The cool nip in the air is almost gone as bees and ants begin to awake from a long winters nap. Soon homeowners everywhere will be heading out to their sheds and garage shelves with discerning eyes, wondering which pest control chemical they’ll use this year.
The Diazonon did real good last year on the Box elders but it must have had a leak or something, it all oozed out onto the shelf and some on the floor. There’s still some left at the bottom, you can use that in a pinch. Let’s see, oh here is some Triazicide that still looks good; you bought it 3 years ago for the aphids on the back hedge. No more aphids for sure, to bad those bushes died though, they were looking real good.
As you pick and choose this year’s arsenal for the big spring time spray you run across the grand daddy of them all. You blow the dust off the thick glass bottle(cough a little) and then rub the thick dust away to reveal a deep brown liquid just sitting there waiting to be used. The label says made in 1984 Chlordane; that stuff was the best chemical known to man; you just spray a little of this and you wouldn’t have bugs for years. You wonder why they ever took it off the market and you contemplate using it for this spring. Naw, the bugs aren’t that bad and you want to wait until you really need it so you put it back on the shelf by the window.
Ok you’re ready to mix up your wares and lay down a lethal dose of ‘don’t come round my house’ when you see that almost all your chemical choices are curdled, lumpy, smell funny and won’t mix real well. That’s Ok you were getting kind of low on your stock anyway so you wipe your hands on your pants and begin throwing out the old pesticides. You do have quite a collection.
The bottles are heavy and you have some Sevin dust floating in the air while the trash bag is about ready to bust; you barely get the bulging bag into the can just before it tears open at the bottom. Good thing tomorrow is trash day; you got to remind Timmy to take it down to the corner tonight.
So now it’s off to the big box store to reload for the coming year’s pest control and the cycle begins again.
Does this sound like you? Hopefully not but it does represent a vast majority of people not only in this country but around the world. While I could go off in a number of ways I really only want to emphasize one aspect of this scenario.
Used pesticides and lawn products don’t go to the same place when they are discarded as does our regular household garbage. There are special techniques and methods for disposing of chemicals that minimize the risks to our environment. Some products placed under ground in landfills may last for decade’s harmlessly sitting there in their sealed container. It only takes a small shift or some corrosion to finally set it free and that’s when it can seep into our ground water and literally contaminate miles and miles of an underground aquifer. If exposed to a fire sometime in the future, firefighters or civilians could be exposed to a toxic burning fume and without knowledge of what it is there may be little you can do to treat the victims.
Now, I’m not your classic tree hugger but I do care for the environment and the health of my family and those of my customers. It really does not take super heroic efforts, just a little bit of care in transportation and a few minutes out of your day. It’s really very simple to dispose of your old unused pest and lawn products. Almost all the landfills I’ve read about or have gone to have a toxic waste area and guess what! There is no guard standing there to take down your license number and report what you placed there. I have never even seen a fee collected. It’s usually a small non descript area and you place your refuse onto some pallets. Later, technicians trained in toxic disposal will come by and do their job. I’m sure you are interested in good health for you and your loved ones too, so let’s take the time and do what’s best.
Here’s a bit of help for you if you don’t know where to go to get rid of these chemicals you no longer need. Be my hero and do the right thing.