ALBANY — The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Wednesday, Nov. 3 that it had collected 230,000 pounds of pesticides and chemical waste at two CleanSweepNY events earlier this year.
The first collection event, held during the week of May 10, included counties in the Hudson Valley. The second event was held during the week of Oct. 11, and included counties in the Capital District.
DEC’s CleanSweepNY program helps promote healthy and sustainable communities by providing opportunities for proper disposal of unwanted and/or obsolete pesticides and other chemicals.
“To advance New York’s ongoing efforts to protect public health and our environment it’s critical to remove excess pesticides and other chemical wastes from our communities and landfills,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “We are pleased that so many farmers, businesses, and institutions participated in CleanSweepNY events this year and that so many New Yorkers recognize the importance of safely removing potential hazards from the environment.”
The spring CleanSweepNY event collected more than 86,600 pounds of chemical wastes from 89 participants in Ulster, Sullivan, Orange, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester counties. The fall event collected over 143,500 pounds of chemical wastes from 69 participants in Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Schoharie counties.
DEC employees visited four sites for the collection of waste chemicals unsafe to transport due to the poor condition of pesticide containers and storage areas. DEC also facilitated safe disposal for participants that had difficulty safely handling and transporting waste chemicals to collection locations.
DEC schedules and organizes CleanSweepNY events in collaboration with the New York State Department of Transportation. Collection events were held at multiple DOT facilities.
The 2021 events mark the 29th and 30th collection events administered by the CleanSweepNY program since its inception in 2002. The program has resulted in the collection of more two million pounds of chemical wastes across New York State, as well as the safe collection of more than 950 pounds of liquid elemental mercury. In addition, approximately 6,100 plastic pesticide containers, including many 55- and 30-gallon triple-rinsed pesticide drums, which would otherwise have been disposed of in landfills, were collected and properly recycled. The program is endorsed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the New York Farm Bureau, and related agricultural associations.
CleanSweepNY services are available to agricultural and non-agricultural professional pesticide applicators, schools, and certain businesses that use pesticides such as golf courses, cemeteries, and marinas. Homeowners cannot participate, but information about reducing household hazardous waste is available on DEC’s website.
For more information, visit CleanSweepNY’s website or call 518-225-8146.