BISMARCK, North Dakota — A state program that helps North Dakota residents dispose of unusable or unwanted pesticides for free has set a collections record for a second consecutive year.
More than 192 tons of chemicals were collected and shipped to out-of-state incinerators for disposal this year through the Project Safe Send program, up 28 percent from the record of 150 tons set last year, according to Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
More than 325 people took part in the program this year, up from about 300 last year. Collections of herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides and fungicides were conducted in a dozen cities in July. Events in Mayville and Wyndmere drew the most interest, with collections in those cities accounting for more than one-third of the total.
Goehring credited state Agriculture Department employees with creating a greater public awareness of the program, with the help of North Dakota State University.
"Working with NDSU county extension agents, increasing media outreach and utilizing social media, my staff reached people who had not previously known about Project Safe Send," he said.
The program started in 1992 is funded by fees that pesticide manufacturers pay to register their products in North Dakota.
"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," Goehring said.