Written by Ryan Martin
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00
The Agrichemical Recycling program is a free service offered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture for anyone looking to properly dispose of their used agrichemcial containers.
There are four permanent collection sites in Illinois and numerous single day collection sites set up at agrichemical facilities throughout August.
The program allows farmers, businesses, or anyone with used agrochemical containers to bring them to one of the collection sites, where the containers are ground into small plastic chips which can be used to make a variety of useful products, including shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, and plastic tubing, according to a Illinois Department of Agriculture press release.
The program was started over 20 years ago as a way to dispose of agrichemical containers in an environmentally friendly way. It began with only mobile drop-off sites available during certain days of the year, but switched to permanent locations in 1996 because of the influx of people using the single-day mobile sites.
Brad Hamilton, operator of the Mclean County permanent location, talked about the expansion. “The mobile units had chipping times – days where you could meet somewhere and bring your jugs – and it was a huge ordeal because we were overloaded with people just coming in and chipping,” he said. “When they put the permanent site in it really helped because it could be done year round.”
The permanent location has allowed people to come recycle at their convenience. Both the amount of containers brought in and the amount of people visiting the site can vary.
“It’s random, we might sit here for a month without anyone coming in or we might have people calling every other day wanting to bring anywhere from a few containers to a semi truck filled with containers,” said Hamilton.
The program has been very successful in helping cut back on the pollution that was once caused by improper disposal of the containers.
“[Before the program] a lot of facilities used to burn [the containers], which would cause a lot of pollution,” said Hamilton. “The way this industry has gone, we try to keep everything out of the air and groundwater.”
The goal of the program was to help reduce waste, and the numbers show that the program is accomplishing what it set out to do.
Bob Flider, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, talked of the programs success. “Since its inception, more than two million agrichemical containers destined for landfills have been collection and recycled into useful products,” He said in the press release.
Though the program is now very successful, it was first met with opposition.
“When we built the facilities there were a lot of people upset and uptight about the money spent to keep the facilities to keep up with regulations,” said Hamilton
The Agrichemical Recycling program is now less controversial, as the community takes greater use of its facilities and supports greener consumption and disposal habits.
“This program is an excellent example of the care Illinois farmers are taking to protect our environment,” said Flider in the press release.
A Permanent Collection Site is available in McLean County and for other sites in Peoria County, please check http://www.agr.state.il.us/newsrels/r0628131.html.
To obtain a free program brochure, call the Illinois Department of Agriculture toll free at 1-800-641-3934.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 13:39