Poor disposal can allow pesticides to reach water. Four types of pesticide waste should be considered:
1. Unapproved or unwanted pesticides
It is illegal to store or use unapproved pesticides, so it is important to ensure that all pesticides in your store are approved. Many products are losing their approval under the EU Review programme, so check the approval status of yours at least once a year. BASIS Registered advisors can help identify those which may no longer be legally used and which require disposal by a licensed waste contractor. A list of these contractors can be found at the Waste Directory. Alternatively, there is another resource for finding a contractor on the UK .Gov webpages here. Remember to keep a record of collected pesticide waste.
The Pesticides Register is an authoritative list of approved products in the UK plus those under phased withdrawal.
2. Left-over unused spray solution
Try to ensure that areas to be treated are measured accurately and that you have prepared the correct amount of spray solution. If you have any left over it may be sprayed onto an untreated part of the crop saved for that purpose or applied to the treated crop provided the maximum label dose is not exceeded.
3. Sprayer washings
The sprayer may be washed down in the field, over a lined biobed or over a concrete area where the liquid drains to a lined biobed or a sump for future disposal. Internal tank rinsings may be sprayed onto an untreated part of the crop saved for that purpose or applied to the treated crop provided the maximum label dose is not exceeded.
4. Pesticide packaging
In England and Wales the only permitted disposal option is to use a waste or recycling contractor. A list of these contractors can be found at the Waste Directory.
Alternatively, there is another resource for finding a contractor on the UK .Gov webpages here.
Check, with the waste disposal contractor, whether pesticide packaging must be segregated into different materials (paper, plastics, metal, foil seals, etc.). Where available choose packs without seals; otherwise rinse the seals and avoid them blowing away. Either fully detach and place them in a leak-proof container or leave them partially attached.
Always clean pesticide containers thoroughly before disposal. Use the induction bowl pressure rinsing device or triple rinse containers, and give them time to drain and dry.
For more information take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions or read our best practice guides: