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.

Recommended Content

People also viewed...

You recently viewed...

Personalization is OFF. Your personal browsing history at Mass.gov is not visible because your personalization is turned off. To view your history, turn your personalization on.

Learn more on our .

*Recommendations are based on site visitor traffic patterns and are not endorsements of that content.