New York Collection Program Promotes Safe, Legal Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides and Other Chemicals
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that CleanSweepNY events held on May 9 and 10, 2017, targeting the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Region 7 successfully collected a total of 75,802 pounds of potentially hazardous chemicals from 93 participants in Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.
"New York is leading the nation in protecting our drinking water. CleanSweepNY complements Governor Cuomo's Water Quality Rapid Response Team, that works to protect New York's drinking water sources," said DEC Commissioner Seggos. "Collecting unwanted pesticides and other chemicals keeps these dangerous materials out of our environment, communities, and municipal solid waste landfills, directly reducing potential threats to water quality and protecting public health and the environment. I commend everyone who participated in CleanSweepNY to help build a safer future for New York State."
CleanSweepNY is an Environmental Benefit Project established by DEC in 2002, and supported by approximately $2.2 million from several enforcement settlements in DEC's Pest Management program. The initiative is administered in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) to promote safe, legal, and proper disposal of unwanted and obsolete pesticides and other chemicals, including elemental mercury. The two collection events netted 33,663 pounds of pesticides, 15,642 pounds of school chemicals, 17,760 pounds of paint, 1,566 pounds of motor oil and other liquids, and seven pounds of elemental mercury, as well as 132 mercury-containing devices, and 345 aerosol containers.
Since the program's inception in 2002, CleanSweepNY has conducted 23 events resulting in the collection and proper disposal of more than 1.73 million pounds of chemicals and over 879 pounds of elemental mercury. In addition, approximately 5,000 plastic pesticide containers, which would otherwise have been disposed of in landfills, were collected for recycling.
Senator Tom O'Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "CleanSweepNY has been extremely successful and gained widespread support for its efforts to keep hazardous chemicals out of the state's waste stream. We appreciate the initiative and look forward to collection events being planned for this fall throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions."
The program is endorsed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the New York Farm Bureau, and related agricultural associations. DEC schedules and organizes CleanSweepNY events in collaboration with the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), and the collection events were held at DOT facilities in North Syracuse and Castle Creek.
Plans are currently underway for the next collection event scheduled for fall 2017 in DEC's Region 8 (Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates counties).
For more information on CleanSweepNY, visit CleanSweepNY website (leaves DEC's website) or call toll free: 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).