Safe Disposal of Pesticides

The best way to dispose of small amounts of excess pesticides is to use them as directed – refer to the directions on the label. If you cannot use them, ask your neighbors whether they have a similar pest control problem and, if so, let them use it.

If the pesticide cannot be properly used, check with your local municipality (solid waste management authority) to find out if your community has a household hazardous waste collection program, and if pesticide disposal is part of the program.

To identify your local solid waste agency, look in the government section of your phone book under solid waste, public works, garbage, trash, or refuse collection or you can call 800-CLEANUP.

State and local laws regarding pesticide disposal may be stricter than the Federal requirements listed on most labels.

  • Be sure to check with your state or local agencies before disposing of your pesticide containers.
  • If the container is partly filled, contact your local solid waste agency.
  • If the container is empty, do not reuse it. Place it in the trash, unless the label specifies a different means of disposal.
  • Do not pour pesticides down the drain, into the toilet, or in a sewer or street drain. Pesticides may interfere with the operation of wastewater treatment systems or pollute waterways. Many municipal systems are not equipped to remove pesticide residues. If pesticides reach waterways, they may harm fish, plants, and other living things.

For more information refer to EPA’s household pesticide disposal guidance document at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/storage.htm