|By CINDY LADAGE
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois farmers wanting to get rid of leftover ag chemical containers can take part in an Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) program this summer.
The IDOA’s pesticide container recycling program has collected nearly 2 million containers in its history. This IDOA program was recognized in 2004 by the Illinois Recycling Assoc. as the Outstanding Statewide Recycling Program for the year.
The IDOA estimates that more than 1.9 million containers have been recycled since the program started in 1990.
To participate Illinois farmers should take empty agrichemical containers to a specified site where the containers will be properly disposed.
The program kicks off this month. The IDOA will collect the containers for free and recycle them. The containers will be ground into plastic chips that will be used to make shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing and other products.
“This program is an excellent example of the care Illinois farmers are taking to protect our environment,” said IDOA Director Chuck Hartke. “Without their stewardship, these containers would be dumped in a landfill. Instead, they’re being recycled and reused.”
Metal and household pesticide containers are not eligible. Only high-density polyethylene, No. 2 plastic, agrichemical containers that are clean and dry will be accepted. All containers must be prepared before bringing them to the collection site. Farmers are responsible for ensuring that all containers have been rinsed and all caps, labels, booklets and foil seals removed.
The program is a cooperative venture between the IDOA, the Agriculture Container Recycling Council, Growmark, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Assoc., Tri-Rinse, Illinois Farm Bureau and the University of Illinois Extension. The partners are offering a free brochure, which can be obtained by calling the IDOA at 1-800-641-3934.
Farmers can bring containers at anytime to these permanent collection sites:
•Greene County, Illinois Valley Supply, Carrollton, Ill. - contact John Quandt at 217-942-6991
•McLean County, Randolph Ag, Heyworth, Ill. - contact Dee Hamilton at 309-473-3256
•Warren County, Maple City Area Recycling, Monmouth, Ill. - contact Kevin Lovdahl 309-734-8423
•Wayne County, Wabash Valley, Ellery, Ill. - contact Mike Wilson at 618-446-5160
Besides these permanent sites, there are also single day collection sites. For a listing of these sites, visit the IDOA’s website at www.agr.state.il.us