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For Release: Friday, July 29, 2016

DEC Announces Successful "CleanSweepNY" Collection

Event Collects 36K Pounds of Potentially Harmful Chemicals for Proper Disposal

DEC's Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the results of a successful CleanSweepNY collection event held this spring in DEC's Region 5. CleanSweepNY is a program that helps 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 landfills," said Commissioner Seggos. "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 collected a total of 36,787 pounds of chemicals from 82 participants in an area focusing on Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. The collection included 11,467 pounds of pesticides, 10,857 pounds of school chemicals, 7,672 pounds of paint, 6,785 pounds of motor oil and other liquids, and 6 pounds of elemental mercury, as well as 143 mercury containing devices, and 285 aerosol containers.

As part of the event, DEC arranged for an on-site collection of waste chemicals from one farm in the Town of Essex which had pesticide containers in poor condition and were unsafe to handle or transport.

DEC schedules and organizes CleanSweepNY events in collaboration with the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT hosted the collection events at its facilities in Plattsburgh and Hudson Falls.

This CleanSweepNY collection event was the 20th since the program's inception in 2002. Under this successful program, over 1.5 million pounds of chemicals and over 860 pounds of elemental mercury have been collected and properly disposed. In addition, DEC collected approximately 5,000 plastic pesticide containers for recycling which may otherwise have been disposed of in landfills.

CleanSweepNY is an Environmental Benefit Project, administered in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT), which DEC initially established with approximately $2.2 million from several enforcement settlements in DEC's Pest Management program. CleanSweepNY services are available to agricultural and non-agricultural professional pesticide applicators, schools, and certain businesses which use pesticides such as golf courses, cemeteries and marinas. Registration and appointments are required in order to participate.

The program is endorsed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the New York Farm Bureau, and other related agricultural associations.

Plans are underway for the next collection which will take place in the fall of 2016 in DEC's Region 6.

For more information on CleanSweepNY, visit CleanSweepNY's website (link leaves DEC's website) or call toll free: 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).

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