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For Release: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"CleanSweepNY" Collects More Than 100,000 lbs. of Chemicals During Fall Cleanup

Participants collected more than 100,000 pounds of harmful chemicals during the CleanSweepNY program on Long Island last month, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. CleanSweepNY helps promote a healthy and sustainable New York by providing opportunities for proper disposal of unwanted and/or obsolete pesticides and other chemicals.

"CleanSweepNY is a very successful program that helps keep unwanted pesticides and other chemicals out of our environment, communities and landfills." Commissioner Martens said. "This is very important in Nassau and Suffolk Counties where almost three million people rely on clean drinking water from Long Island's sole source aquifer. We are pleased that so many farmers, businesses and institutions participated in this opportunity to remove over 100,000 lbs. of chemicals to help protect the natural resources and environment of New York State."

One-hundred forty five participants collected a total of 102,571 pounds of chemicals during the fall CleanSweepNY, which focused on Suffolk and Nassau Counties. CleanSweepNY staff collected:

  • 93,567 Ibs. of pesticides
  • 4,874 Ibs. of school chemicals
  • 1,925 Ibs. of paint
  • 33 Ibs. of elemental mercury
  • 57 mercury containing devices
  • 865 Ibs. of aerosol containers
  • 3 dozen empty, triple-rinsed HDPE (#2) fifty-five gallon plastic pesticide drums and over 50 2.5 gallon containers for recycling by the Agricultural Container Recycling Council located in Riverhead, NY.

DEC schedules and organizes CleanSweepNY events in collaboration with the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT); the collection events were held at DOT facilities in Riverhead and Melville.

This fall's CleanSweepNY collection event was the seventeenth since the program's inception in 2002. Under this successful program, over 1.35 million pounds of chemicals and over 850 pounds of elemental mercury have been collected and properly disposed. Approximately 4,500 plastic pesticide containers have been collected 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 was 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 were 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 related agricultural associations.

Plans are underway for the next collection which is to take place in the spring of 2015 along the Hudson River Valley counties in DEC's Region 3.
More information on CleanSweepNY, visit the CleansweepNY website or call toll free: 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).

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