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Published on April 12, 2024
Illinois Department of Agriculture Launches Free Agrichemical Container Recycling ProgramSource: Google Street View

In a green twist to the summer season, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is kicking off a free agrichemical container recycling program aimed at providing farmers and agrichemical facilities with an eco-friendly disposal option. Set to commence in mid-July and run through August, several collection sites across the state will welcome farmers looking to offload their empty pesticide containers, a move that could see these discarded items reborn as shipping pallets instead of swelling the heaps of landfill waste.

Stepping up to address the sustainable disposal of these containers, IDOA Director Jerry Costello II told, "This annual program provides a convenient way for farmers and agrichemical facilities to dispose of empty pesticide containers." These containers, often tossed aside into the trash, could be directed towards a more responsible end at a nearby collection site.

However, not all containers will make the cut for this eco-friendly initiative. Only those made of high-density polyethylene, #2 plastic are eligible, with participants tasked with ensuring that these containers are appropriately prepared—clean, dry, and stripped of caps, valves, metal, labels, booklets, and foil seals. For larger plastic drums, additional steps require cutting off the top and bottom of the drums and slicing the side from top to bottom, effectively turning them into sheets of recyclable plastic.

For farmers tackling heftier containers like Mini-Bulk and Intermediate Bulk, G. Phillips and Sons, LLC has extended a helping hand, providing pick-up services throughout the year. Mini-bulk containers must be cut into a total of six separate plastic slabs after discarding the cage, while the larger Intermediate Bulk variants need to be cut into manageable 1-foot square pieces. Farmers interested in the convenience of this service are encouraged to dial 678-232-6047 for more details, according to a statement obtained by

The initiative is the product of multiple collaborators dedicated to agricultural sustainability, including the Agriculture Container Recycling Council, GROWMARK, Inc., the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, G. Phillips and Sons, LLC, the Illinois Farm Bureau, and the University of Illinois Extension. For those seeking further information on participating in this program, IDOA has made a free brochure available upon request at 1-800-641-3934.