|Pesticide collections continue to rise posted on 07/02/2018|
The seemingly impossible task of removing dangerous chemicals
from our environment has been taken up by the Oregon Department of
Environmental Quality (ODEQ). And the results have been impressive.
In June, a pesticide collection in Clackamas County
collected 19,500 pounds of old, unusable, or restricted pesticides, according
to Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District Program Manager Lisa Kilders.
“Surprisingly, the quantities collected at these events
remain steady,” Kilders wrote in an email to The Mountain Times. “Since 2007,
the total quantity of pesticides collected at events held in Clackamas County
equals 151,915 pounds. That is just slightly less than 76 tons.”
Agricultural, commercial, and institutional pesticide users
took advantage of the opportunity to get rid of their chemicals at no cost to
Without the ODEQ event, many pesticides would remain,
creating the possibility of spreading chemicals into the environment. Kilders
pointed out that these chemicals exist for many reasons, such as some land
owners inherited old pesticides when a farming operation closed down, while
others discovered stores of chemicals when they purchased a business or
property. Also, with the passage of time, some chemicals have become restricted
or expire and can no longer be applied.
The free event allows farmers the chance to responsibly get
rid of old pesticides instead of mixing them and needlessly spraying them
somewhere just to get rid of the product.
The pesticide collection events, held across Oregon, are
funded generally from grants, as was the case with the June event in Molalla.
The event is successful because of partners working together. The city of
Molalla opened Bolander Field, outreach and advertising were provided by the
Clackamas and Marion Soil and Water Conservation Districts. ODEQ handled
disposal funds and coordinated with Clean Harbors, the disposal company.
Protecting water quality is a team effort, Kilders noted.Larry Berteau/MT