2012 PRESS RELEASES
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December 4, 2012
PROGRAM REMOVES MORE THAN 42,000 POUNDS OF UNWANTED PESTICIDES FROM SOUTHSIDE VIRGINIA
~ 2013 disposal program will target Southwest Virginia ~
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced today the results of the 2012 Pesticide Disposal Program. Through this program, VDACS removed a total of 42,519 pounds of unwanted pesticides. Participants included agricultural producers, licensed pesticide dealers and pest control firms, golf courses and homeowners. The program is available at no cost to eligible participants and is supported by pesticide fees collected by VDACS. Since the program’s inception, more than 1.1 million pounds of pesticides have been collected and destroyed.
Collected pesticides through the years have included DDT, Chlordane, Dursban, Paraquat, arsenic-containing pesticides, toxaphene, dieldren, silvex, 2,4,5-T and more. In the initial phases of the program, many of the pesticides collected had been banned and farmers or pest control firms had been holding onto the materials waiting for a safe collection method.
“The pesticide disposal program is a win-win-win situation for Virginia’s farmers, pesticide industry and the environment,” said VDACS Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr. “We have been coordinating the program since 1990. In the beginning, we collected huge amounts of material that had been sitting around in sheds or barns for years or even decades. By now, we have been through the entire state several times so we are really in more of a maintenance phase.” Lohr noted that pesticide use has changed considerably over these past two decades. Farmers are using less product and they’re using different formulations like concentrated liquids instead of powders. The use of GPS and other technologies allows them to target their applications very specifically to reduce the amounts applied instead of applying products to entire fields.
Participating localities in 2012 were the counties of Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Cumberland, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Mecklenburg, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward and the cities of Bedford, Danville, Lynchburg, Martinsville, and South Boston. In 2013, the program will take place in the counties of Alleghany, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Roanoke, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, Wythe and the cities of Bristol, Clifton Forge, Covington, Galax, Norton, Radford, Roanoke, and Salem.
Eligible participants should contact their local Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent for details.