TAVARES — In conjunction with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Lake County Solid Waste is encouraging local agricultural establishments and government agencies to safely dispose of their cancelled, suspended and unusable pesticides.
Funded again this year by the state legislature, Operation Cleansweep allows farms, ranches, nurseries, golf courses and pest control companies to have a certain amount of their unwanted or expired pesticides picked up and removed, free of charge. During Fiscal Year 2016, more than 83,015 pounds of material has been collected thus far.
However, the state is now waiving the 750 pound limit for qualifying materials, as well as allowing other entities such as government, schools, institutions, etc. to participate for free up until funds are depleted for this program year.
Interested businesses and agencies are encouraged to sign up for the program by April 15 by contacting Shannon Turner at Shannon.Turner@freshfromflorida.com.
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. Last year alone, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reported that it collected over 111,600 pounds of pesticides from 233 participants in 41 counties statewide.
To find out more about Operation Cleansweep, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/cleansweep-pesticides.