Question: I’m cleaning out my garage. How can I safely dispose of fertilizers, herbicides, etc. that are expired or that I no longer want to use? I’m trying to use more organic methods in my garden.
Answer: Although your desire to give up using these chemicals is admirable, and you ay be dismayed to hear this, the safest way to dispose of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers is to use them up as directed by the label. If you have only small amounts and can come to grips with finishing them off, do it; alternatively, see if a neighbor or friend would use them.
Guidelines vary by state, but in general if you have large amounts of garden chemicals, you don’t want to use them, or you can’t find someone who will, you need to take them to a hazardous waste collection site. This may be a county-wide collection site or unique to your city or town. Many cities and towns have one or two days every year when residents may bring household hazardous waste to a designated space—perhaps the Department of Public Works headquarters. Check your local government’s website or give them a call to find out if something like this is on your town’s calendar.
You might also call your local waste management authority or your state Environmental Protection Agency for advice. Search your state’s website, or look in the government section of your phone book under Solid Waste, Public Works, or Garbage, Trash or Refuse Collection. You can also call 1-800-CLEANUP to find your local authority.
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