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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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23. Dispose Of Pesticides Safely

take care when disposing of...

The most common way homeowners dispose of leftover pesticides is to dump them down the toilet or sink. This places a serious burden on your municipality’s water-treatment facilities; if a home is connected to a septic system, pesticides can interfere with the system’s proper operation.

Although toxicity varies from one pesticide to the next, all pesticides should be treated with caution. Take special care when disposing of:

  • leftover pesticide concentrate
  • leftover pesticide mix
  • rinse water used to clean the sprayer after application
  • rinse water used to clean empty pesticide containers
  • empty pesticide containers.
hazardous-waste collection site

If you end up with excess pesticide concentrate, dilute it as directed on the label; then apply it to an area listed on the label. You can dispose of excess pesticide mix by applying it to an area listed on the label. Do not apply more than is recommended. You can also store leftover pesticide until you are able to take it to a hazardous-waste collection site.
Triple rinsing

An empty pesticide container is not as empty as you might think; a significant amount of pesticide residue can remain inside of it. Triple-rinse an empty container of liquid pesticide before you toss it into the trash. Here’s how: First, when you are down to the last amount of pesticide concentrate, drain the pesticide container into your spray tank for at least 30 seconds.
Triple rinsing

Fill the empty container one-fifth to one-fourth full of water and rinse thoroughly. Use this rinse water as dilution water for the pesticide concentrate in the sprayer. If the dilution rate allows you to pour all the rinse water into the sprayer, drain it into the sprayer for at least 30 seconds.
Triple rinsing

Follow the procedure in Steps 2 and 3 two more times. Then spray the pesticide mixture on areas listed on the label. Do not exceed the label’s application rate.
rinse containers

Triple-rinse containers as soon as they are emptied during the mixing/filling stage. If you still have some rinse water left over after using it to dilute pesticide concentrate, spray it on areas listed on the label. You can do the same with rinse water used to clean the sprayer.
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