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For Release: Wednesday, September 2, 2015

DEC to Hold "CleanSweepNY" Program to Collect Pesticides and Other Chemicals for Proper Disposal

The Fall CleanSweepNY program will be held in the Capital Region the week of September 28, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman announced today. CleanSweepNY provides an opportunity to ensure proper disposal of unwanted and obsolete pesticides and other chemicals, including elementary mercury, to help provide a healthy and sustainable New York. Pre-registration is required, with a registration deadline of September 18.

"Every container of old, unwanted or outdated pesticides collected helps keep these materials out of on-site storage and conventional waste streams," Acting Commissioner Gerstman said. "I am very grateful for the efforts of DEC staff and our partners at the state Department of Transportation who are coordinating these collection days and encourage farmers, businesses and institutions in the region to take advantage of this opportunity to reduce potential environmental impacts in our communities and help us build a toxic-free future."

CleanSweepNY is an Environmental Benefit Project administered by the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT), which was initially established with approximately $2.2 million from several enforcement settlements in DEC's Pest Management program. DEC schedules and organizes the collections with the collaboration of DOT which provides sites in the targeted DEC region for the collection of these unwanted chemicals materials. The program is supported by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, New York Farm Bureau, and related grower associations.

This Fall's CleanSweepNY effort is focused on Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Schoharie counties. It is directed at agricultural and non-agricultural professional pesticide applicators, schools and business users such as golf courses, cemeteries and marinas. CleanSweepNY services are not available to homeowners.

Empty, triple-rinsed HDPE (#2) plastic pesticide containers will be collected for recycling. This Fall's CleanSweepNY collection event will be the 19th since the program's inception in 2002. To date, CleanSweepNY has collected and disposed of over 1.42 million pounds of chemical wastes, including more than 853 pounds of elemental mercury, and collected over 4,200 plastic pesticide containers for recycling that would otherwise have been managed in conventional waste streams.

Participants will receive specific time and drop-off location information once they pre-register. Pre-registration is required by September 18. For more information on CleanSweepNY, visit http://www.cleansweepny.org or call toll free: 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).

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