|By CINDY LADAGE
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Spring means time for spring cleaning. This includes not only the inside cupboards and closets, but the farm’s sheds and shops.
To help Illinois farmers, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) will host two Clean Sweep collections where Illinois residents can rid themselves of unwanted agricultural pesticides.
The two cleanups are scheduled for late June. The cleanups are not only timely for the farm community, but they are free.
The IDOA said farmers, nursery owners, private pesticide applicators and landowners who inherited unwanted agricultural pesticides with their property are among those eligible to participate.
“Clean Sweep offers an incentive for farmers to go through their barns and storage sheds and get rid of unneeded pesticides that could pose a potential safety hazard,” said IDOA Director Chuck Hartke. “The program is free, and the State of Illinois will assume liability for the proper disposal of all materials collected.”
The first collection is for the central Illinois counties of Champaign and Vermilion.
The second cleanup will be southern Illinois in the counties of Clay, Edwards, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Richland, Wabash and Wayne.
Besides being of assistance to the agricultural community, this program is designed to take chemicals out of the environment safely. IDOA estimates that Clean Sweep has safely disposed of nearly 400,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides since its inception in 1990.
To afford the disposal of these pesticides over the years, the cost has been shouldered by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
While disposal of the pesticides is free and easy, a little paperwork is required. Those who are eligible and want to participate must register the products they plan to dispose of by May 26.
The reason for registration is to allow the waste disposal contractor time to prepare for the different kinds of materials that will need to be handled.
Disposal of chemicals requires proper transportation, labeling and disposal according to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency requirements.
To register, forms can be obtained either by calling the IDOA’s Pesticide Hotline at 1-800-641-3934. Completed forms should be mailed or faxed to the IDOA. The mailing address is: Clean Sweep Program, IDOA, State Fairgrounds, and P.O. Box 19281, Springfield, IL, 62794-9281. The fax number is 217-524-4882.
Participants then will be sent a reservation card indicating the date, time and location of their collection.
This farm news was published in the April 26, 2006 issue of Farm World.