How To Dispose of Pesticides

At Sunday, our goal is to help you grow a strong, beautiful lawn without harsh pesticides. Got some old ones laying around that you are ready to let go of? We’re sharing everything you need to know to get rid of these pesticides safely.


Why do pesticides need special treatment?

First things first: What do we mean by “harsh pesticide”? We are talking about chemical compounds designed to suppress or control weeds and pests that have high levels of toxicity and don’t break down in nature.

Tossing out these products alongside things like expired snacks and orphaned socks can lead to some unfortunate consequences. After all, these pesticides are designed to kill living things! By properly disposing of them, you can reduce pollution, prevent misuse, and avoid unintended harm to people, wildlife, and the planet.

Whenever possible, we recommend avoiding the issue of pesticide disposal by using up pre-existing pesticides before purchasing new ones, and by only mixing small amounts at a time (what you need, when you need it). When you do get to the bottom of a container, follow these tips (1) for safe handling from beginning to end:

1. Read the label

This is considered a legal document and contains all the info you’ll need to maintain personal and environmental safety.

 

2. Don’t reuse containers 

No matter how well you wash it, it’s possible that some residue may remain on that empty container, so just dispose of it at the proper location rather than trying to repurpose it. We recommend rinsing three times and cutting an X into the side of the container prior to disposal.

 

3. Never pour them down the drain

Sinks, toilets, sewers, and street drains—all off limits! Water treatment systems and facilities are often not equipped to completely remove pesticides, and if these products reach our waterways they can harm humans, wildlife, and plants.

 

 

4. Find a hazardous waste disposal facility

 

Federal regulations listed on the product label may not be as strict as your local state or municipal regulations, so always check with your local hazardous waste disposal facility. Call 1-800-CLEANUP or use this helpful tool to find safe pesticide disposal sites in your community (2)! 

Is there a better way?

Here at Sunday, we believe that growing a strong, resilient lawn with the right nutrients is the best way to avoid pest and weed problems. We also believe in the practice of Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. This philosophy uses a population-based approach to pest management focused on maintaining soil and lawn health, and only intervening with the least toxic options as a last resort. In other words, learn to live with pests in small numbers—until they begin to disrupt your lawn performance. At that point, certain pesticides can be a helpful tool to remove those hard-to-control populations.

IPM has three main components:

1. Smart lawn planning. This means choosing native plants that are adapted to your soil and climate, planting resilient grass seed, and altering your landscape to create proper drainage and remove hiding places for pests.

2. Cultural control. This could also be called “good lawn hygiene”! In practice, it means watering deeply and infrequently, mowing at the right height, and patching exposed soil so pests don’t move in.

3. Mechanical control. Pull weeds by hand, trap insects with yellow sticky ribbons, and prune diseased plants.

 

If you’ve reached that tipping point where pesticide use is necessary, Sunday has you covered. Our cutting-edge, bio-based products include ingredients like herbicidal soap, lemongrass, cedar oil, and spinosad—designed to control pests without damaging your little ecosystem.

Cited Sources

  1. Safe Disposal of Pesticides. EPA.gov.
  2. State Contacts for Household and Hazardous Waste. National Pesticide Information Center.