Washington State Appropriates Interim Funding for Pesticide Container Recycling Services

The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) is pleased to announce that Washington State has appropriated $130,000 interim funding to accommodate existing recycling services and facilitate continued growth for pesticide container recycling in the state. The funding was made possible through the efforts of TPSA Member Far West Agribusiness Association working with State House Rep. Bill Grant (D-Walla Walla) who saw it through legislation. The funding will come from the state’s Model Toxics Control Account and will be managed by Washington Department of Ecology.

“Washington’s recycling program has experienced growth every year since its inception in 1992,” says TPSA President Carol Ramsay, Washington State University, “and a funding shortfall could have limited access to growers, commercial and professional applicators.” During the Ag Container Recycling Council Contractor’s meeting in November 2004, Gail Amos, Washington Department of Agriculture noted that nationally supported finances were not going to be sufficient to sustain the demand to recycle pesticide containers. Scott McKinnie, Far West Agribusiness Association says the state funding effort began soon after in early 2005. Individual TPSA members Brian Dick, Washington Department of Ecology and Gail Amos provided the technical expertise required for this effort.

The Washington State funding legislation, believed to be the first of its kind, is intended to be short term. The goal is to keep the state’s container recycling program infrastructure functioning and expanding until the TPSA national program is operational. TPSA is promoting a pesticide Life Cycle Stewardship Initiative nationally to offer guidance for a more elegant and lasting solution to waste pesticide disposal and container recycling/disposal; similar to end-of-life programs for spent batteries, electronics, and tires.