Whenever possible, use up pesticides in the approved way. When a product’s approval has been withdrawn or amended (for commercial, safety or other reasons), a ‘wind-down’ period is given (except when there are major safety concerns) to allow remaining stocks of the product to be used up.
Similarly, by managing your chemical store properly, you should be able to avoid having to dispose of pesticides because they have deteriorated or because products are out of date.
Avoid storing an unwanted pesticide because it is illegal to do so if the approval for storing and using it has been withdrawn.
If a container (or other packaging) is damaged, but the product is still approved for use, you may be able to carefully transfer the product to the equipment used to apply it, leaving only the container to be disposed of.
Despite good management, you may have some concentrates or ready- to-use pesticides that you need to dispose of. You should never dilute an unwanted concentrate in order to dispose of it as dilute pesticide waste. You should consider the following points:
Firstly, ask your supplier if they will take back any unwanted unused pesticides that are packaged, labeled and of good quality;
Pesticide concentrates are likely to be ‘hazardous waste’ and may present a significant risk to the environment or to humans. Handling and disposing of this type of waste is tightly controlled and you will need to use a registered carrier (registered with the Environment Agency) and a licensed waste-disposal contractor.
You must store unwanted concentrates and ready-to-use formulation in your chemical store to ensure that they are secure and that any spills will be contained;
You (or the carrier if you use one), must fill in a ‘consignment note’ and pay a fee to the Environment Agency if you are moving or disposing of ‘hazardous waste’. You (as the waste producer) and the people transporting and receiving the waste must keep copies of the consignment notes for at least three years. Also, you must not move ‘hazardous waste’ until the appropriate period for notice has passed;
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When you have filled in the necessary consignment notes, you should pass the unwanted concentrates to a waste-disposal contractor;
As the producer of the waste, you must make sure that the person who takes your waste is registered to take it and can transport it safely, and that it will be safely disposed of or recycled;
You must also fill in a ‘waste transfer note’ and provide a written description of the waste. Both you and the waste-disposal contractor must keep copies of the transfer note and written description for two years. If the waste is ‘hazardous’ and you have filled in a ‘consignment note’, you do not also need to fill in a ‘waste transfer note’;
If you can transport your own unwanted pesticides safely and legally, you can take these to a licensed treatment or disposal site, after checking whether the site will accept your waste.