The Tualatin and Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation Districts co-hosted an Agricultural Pesticide Collection event on Saturday March 8, 2014, at Wilco Agronomy in Cornelius, Oregon. Working with a number of partners, the Districts received 15,822 pounds of waste (7.911 tons) from 29 individual farmers, golf course owners, and other producers throughout Washington and Clackamas Counties during the one day event.
Clean Harbors Environmental Services conducted the anonymous registration for the event and will dispose of the collected waste. Additional partners in this event included Clean Water Services, Crop Production Services, the Joint Water Commission, Oregon DEQ, OSU Extension, Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Tualatin River Watershed Council, and Wilco.
Safety was a primary concern in hosting and scheduling the event, which was originally planned for February 8, but had to be rescheduled due to the poor winter weather. “We were concerned about having people drive their loads of pesticides into the event in the snow,” says District Manager Lacey Townsend. “Although it was a challenge, rescheduling the event helped us to ensure that all of these chemicals were safely and properly disposed of, which was our main goal.
The 29 anonymous participants agreed that rescheduling the event was worth the trouble. Many participants in the collection event inherited out-of-date pesticides when purchasing a property. These chemicals may be no longer useful, or in some cases, no longer legal. Pesticide collection events like this one are often held anonymously to allow these producers to feel comfortable doing the right thing. As one participant said, “It was good to be able to get rid of things we cannot use – some people would just bury this stuff but that’s not how we want to do things!”
Craig Nordling of Clean Harbors Environmental Services, was pleased to continue this event’s sterling safety record. “The event ran well with no injuries which is what I care about most at the end of the day,” said Craig. Another collection event in Washington County is anticipated if future funding can be secured.
This was written by Jennifer Nelson of Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District and we are pleased to share it with you!