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Is It Really Empty
An unrinsed, “empty” pesticide container is not really empty. It can be
just as hazardous as a full container, because of the leftover residue inside.
Therefore, empty pesticide containers must be triple-rinsed prior to disposal or
recycling. Containers bearing the signal words “Danger” or “Warning” must be
triple-rinsed, per Chapter 173-303-160 of the Washington Administrative Code.
How Do I Triple Rinse
Empty as much of the pesticide into the sprayer as possible. Turn
five-gallon or smaller containers upside-down over the spray tank and let them
finish draining for at least 30 seconds after they stop dripping. Pump or
drain larger containers as empty as possible.
Add an appropriate solvent (often water) or cleaner to fill the empty
container about one-fourth full. Shake smaller containers thoroughly.
For larger containers, add enough liquid so that it contacts the entire inside
Drain the container completely by holding it over the spray tank or pumping
out the liquid into another container. The solvent plus leftover pesticide
residue mixture removed from the container is known as the “rinsate.”
Repeat this process at least two more times, until the container is clean.
When triple rinsing will not sufficiently clean the container, keep rinsing
until the rinsate runs clear from the container.
What Do I Do With The Rinsate?
The best thing to do with rinsate is to use it in preparing the spray mixture
for that particular pesticide. This is the safest for you and the
environment. It also creates less waste and saves money. If you collect rinsate for later use or disposal as a hazardous waste, do not mix rinsate from
different pesticides. These mixtures may react to form dangerous vapors or
mixtures. Label each container and store in a safe and secure manner as
you would other pesticide products.
Do not dump rinsate on the ground, into storm drains, floor drains, sinks, or
toilets. It could contaminate soils, your septic system, the groundwater,
or surface water.
Is Disposal The Only Option For Clean Pesticide
Clean pesticide containers can be legally disposed in the garbage. However,
businesses looking for ways to cut their costs have discovered an alternative to
the old practice of disposal. More and more businesses are choosing to rinse,
remove the packing slip, foil, and lid, and recycle empty pesticide containers.
How Do I Get More Information On Recycling Pesticide
NW Ag Plastics provides a free collection and disposal service for empty
pesticide containers that have been properly cleaned and prepared for disposal.
This organization travels throughout the state to collect empty
containers and reduce the amount of solid waste going to regional landfills, or
being improperly disposed. The empty containers are chipped into plastic
granules and sold to manufacturers, who recycle the chipped plastic into
approved products, such as fencing, pallets, and drainpipe.
NW Ag Plastics has specific requirements on how containers must be prepared
prior to collection and disposal. Visit their website for more information about
the steps to take before bringing empty containers to the collection event
nearest your city.
For more information on recycling empty containers, contact the following:
- NW Ag Plastics — 509-457-3850 www.nwagplastics.com
- Clarke Brown (co-owner/operator) — 509-965-6809 or 509-952-7146