Published on 09/12/16

Cordele-area farmers invited to safely discard unused pesticides at Sept. 30 event

By Casey Chastain

A pesticide collection event has been scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cordele State Farmers Market. This event will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is hosting Georgia Clean Day, a free program that allows pesticide applicators to safely dispose of old, unusable or cancelled pesticides. This event is open to all private and commercial applicators with the understanding that the event is designed for farmers and lawn care, golf course and pest control companies in Crisp and surrounding Georgia counties.

Some pesticides that have been used in the past are now in need of proper disposal. Pesticides in leaking containers or those that have been disposed of improperly may cause environmental damage by contaminating water supplies or harming people and wildlife. State and federal laws make it illegal to burn, bury or dump pesticides in conventional landfills. Georgia Clean Day is a program to help dispose of old, unusable or cancelled pesticides safely with a hazardous waste contractor.

According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Clean Days are the best way to dispose of unusable pesticides. Other forms of disposal can be costly and often force growers to dispose of pesticides illegally or keep them until a better disposal method is created. In response to environmental concerns, the Georgia Legislature passed a bill to help facilitate the collection of unusable pesticides. Since the start of Georgia Clean Days in 1994, over 1 million pounds of pesticides have been collected for disposal.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture requires preregistration for this event. Registration forms should be returned to Ricky Hayes, Georgia Clean Day waste disposal coordinator, by Sept. 26. For more information, contact your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent or Ricky Hayes at You can also visit

Casey Chastain is a student writer working in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Communication and Creative Services.

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