Project Safe Send brings in record amount of unwanted pesticides

BISMARCK – More than 150 tons of unusable pesticides – an all-time record – were collected and shipped out of state in the 2014 Project Safe Send collections.

“This year's total eclipses the previous record of 145 tons in 2012,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “More than 300 North Dakota farmers, ranchers, applicators, homeowners and others took part in the collections.”

Goehring said the results demonstrate a continued need for the program that enables people to safely and affordably get rid of unusable, unneeded or unwanted pesticides.

The collections were conducted during July in 12 communities: Belfield, Bowman, Carrington, Edgeley, Forman, Garrison, Grafton, Hillsboro, Michigan, Mott, Rugby and Steele.

Hillsboro recorded the largest collection with 60 people bringing in 64,512 pounds. Carrington was second with 46,024 pounds of unusable pesticides.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture contracted Veolia Environmental Services, Blaine, MN, to collect, repackage and transport the waste chemicals to out-of-state incinerators.

Goehring credited two North Dakota Department of Agriculture employees – pesticide specialist Jeremiah Lien and marketing specialist Sonia Mullally – with creating a greater public awareness of the program.

“Working with NDSU county extension agents, increasing media outreach and utilizing social media, they reached people who had not previously known about Project Safe Send,” he said.

Project Safe Send is funded by the fees paid by pesticide manufacturers to register their products in North Dakota.

“Project Safe Send is a recognized model as a means for the public to help ensure a healthy environment by safely getting rid of these chemicals,” Goehring said. “The need for this program will continue, as more people learn how it benefits them and as more pesticides become obsolete and are no longer usable for current applications.”