How to Recycle Pesticides & Containers

Pesticide liquids and granules should never be recycled.  But pesticide containers can be recycled, and these containers also need to undergo special treatment and cannot simply be tossed into your curbside bin.

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Frequent Pesticide & Container Recycling Questions

Can empty plastic pesticide containers be reused or recycled?

Pesticide containers should not be reused, according to the EPA. Pesticide containers may be able to be recycled, depending on location and specifications of local recyclers and the material designation listed on the container.

Do pesticides expire?

Yes. Most pesticides have an indicated shelf-life of at least two years from the time of manufacture, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, but may still be usable long after the indicated shelf-life has expired.

I already use pesticides in my yard, so why can’t leftovers be dumped down the drain?

Pesticides poured down the sink, into the toilet or down a sewer or street drain may interfere with the operation of wastewater treatment systems or pollute waterways, according to the EPA. Many municipal systems are not equipped to remove all pesticide residues, and pesticides in waterways may harm fish, plants and other living things.

How are pesticide containers recycled?

Depending on state and local regulations, containers are generally triple-rinsed, then either processed or shipped to a facility that is equipped to handle the plastic of which the container is composed. Containers can be recycled into nearly any type of plastic product.