Hazards

  • Pesticides and herbicides are designed to be toxic to pests and can harm birds, fish, pets and humans if misused.
  • If lawn chemicals, pesticides or herbicides are used in larger doses than recommended on the label, runoff can have an adverse effect on drinking water supplies and the environment.

Handling

  • Avoid buying more product than you need, as it is likely to become waste at a later date.
  • Store pesticides in original containers that are closed and labeled, in a secure area out of reach of children and pets. Avoid storing pesticides in damp areas where containers may become moist or rusty. Pesticides should NOT be stored near food.
  • Follow label instructions strictly about where and how much to apply.
  • Do NOT put pesticides in the trash or down the drain.
  • Use rubber gloves when handling pesticides and use an appropriate cartridge mask if using products extensively.
  • Do NOT use or give away banned pesticides or pesticides that are no longer registered for use. To find out whether a product is no longer registered for use in Massachusetts, contact the Department of Agricultural Resources Pesticide Program .
  • For questions on specific pesticides and environmentally friendly products and procedures, such as Integrated Pest Management, contact the state Pesticide Bureau.
  • For more information on identifying pesticides, their health hazards, and use and management guidelines, contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 800-858-7378.

Management Options

Banned or Unregistered Pesticides:

  • If the pesticide is banned or no longer registered for use, save in original container for the next household hazardous waste collection day.

Registered Pesticides:

  • If the product is still registered for use, use up according to directions on the label or donate it to a friend or neighbor who can use it.
  • If you no longer have a use for the product and are not able to give it away, save it for a hazardous household waste collection day or take to a commercial hazardous waste facility.

Empty Containers:

  • Do NOT recycle or reuse pesticide containers.
  • Empty containers should be triple rinsed and then disposed of in the trash. Take the following steps to triple rinse a container:
    • Fill the empty pesticide container with cold water and use the rinse water as if it were full-strength product, in accordance with the label instructions.
    • Repeat this procedure two more times.
    • Do NOT pour rinse water down the drain.
    • Once the container is empty and triple rinsed, it should be wrapped in newspaper and disposed of in the trash.
  • Do NOT triple rinse containers for banned or unregistered pesticides. Save these for the next household hazardous waste collection day.