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For Immediate Release: March 9, 2006

Lynne Richmond

(TRENTON) -- The New Jersey Department of Agriculture today announced its 2006 schedule for a free program to recycle empty plastic pesticide containers at the Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex. Those participating in the program can save almost $57 per ton in landfill tipping fees.

“It is in everyone’s best interest to keep plastics out of landfills, especially those containers that once held pesticides,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus. “And since there is no cost to participate in the pesticide container recycling program, farmers can benefit from the savings while contributing to our state’s recycling goals.”

Non-refillable, high-density polyethylene #2 (HDPE #2) containers used by agricultural, professional and commercial pesticide applicators will be accepted at the collection sites. In addition, HDPE #2 plastic pails, bulb crates, and similar items will be accepted.

Pesticide containers must be no larger than 55 gallons and triple rinsed. The MSDS booklet and lid must be removed. The metal handles must be removed from the plastic pales.

The program is open to anyone who holds a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection pesticide license, including state, county and municipal government agencies. Participants must follow the processing guide or the material will be rejected. A pesticide license is not needed to participate in the program if non-pesticide containers are recycled.

“This program is an excellent example of the ways in which government agencies are working together to enable the agricultural community and other licensed pesticide applicators to realize the environmental and economic benefits of recycling,” said DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson.

More than 4,000 plastic pesticide containers were recycled last year under this agricultural conservation program offered by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
In 2005, there was a 66-percent increase in the volume of plastic pesticide containers recycled over 2004 figures.

The DEP has authorized the New Jersey Department of Agriculture representative to issue one core credit to pesticide license holders who bring in properly rinsed pesticide containers. Department personnel will be on site to collect the containers and issue the pesticide credits. To receive credit, participants must bring their pesticide license to the collection site and must follow the processing steps. Credits will not be issued for recycling items other than pesticide containers.

The Department of Agriculture has a strong commitment to ensuring compliance with New Jersey’s mandatory recycling regulations. This program is just one of several economic development programs the Department has implemented to assist Garden State farmers to recycle the plastic generated on their farm operations and reduce their solid waste disposal fees. The other programs underway include the nursery and greenhouse film recycling program and the agricultural plastics (mulch film, drip irrigation tape, silage and peat moss bags, etc.) recycling program.

The Department continues to evaluate the possibility of implementing a program to recycle nursery pots and clam netting.

Licensed pesticide applicators are encouraged to take advantage of this free program, in which they will receive one core credit toward their pesticide license.

The agricultural product container-recycling program is a collaborative effort involving the New Jersey Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection and the Cumberland County Improvement Authority.

For additional information, call (609) 292-5575 or visit: