SUMMERDALE, Ala. (WALA) – When you spend a lot of time tending crops, you’re bound to have some leftover pesticides. The only problem is what to do with them.
“You don’t want these containers to start leaking and cause a localized problem for us or to get in your ground water or cause a toxicity for anyone else later. So while these containers are in good shape to get rid of, it’s a good time to get ‘em gone,” Summerdale Farmer Michael Mullek said.
Farmers from in and around Baldwin County got the chance to bring their leftover pesticides to Summerdale for proper disposal.
“We take the liquids and we ‘bulk them.’ Meaning we open up all the containers and pour them into 250 gallon totes and then once those totes are full, we pump those into a 4000 gallon tanker. That then gets shipped up to an EPA licensed incinerator in Ohio,” Dan Schweitzer, the agricultural program manager for MXI Environmental Services, said.
And with nearly 35,000 pounds of unwanted pesticides being taken away, it also clears up space for folks back on the farm…or research site.
“We use a lot of experimental stuff and we usually get a pretty good quantity of it and some of our smaller products we don’t use up much of, so it just sits there and takes up space on the shelf somewhere,” said Brad Miller, an agricultural research supervisor for Auburn University.
Officials said it’s a very effective program. Last year, MXI in partnership with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) said they picked up more than 90,000 pounds in one day.
“This is great for the environment, great for farmers, it’s a win-win program for everyone,” Schweitzer said.
And since it doesn’t cost farmers a dime, they’ll welcome the next pickup when it heads back to the area. ADAI said they haven’t decided on locations for next year’s pickup. The pickup on Thursday will take place in Henry County.