Washington: WSDA nets 1,000 pounds of DDT during Earth Day event

Release Date: 04/29/2015

For Immediate Release
Mike Louisell
Public Information Officer
360) 902-1813, MLouisell@AGR.WA.GOV
Washington: WSDA nets 1,000 pounds of DDT during Earth Day event

Olympia, Washington, April 29, 2015 – Banned for more than 40 years, the notorious insecticide DDT is still being found on properties around the state as the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) discovered last week at a collection event held as part of Earth Day activities.

The event held by the WSDA Waste Pesticide Program took place in Spokane and collected nearly 25,000 pounds of unwanted insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides, including more than 1,000 pounds of the highly persistent insecticide, DDT, banned for use in the U.S. 43 years ago.

“Farmers should regularly look in their storage sheds and barns for any pesticides they no longer use or want and contact WSDA to arrange for them to be disposed,” Joe Hoffman, WSDA’s waste pesticide coordinator, said. “Proper disposal prevents future problems such as leaks that may contaminate the soil and drinking water or accidental exposure to these old products by people or animals. Some of these old pesticides are highly toxic and you do not want to wait for an accident to happen.”

DDT and other obsolete pesticides are still found on some properties. WSDA’s collection program is free and provides an easy way for farmers, ranchers, public agencies, institutions and others to get rid of their unwanted agricultural or commercial-grade pesticides.

Last week’s event drew 32 customers from five Eastern Washington counties to the Spokane collection event. One of them also brought in the 3 millionth pound of pesticides WSDA has collected since the Waste Pesticide Program began in 1988.

WSDA holds waste pesticide collection events around the state based upon customer demand. Contact WSDA when you have a disposal need rather than waiting to hear about an event scheduled in your area. In some areas where there are few customers, WSDA may arrange for direct pickup from the customer’s location rather than scheduling an event. To arrange for disposal, visit www.agr.wa.gov/wastepesticide, email WastePesticide@agr.wa.gov or call (360) 902-2056. WSDA also can provide customer-site assistance at no charge.

The state’s hazardous waste contractor, Clean Harbors, transports and disposes of the pesticides at licensed facilities that destroy the chemicals. The Waste Pesticide Program is funded through the state Model Toxics Control Act.

WSDA does not accept household hazardous waste. Contact your local solid waste program or visit the Earth 911 website to determine local disposal and recycling options.

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