More than 90,000 pounds of chemicals collected
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced late last week that a successful CleanSweepNY collection was held this spring in Gowanda, Warsaw and Lockport. It was part of a targeted initiative in DEC’s Region 9 office, which includes Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties.
CleanSweepNY events promote a healthy and sustainable New York by providing opportunities for proper disposal of unwanted and/or obsolete pesticides and other chemicals.
“CleanSweepNY helps keep unwanted pesticides and other chemicals out of our environment, communities, and municipal landfills.” Seggos said. “We are pleased that so many farmers, businesses and institutions in the region participated in this opportunity to help build a toxic-free future for New York state.”
The spring CleanSweepNY event resulted in the collection of 93,633 pounds of chemicals from 112 participants in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties. CleanSweepNY staff collected 66,327 pounds of pesticides, 3,005 pounds of chemicals used and stored by school districts, 12,431 pounds of paint, more than 5,000 mercury-containing devices, and 342 aerosol containers.
DEC schedules and organizes CleanSweepNY events in collaboration with the New York State Department of Transportation; the collection events were held at three DOT facilities.
The Western New York CleanSweepNY collection event was the first event paid for with funds provided by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, and the 27th since the program’s creation in 2002. Under this program, more than 1.83 million pounds of chemicals and over 908 pounds of elemental mercury have been collected and properly disposed. Approximately 6,000 plastic pesticide containers have been collected for recycling that may otherwise have been disposed of in landfills.
CleanSweepNY services are available to agricultural and non-agricultural professional pesticide applicators, schools, and certain businesses, such as golf courses, cemeteries and marinas; homeowners cannot participate. For information about reducing household hazardous waste, visit DEC’s website.
The program is endorsed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the New York Farm Bureau, and related agricultural associations. For more information on CleanSweepNY, visit the CleanSweepNY website or call toll free at 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).