MOREHEAD CITY - A record-breaking 1,049 pounds. of unwanted of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals were collected for proper disposal April 5 by the Carteret County Cooperative Extension Office during a one-day event at the CMAST Building on the Carteret Community College Campus.
Carteret County Agricultural Agent Shawn Banks, who also serves as the pesticide coordinator for the county, noted that this effort is part of the statewide Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program (PDAP) designed to prevent improper disposal of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.
According to Mr. Banks, the Cooperative Extension Office staff, in cooperation with Derrick Bell, manager of the agricultural department’s disposal program, worked together from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday collecting 81 containers brought to the college campus by local residents.
In 1976, the state’s Pesticide Board adopted regulations making it illegal to dispose of pesticides in North Carolina landfills. To assist in the proper disposal of these pesticides and other noxious chemicals, the General Assembly created the Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program. Since its inception, the program has collected and disposed of over 2 million pounds of pesticides statewide.
Mr. Banks expressed his appreciation to residents who supported the program and noted that because of the large volume collected across the state, the N.C. Department of Agriculture is able dispose of the materials with a cost-saving, competitive-bidding process. But because the PDAP visits between 40-50 counties to collect unwanted chemical products through a non-regulatory amnesty program, collection days such as occurred in Carteret County happen only once every other year.