Waste Pesticide Disposal Program
In 2018, the waste pesticide disposal program will occur in District 2, the central third of Montana. Collections will be held from September 18-21.
- September 18, 2018 - Havre, MT
- September 19, 2018 - Great Falls, MT
- September 20, 2018 - Bozeman, MT
- September 21, 2018 - Columbus, MT
All licensed pesticide applicators within the district will receive information and pre-registration forms by mail in July. Other interested parties (unlicensed pesticide applicators, members of the general public) can obtain registration forms from the department, department website or from MSU county extension agents.
For small-scale users (see below) the program is free. The legislation authorizing the collection program was sponsored by Montana's agricultural industry and is funded, in part, by license fees that private, commercial, and government pesticide applicators and pesticide dealers pay to become licensed. Registration for the program is requested by the end of August. For the most part, acceptance into the program is on a first-come, first-served basis and early sign-up is encouraged.
Annual pesticide collections began in 1994. More than 584,000 pounds of waste pesticide have been collected from more than 1,682 participants since then. Amounts collected have ranged from one pound to over 7,000 pounds. Common pesticides that have been brought to collection events include insecticides such as DDT, chlordane, and pentachlorophenol and herbicides like 2,4,5-T and dinoseb. Strychnine has been the primary rodenticide collected.
Participants must pre-register their unusable pesticide with the Montana Department of Agriculture before the collection event so the collection can be managed safely and efficiently. Cost for participating in the program is substantially lower than costs incurred through other disposal options.
Important Change: As of May 2017, licensed pesticide aplicators and dealers no longer receive a fee credit for that portion of the license fee earmarked for the displosal program.
Licensed pesticide applicators and dealers receive a fee credit for that portion of their license fee earmarked for the disposal program.
The disposal fee is FREE for the first 200 pounds and $0.50/lb for amounts in excess of 200 pounds, with a minimum charge of $5.00. Products are weighed on site. The disposal fee for pesticides containing dioxins or dioxin precursors may have a higher fee.
Requirements: Participants must pre-register their unusable pesticide with the Montana Department of Agriculture so the collection can be managed safely and efficiently. The registration form, located below, must be mailed to:
Montana Department of Agriculture
Pesticide Disposal Program
54 East Larslan Road
Larslan, MT 59244
Materials Accepted for Disposal
- Pesticide mixes
- Unknown pesticides
- Metal pesticide containers
Disposal is free for the first 200 pounds and 50 cents a pound for additional amounts. Fees to dispose of pesticides containing dioxins may be higher.
Not Accepted for Disposal
- Non-pesticide materials
- Plastic containers
- Loaded M-44 predator baits
- Fumigant gases
Inspect all unwanted pesticides to see that they are securely packaged
Only transport containers that are secure. If the container is questionable, carefully pack within another container for transport.
Line storage area of transport vehicle with plastic
Do not transport pesticides in areas occupied by passengers. If at all possible transport to the site in the back of a pickup or alternately in the trunk of a car. Avoid exposure to humans and animals.
Carry absorbent material
If you are transporting liquid materials carry absorbent materials such as kitty litter in case of breakage or spillage.
Arrange pesticides by hazard classification
Arrange pesticides such as corrosives, flammable, oxidizers, poisons, etc. to prevent mixing of incompatible materials should spillage occur.
Brace containers in vehicle
This will prevent unnecessary shifting which could result in container damage and leakage.
Keep all containers covered during transport
Loads hauled in an open pickup truck should be covered.
Certificate of participation
A copy of this form, which lists the pesticides authorized for disposal, must be maintained in the vehicle when transporting pesticide to the collection site (in case of accident, emergency responders will need to know what they are dealing with). Please present this form at the time of unloading.
Please drive carefully
You are responsible for any spillage, damage, subsequent cleanup and restoration that might occur while you are transporting the unwanted pesticides. The state and its contractors are not responsible for any spillage that occurs before the unwanted pesticides are accepted for transport at the collection site.
Drive directly to the pesticide collection site
After you load your vehicle, avoid unnecessary travel when transporting pesticides.
Direct additional safety questions to the Montana Department of Agriculture
Refer to the contact information on this page.
Locations and Dates for the 2018 Collection:
- Collections will be held September 18-21, 2018.
- Locations are Havre on Sept. 18; Great Falls on Sept. 19; Bozeman on Sept. 20; Columbus on Sept. 21.
In 2018, waste pesticide disposal will occur in District 2. In 2019, waste pesticide disposal will occur in District 3, and in 2020 it will occur in District 1.
All licensed pesticide applicators within the district will receive information and registration forms by mail in July.
Unlicensed applicators can obtain registration forms from the department or from MSU County Extension Agents.
A program sponsored by the Montana Department of Agriculture that collects and properly disposes of waste pesticides and metal pesticide containers. For most participants the program is free. Participants with more than 200 pounds of waste pesticides are charged a subsidized rate for disposal of the extra material.
Any pesticide product that the owner cannot or does not wish to use is a waste pesticide, and is a suitable candidate for the disposal program.
In most cases, the person, company or organization that purchases or controls a pesticide is legally responsible for its proper use, handling, storage, and disposal. For more information contact the Montana Department of Agriculture. It is illegal to bury, burn, or discard a pesticide or its container in a manner inconsistent with instructions found on the label. The disposal program is the easiest, safest, and usually the only legal option for proper disposal of these materials.
Pesticides may become unusable for many reasons, even simply because the person possessing them no longer has a use for them. Some products have a limited shelf life, or may undergo changes in storage that render them unusable. Identifying labels and use directions deteriorate with age, often to the point of becoming unreadable or completely missing. Many liquid products become unusable after being frozen, for example, and many dry formulations like dusts or granules may become unusable if they get wet. In some cases pesticides become unusable because their registrations are expired or canceled, and legal uses for them no longer exist. It is also not uncommon for people who inherit or purchase agricultural properties to find unusable pesticides in storage. All of these circumstances make pesticides unusable, and all of these examples are suitable for the MDA disposal program. If you have questions about the use, status or condition of a pesticide, contact the Montana Department of Agriculture at (406)-444-5400. It is helpful, but not necessary for participation, to provide the product's name, manufacturer, and U.S. EPA registration number found on the product's label.
Because of the inherent hazards associated with most unusable pesticides, disposal at a permitted hazardous waste facility is the only acceptable and legal disposal practice. The Montana Department of Agriculture contracts with a licensed hazardous waste company to collect and properly dispose of waste pesticides. One collection per year will take place in one of the three waste pesticide disposal districts in the state of Montana. For more information, refer to the When & Where section below.
The basic process for the Montana Department of Agriculture Waste Pesticide Collection Program goes like this:
- The participant pre-registers unusable pesticides and empty metal pesticide containers with the Montana Department of Agriculture (click here to download the form as a .doc file | click here to download the form as a .pdf).
- The participant or the participant's designee brings the pre-registered pesticide to the collection site. During transportation the material is legally considered an ordinary pesticide. It is not yet hazardous waste.
- Upon arrival at the site, the pesticide is turned over to a licensed hazardous waste contractor. The pesticide become hazardous waste at that point, and the contractor assumes ownership and liability.
- The contractor packages the material for transportation, hauls it away, and properly disposes of it.
The program serves all the citizens of Montana. Although licensed pesticide applicators are the program's primary clientele, anyone with waste pesticides may apply. Cost to the participant is based on the weight of the waste pesticide and its container. Products are weighed on site at the time of transfer.
- The first 200 lbs are FREE.
- $0.50 per pound for additional amounts over 200 pounds, with a $5.00 minimum.
- The department may elect to accept pesticides that contain dioxin or heavy metals into the program at a higher fee.
The program will collect and dispose of most unusable pesticides and metal pesticide containers. Empty plastic pesticide containers, fertilizers, waste oil, paints and any other non-pesticide material will not be accepted.
Pesticides with a missing label or unknown pesticides can be accepted into the disposal program. In most cases, the hazardous waste contractor can characterize the waste at the collection site. Large volumes of an unknown pesticide may require analysis before acceptance into the collection. Contact the Montana Department of Agriculture for more information if you have a large quantity of an unknown product. The participant should be reasonably sure that the unknown material is a pesticide. Any information about the material should be provided.
In 2018, Waste Pesticide District 2 (Central Montana) will hold collections September 18-21. The remaining districts will have the following collections schedule: 2019 - District 3 (Eastern Montana); 2020 - District 1 (Western Montana).
The Montana Department of Agriculture also provides a free container-recycling program. Containers are picked up at the dealer or applicator location several times throughout the growing season. Please contact Carli Lofing at (406) 465-0531, CLofing@mt.gov for more information, or to be put on the collection route. The first and most important step is to RINSE CONTAINERS CLEAN AT THE TIME OF USE. Rinsate should be added to the spray tank so that no waste is generated and so that you get the benefit of every drop of the product you paid for. Recycling is the preferred option for the clean containers, but after being triple or pressure rinsed they can also be legally disposed of in a solid waste landfill.
- Metal pesticide containers that have not been properly rinsed can be accepted as waste.
- Empty plastic pesticide containers will not be accepted by this program.
Yes, program participants are relieved of future liability going forward when the product is delivered to the contractor. At that point the disposal contractor becomes the hazardous waste generator and owns both the waste and the liability. All pesticides accepted into the program are incinerated at an EPA- licensed facility to reduce possible future pollution liability.
No. The Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 80-8-111 specifies that a person may not be subject to an administrative or judicial penalty or action as a result of participation in the disposal program. The point of the program, after all, is to reduce the risk of harm to human health and the environment by encouraging proper and responsible disposal of unusable and waste pesticides.