Virginia’s Pesticide Collection Program assists agricultural producers, licensed pesticide dealers, pest control firms, golf courses and homeowners with the proper disposal of unwanted pesticides. The program is an effort by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), with participation from Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services.

Since its inception in 1997, Virginia’s Pesticide Collection Program has collected and destroyed more than 1.5 million pounds of pesticides. Available at no cost to eligible participants, the program is supported by pesticide fees collected by VDACS. No general fund tax dollars are used to implement the program. This program is held in a different region of Virginia each year (on a five-year rotation schedule) and serves as a great opportunity for Virginia residents who have eligible materials they do not want or need to get rid of them in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

There will be multiple opportunities for residents of Southwest Virginia to get rid of any qualifying materials this fall. Those pick-up sites that are the closest include Grover King VFW Post 115 in Hillsville on Oct. 1, Southwest Supergro in Chilhowie on Oct. 2, S & W Fertilizer, Seed, and Chemical in Wytheville on Oct. 8, and Duffield Fire and Rescue on Oct. 9. All participants need to complete a registration form with a list of materials they need to dispose of so we can make proper arrangements and so we will know you are coming. These forms can be picked up at your county Extension office and should be returned to VDACS or the Extension office immediately.

The following materials are eligible: agricultural pesticides, commercial pesticides, homeowner pesticides, weed and feed, and pesticide dilutions. Items that are not eligible include paint, medical waste, radioactive waste, tires, oil, ammunition, biological waste, contaminated waste, fertilizer, and batteries. Participants are responsible for delivering the materials they have to the pick-up site. You should arrive by noon if possible.

Contact your local Extension office or the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 804-371-6561 for clarification on acceptable products for disposal, instructions on handling unknown pesticides of 50 pounds solid or 5 gallons liquid in one container and instructions on handling unknown containers that cannot be moved safely.

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Phil Blevins is an agricultural extension agent in Washington County, Virginia.

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