Event Collects 84,270 Pounds of Pesticides and other Chemicals for Proper Disposal
Program Promotes Safe, Legal Disposal of Obsolete Products
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that a CleanSweepNY collection event held during the week of October 2 targeting an 11-county area in DEC's Region 8 successfully collected a total of 84,270 pounds of potentially hazardous chemicals from 191 participants. CleanSweepNY helps promote a healthy and sustainable New York by providing opportunities for proper disposal of unwanted and/or obsolete pesticides and other chemicals.
CleanSweepNY staff collected 61,067 pounds of pesticides, 6,090 pounds of school chemicals, 11,133 pounds of paint, and 28 pounds of elemental mercury, as well as 51 mercury containing devices, and 366 aerosol containers from Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates counties.
"CleanSweepNY is an important complement to Governor Cuomo's Water Quality Rapid Response Team, which is working aggressively across the state to protect New York's drinking water sources," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "This important program helps protect public health and natural resources by keeping unwanted pesticides and other chemicals out of our environment, communities, and landfills, directly reducing potential threats to water quality. I commend all who participated in this opportunity to help build a toxic-free future for New York State."
CleanSweepNY is an Environmental Benefit Project established by DEC in 2002, and supported by approximately $2.2 million generated by 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. CleanSweepNY services are available to agricultural and non-agricultural professional pesticide applicators, schools, and certain businesses which use pesticides such as golf courses, cemeteries and marinas.
Since the program's inception in 2002, CleanSweepNY has conducted 24 events collecting and properly disposing of more than 1.82 million pounds of chemicals and over 907 pounds of elemental mercury. In addition, approximately 6,000 plastic pesticide containers have been collected for recycling which may otherwise have been disposed of in landfills.
Governor Cuomo included $6.5 million for environmental health in the Environmental Protection Fund in the 2017-18 State Budget, including a $500,000 for the CleanSweepNY program for communities across New York.
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). The collection events were held at four DOT facilities in Watkins Glen, Hornell, Lakeville and Waterloo.
For more information on CleanSweepNY (link leaves DEC website), visit the CleanSweepNY website or call toll free: 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).