Contact the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for information about the disposal of hazardous waste and a complete interpretation of regulations concerning hazardous waste. Always follow label instructions (when available) for handling any hazardous material. DEQ can also assist you with any concerns about handling.
- What are hazardous wastes?
- Can I avoid extensive government regulation of my hazardous wastes?
- How can I dispose of my hazardous wastes?
- Are there special collection programs for any hazardous wastes?
- How can I reduce my unwanted agricultural chemicals?
- What else can I do to avoid hazardous waste problems?
What are hazardous wastes?
Hazardous wastes are any solid, liquid, or contained gaseous materials which are no longer used and, if not handled or disposed of properly, could damage or pollute the land, air, or water. They can also cause injury or death to exposed individuals. A waste is hazardous if it exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:
- IGNITABILITY — Ignitable vapors can create fires under certain conditions. Examples include liquids, such as solvents that readily catch fire, and friction sensitive substances.
- CORROSIVITY — Corrosive wastes include those that are acidic and those that are capable or corroding metal, such as tanks, containers, drums, and barrels.
- REACTIVITY — Reactive wastes are unstable under normal conditions. They can create explosions and/or toxic fumes, gases, and vapors when mixed with water.
- TOXICITY — Toxic wastes are harmful or fatal when ingested or absorbed. When toxic wastes are disposed of on land, contaminated liquid may drain from the waste and pollute ground water.
There are several types of hazardous wastes typically found on farms and ranches. A few examples are:
- ACUTELY HAZARDOUS WASTES — waste materials which are so dangerous in small amounts that they are regulated the same way as large amounts of other hazardous wastes.
- USED OIL OR FUELS — can be considered hazardous if not properly handled.
- UNUSABLE PESTICIDES, RINSATES & RESIDUES — materials classified as hazardous.
- SPENT SOLVENTS — such as those used in parts washers, etc.
- PAINTING SUPPLY WASTES — including spent thinners, flammable waste paints, and hardened paint containing lead, chromium, or barium.
- SPENT WOOD PRESERVATIVES — such as residues or spilled materials containing pentachlorophenol, chromated copper arsenate(CCA), or creosote.
- BATTERIES — spent lead-acid batteries not intended for recycling.
Can I avoid extensive government regulation of my hazardous wastes?
Yes, farmers and ranchers can avoid regulation if they meet the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) minimal requirements. However, this exemption does not relieve farmers of the need to properly identify and dispose of hazardous waste. To determine if this conditional exemption applies to you, see the Hazardous Waste Regulation Guide.
How can I dispose of my hazardous wastes?
You can dispose of hazardous waste at approved landfill facilities and through bonafide reclamation and recycling centers. For landfill information, contact the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Information about reclamation and recycling centers, including locations and materials accepted, is located in the Idaho 1996 Recycling Directory.
Are there special collection programs for any hazardous wastes?
Yes, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture collects unusable pesticides every spring and fall. Contact the ISDA for more information about their Pesticide Disposal Program, or see the Pesticide Disposal Guide on this site.
How can I reduce my unwanted agricultural chemicals?
You can minimize the amount of unwanted chemicals on your site by following a few guidelines. The tips include:
- PLAN AHEAD — Purchase only the amount of chemical required for one growing season. When using chemicals, mix only enough material to complete the job.
- RINSE, RINSE, RINSE — When you empty a pesticide container, triple rinse or pressure rinse the container and return the rinsate to the spray tank before completing mixing and loading. This saves you money by using all of the product in the container. It also reduces the risks to health and the environment associated with container disposal.
- ROTATE PESTICIDE STOCK — Despite careful planning, you may have carry over from one season to the next. Store unused pesticides according to the label instructions and use the stored pesticide first during the next season.
- PRODUCT EXCHANGE — If you have a usable pesticide that you don't need, distribute it to a licensed applicator who does need it.
- EXPLORE USES — There may be opportunities to use the product in accordance with the label, but for uses other than those you originally planned.
- PROPER DISPOSAL — Take advantage of Idaho Department of Agriculture collections programs or have a certified professional dispose of your unusable pesticides.
What else can I do to avoid hazardous waste problems?
There are some simple do's and don'ts of hazardous waste handling:
- DO minimize the amount of hazardous waste you generate. In addition to the suggestions for minimizing unusable pesticides given above, many "green" products are available which work as well as hazardous products, but result in a waste which is non-hazardous.
- DO take advantage of special collection programs that may be available for outdated chemicals.
- DO clean up any hazardous waste spills immediately, but only if you are not putting yourself in physical danger. If a spill is too big or too dangerous, contact the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
- DON'T dispose of oil, fuels, solvents, pesticides, etc. on the ground or in a stream or gulch.
- DON'T mix hazardous waste with used oil or other substances. This makes the entire mixture a hazardous waste, increasing the volume of hazardous waste and the difficulty and cost of proper disposal.
- DON'T burn hazardous waste. This may contaminate the ground or air, and it may create a danger for those breathing the air.