State offering free disposal of banned pesticides

Posted Aug. 18, 2011, at 5:59 p.m.

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control and the Department of Environmental Protection are offering Maine homeowners an opportunity to safely dispose of banned or unusable pesticides free of charge this fall.

Through Sept. 30, the board is accepting preregistration from individuals who want to dispose of old, potentially dangerous pesticides stored in their homes, garages or barns. Preregistration is required for participation in the program, which is open to homeowners as well as noncorporate farmers and greenhouse operators.

Registrants will be required to supply detailed information about the types of pesticides to be disposed. After registering, participants will be notified about when to bring the pesticides to one of the four drop-off locations holding collection events around the state this fall. The materials will then be shipped to out-of-state disposal facilities that are licensed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Not all pesticides are eligible for disposal through the state-run program. The disposal site will only accept banned pesticides and pesticides that have become caked, frozen or otherwise rendered unusable. Legal pesticides that are still in usable form cannot be disposed of through the program.

Examples of banned pesticides include DDT, chlordane, calcium arsenate, lead arsenate and dieldrin. A more complete list of banned pesticides as well as those likely to become unusable over time is available at the Obsolete Pesticide Collection link at the Board of Pesticides Control’s website,

“Disposal of obsolete pesticides is expensive for the state, but it’s clearly much less than the cost of cleaning up contaminated soil or water,” Paul Schlein, the board’s public education specialist, said in a statement. “However, it’s worth noting that future funding is not guaranteed, so be sure to take advantage of this year’s collection while you can.”

More information about the program as well as safe storage or transportation of obsolete pesticides is available online at or by calling the board at 287-2731.