Pesticide program returns |

Pesticide program returns

— For the third year in a row, Routt County will participate in a statewide program geared toward removing pesticides from ranches and farms.

Routt County Weed Control and the local Colorado State Extension Office are providing an opportunity for local ranches and farms to dispose of unwanted, unusable and banned pesticides.

County Weed Supervisor Matt Custer said the state program, Colorado ChemSweep, provides ranchers and farmers an economical way to dispose of pesticides in an environmentally safe manner.

“A company will come out to a farm or ranch, package up the pesticide and take it away,” Custer said.

The state has contracted with MSE Environmental, Inc. to gather and dispose of chemicals.

Custer said it is important to dispose of pesticides that are unwanted, unusable or banned to ensure those chemicals are not illegally stored.

Participants who take advantage of the program will pay between $2.25 to $2.65 per pound of pesticide.

Those interested must fill out a form, which is available at the Extension Office, and pay a $50 deposit by Feb. 20.

Waste pesticides will be collected on site in March, Custer said.

In the past couple of years, about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds of pesticides from across the state have been collected.

Custer said he hopes more ranchers and farmers will take advantage of the program to match participation in 1999, when 34,000 pounds were collected statewide.

ChemSweep started in the state in 1995 as a pilot program. In its first year, 67 participants in four counties disposed of about 17,000 pounds of waste.

In 1997, the program was expanded to include 10 counties. Since that time, more than 60,000 pounds of pesticide waste has been collected.

The state has contracted with MSE Environmental, Inc. because of its experience in the field.

The company has performed more than 300 agriculture chemical programs in 18 states throughout the nation since 1991.

In that time, the company has disposed of more than 4 million pounds of waste pesticide.

Once waste pesticide is removed from a site, the company transports the chemical to a facility in El Dorado, Ark.

Those who register for the program by the deadline will receive scheduling information and an appointment time by March 1. Collection is expected to occur later in the month, Custer said.

“This is a good program,” he said. “It is also pretty cheap.”

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