TAVARES – In conjunction with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Lake County’s Solid Waste Division is urging local agricultural establishments to safely and inexpensively dispose of their cancelled, suspended and unusable pesticides.
Funded for the first time in three years, Operation Cleansweep allows farms, ranches, nurseries, golf courses and pest control companies to have their unwanted or expired pesticides picked up and removed, free of charge for the first 500 pounds and for 89¢ for each additional pound.
“While the county accepts many hazardous items at our landfill and during our household hazardous waste collection events, there are some commercial grade pesticides that are extremely toxic to humans and dangerous to the environment that may be currently stored in old, deteriorating containers which must be carefully handled,” said Johnny Taylor, Lake County Hazardous Waste & E-Cycling Supervisor. “Chemicals such as chlordane and DDT, which are no longer allowed to be used, can be safely and inexpensively disposed of through Operation Cleansweep.”
Operation Cleansweep began in 1995 with a statewide collection of more than 70,000 pounds of lead arsenate, a then-widely used pesticide for citrus operations which was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency. Through June 2011, Operation Cleansweep collected and disposed of more than 1.4 million pounds of pesticides from nearly 2,000 participants in 66 counties. This year, the Florida legislature again funded the program.
Collections will be conducted by the state and will begin in November until funding is exhausted. Interested businesses are encouraged to sign up for the program by emailing email@example.com or by calling 877-851-5285. To find out more about Operation Cleansweep, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/cleansweep-pesticides/default.htm.