESTICIDE CONTAINERS IN COMMUNITY OR MUNICIPAL RECYCLING PROGRAM COLLECTIONS.
Label instructions require that empty pesticide containers (other than paper) be triple-rinsed or pressure rinsed. The rinse water from the container should be applied as a pesticide following the application instruction on the pesticide label. Once the container is rinsed in accordance with the label and punctured, it is considered clean and can be recycled through the Agricultural Container Recycling Council (ACRC) program that operates in Vermont. The ACRC is a non-profit organization “that works to facilitate the collection and recycling of one-way rigid HDPE plastic agricultural crop protection, specialty pest control, animal health, micronutrient/fertilizer, and/or adjuvant product containers.”” About ACRC - ACRC (agrecycling.org). There are many resources addressing how to rinse a pesticide container on the ACRC website. Additionally, all containers eligible for recycling through ACRC must be HDPE and no larger than 55 gallons of in size, among other requirements concerning the types of products container previously held. Containers that held products labeled for household use may not be recycled through the ACRC.