Pesticide Container Recycling
The Michigan Pesticide Container Recycling Program is a partnership between the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, the Michigan Agri-Business Association, the Ag Container Recycling Council, agri-chemical dealers and pesticide users across Michigan. The program protects groundwater by promoting the proper rinsing and recycling of pesticide jugs and drums. In addition to protecting our water, recycling empty containers reduces waste entering our landfills.
This national program is supported by the principal agri-chemical companies and through state fees assessed on the sale of pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers, and is a good example of cooperation and coordination among growers, agri-businesses, state government, and state and national associations. Michigan has collected and recycled more than 2.4 million pounds (1200 tons) of properly rinsed plastic containers since 1993. Through a network of agri-businesses and conservation districts, growers may easily return their used, properly cleaned plastic containers for recycling. Even when preparing for planting season, it is never too early to remember to set aside empty plastic containers for recycling.
Recycled pesticide containers are ground and used for various products, predominantly shipping pallets and drainage tiles, but also hazardous waste drums, speed bumps, construction site mats, among other items.
The program accepts all pesticide containers up to 55-gallon (plastic) drums under the regular program. There are three easy steps you must complete before recycling containers:
- Remove any metal or other loose pieces on larger containers as well as any caps and loose labeling from any container, in general.
- Triple-rinse or pressure rinse empty containers immediately after use. The rinse-water can be used in an appropriate diluted tank mix.
- Store rinsed containers in a dry area away from wells and water supplies until a pick-up can be arranged, or take to a recycling location as soon as possible.
The vendor prefers that clean containers are tied together in large bundles using rope or twine and stored in a dry area away from wells and water supplies until collection. Large plastic bags to hold jugs are no longer being distributed due to the significant waste stream the bags themselves generate.
Participating business/collection sites can request a pickup of stored, clean containers by contacting G. Phillips and Sons directly, at either 248-961-3360 - firstname.lastname@example.org; or 563-942-0391 - email@example.com. If your business is interested, it is best to contact G. Phillips & Sons in the spring so they can include you on their contact list - this facilitates planning by allowing them to anticipate working your business into their scheduled pick-up routes. For more information on G. Phillips & Sons, and other services they offer, please go to their website: www.gpsagrecycle.com
If you are a farmer looking for a place to recycle your containers, the following may offer locations or events for drop-off. Please contact the conservation district prior to showing up to learn about local schedules and procedures. Procedures may have changed to comply with COVID-19 measures.
Grand Traverse Conservation District
1450 Cass Road
Traverse City, MI 49685
Grand Traverse County
Huron Conservation District
1460 South Van Dyke
Bad Axe, MI 48413
Oceana Conservation District
1064 Industrial Park Dr.
Shelby, MI 49455
For more information contact Abby Eaton, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division, at 517-284-5612 or EatonA@Michigan.gov.