Montana Department of Agriculture logo

The Montana Department of Agriculture develops and implements activities designed to prevent, minimize, and monitor the effects of pesticides on environmentally sensitive areas and resources, such as groundwater and endangered species.

MDA also implements a Pesticide Container Recycling program, a Pesticide Waste Disposal program, and cooperates with allied state and federal regulatory agencies in the promotion and operation of environmental programs.

For more information about the different programs within Natural Resources refer to the tabs below.

  • Pesticide
    Disposal
  • Container
    Recycling
  • Groundwater
    Monitoring
  • Threatened &
    Endangered Species

Waste Pesticide Disposal Program

In 2016, the waste pesticide disposal will occur in District 3, the eastern third of Montana. Collections will be held the week of Sept. 20-23.

Collection Schedule:

  • September 20, 2016 - Malta, MT
  • September 21, 2016 - Sidney, MT
  • September 22, 2016 - Miles City, MT
  • September 23, 2016 - Billings, 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 519,000 pounds of waste pesticide have been collected from more than 1,523 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. Licensed pesticide applicators and dealers receive a fee credit for that portion of their license fee earmarked for the disposal program.

Disposal Cost

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
P.O. Box 1054
Glasgow, MT 59230

More Information on the Pesticide Recycling Program

Materials Accepted for Disposal

  • Pesticides
  • 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
  • Fertilizers
  • Loaded M-44 predator baits
  • Fumigant gases
  • Solvents
  • Paints
  • Oil

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).
  • 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.

Licensed applicators will receive a monetary credit if they are a participant in the disposal program. The credit will be equal to the portion of the participants licensing fee that was used to fund the disposal program. The credit must be used during the certification period in which the fee is paid for farm applicators, or during the same licensing period for dealers, commercial applicators, commercial operators and government applicators.

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 2016, Waste Pesticide District 3 (Eastern Montana), will hold collections during the week of September 20-23, 2016. The remaining districts will have the following collections schedule: 2017; District 1 (Western Montana): 2018; District 2 (Central Montana).

Contact the Montana Department of Agriculture at 444-5400 or see above for more information or to request a waste pesticide registration form. To register pesticides in the program, fill out and return the completed form. The Department may set priorities for the type and amount of pesticides collected under the disposal program based on funding.

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) 228-9512, 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.

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 2016 Collection:

  • Collections will be held on the week of September 20-23, 2016.
  • Locations are Malta on Sept. 20; Sidney on Sept. 21; Miles City on Sept. 22; Billings on Sept. 23.

In 2016, the waste pesticide disposal will occur in District 3.

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.

Pesticide Plastic Container Recycling Program

The Pesticide Container Recycling Program was created to keep pesticide container plastic out of Montana’s landfills. Emptied and cleaned plastic containers are stored at sites throughout Montana. A truck equipped with shredding equipment and poly transport bags visits the storage sites several times each summer to prepare the plastic for recycling.

Cooperators with public collection sites for rinsed containers can be found in the schedule below. Please check back as these will be updated periodically.

Only HDPE #2 pesticide container plastic can be accepted for the program. Empty containers must be triple rinsed or power washed, with label booklets, lids and foil liners removed. 30- and 55-gallon containers must be cleaned and cut in eight pieces for processing in the portable shredder used by the department. Shredded plastic is recycled into non-consumer items such field drain pipe, roadway speed bumps, pallets and landscape edging..

The program, established with help from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, collected approximately 391,000 pounds of pesticide container since the beginning of the program in October 2009.

Download the
Container Recycling
Program Brochure

For additional information, contact a participating County Weed District or the Montana Department of Agriculture (see Contacts on this page).

Collection Sites

Please call contact person before disposing of pesticide plastic containers at any site!

For information about each individual site, click on an orange dot on the map below.


View Larger Map

Container Recycling Schedule

Pesticide Container Recycling Program starts May 2016!

Start collecting pesticide containers now!

The website is updated regularly. Please check back periodically or call the Montana Department of Agriculture at 406-228-9512 (Carli Lofing, email CLofing@mt.gov) with any questions.

Following is the 2016 Season Schedule for the Montana Department of Agriculture Pesticide Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Truck.

June 6-10
  • Geraldine
  • Denton
  • Standford
  • Fort Benton
  • Highwood
  • Coffee Creek
  • Lewistown
  • Grass Range
June 13-17
  • Kalispell
  • Missoula
  • Ronan
  • Polson
  • Libby
  • Plains
  • Superior
  • Hamilton
  • Clearwater Junction
June 20-24
  • Malta
  • Glasgow
  • Larslan
  • Peerless
  • Scobey
  • Four Buttes
  • Flaxville
  • Grass Range
June 27-July 1
  • Cutbank
  • Conrad
  • New Miami Colony
  • New Rockport
  • Chester
  • Shelby
  • Hidden Valley Colony
July 5-8
  • Sidney
  • Glendive
  • Ekalaka
  • Baker
  • Culbertson
  • Wolf Point

The schedule is tentative and may be revised as the season progresses. If anyone needs the truck to come before the scheduled date, let us know, and we will try to accommodate. Also if anyone is on the schedule and will not need the recycling truck to stop at the next scheduled time, please let us know. Last year our recycling technician processed over 53,000 pounds of plastic. Due to the amount of pounds being collected our technician may need to make changes in the schedule in order to maximize efficiency. Please contact Carli Lofing at 406-465-0531 (cell) , 406-228-9512 (office) or CLofing@mt.gov.

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session
Are you interested in bills at the 2017 Montana Legislature that may affect agriculture? Use the Montana Legislative Branch's online LAWS website to look up current bill information.

Cam Lay
Natural Resource Program Manager

Phone : (406) 444-3790
E-mail : CLay2@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Carli Lofing
Pesticide Disposal & Container Recycling Programs

Phone : (406) 465-0531
E-mail : CLofing@mt.gov
54 East Larslan Rd
Larslan, MT 59244

 

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session
Are you interested in bills at the 2017 Montana Legislature that may affect agriculture? Use the Montana Legislative Branch's online LAWS website to look up current bill information.

Natural Resource Files, Forms & Reports

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