Pesticide disposal

On this page you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about how to dispose of pesticides safely.

Why are pesticides a disposal problem?

Pesticides are chemicals designed to control pests such as weeds, insects and rodents. They can be poisonous to pets, livestock and humans. Some pesticides are banned or restricted as they have long-lasting hazardous effects on the environment.

Throwing pesticides into the garbage, on the ground or down the drain can pollute lakes, streams and drinking water with these toxic chemicals.

What are the types of pesticides?

There are various types of pesticides, including:

  • herbicides: chemicals designed to kill plants
  • insecticides: chemicals designed to kill insects
  • rodenticides: chemicals designed to kill rodents.

How can I dispose of unused pesticides?

  • The best way to dispose of unused pesticides is to use them completely.
  • Follow the instructions on the pesticide label and do not overuse them.
  • Rinse the empty pesticide containers three times before disposing of them and use the rinse water as a pesticide.
  • Smaller containers can be placed in the red lid garbage bin and larger containers can be taken to Council's waste management facilities as part of the drumMUSTER program.

Warning: Do not burn or reuse pesticide containers.

It you can't use your pesticides, give them to someone who can.

Give unused pesticides to:

  • neighbours and friends
  • garden clubs
  • community groups.

Do not give away pesticides that are banned, unlabelled or damaged.

Which pesticides can't I use?

Pesticides that are banned, damaged or unlabelled shouldn't be used or given away.

Most banned pesticides will contain one of the following ingredients: Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, Dieldrin, Endrin, Arsenic, Cyanide, 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D, Lindane.

This is not a complete list. If your pesticide was purchased before 1986, contact the Department of Primary Industries to check if it is banned.

Damaged pesticides include caked powders and liquids that have been frozen or have separated.

What can I do with pesticides that I can't use?

The only way to safely dispose of these pesticides is to take them to the household chemical cleanout collection held in the Eurobodalla each year.

Continue to store unwanted pesticides until this collection occurs.

How can I store pesticides safely?

  • Make sure that the pesticide container is clearly labelled with the name of the pesticide and the amount enclosed.
  • Store the pesticide in a locked closet or cabinet away from children or pets.
  • Store the pesticide in a dry area. Wet or damp pesticide containers may rust or leak.
  • If the pesticide container is damaged, place the pesticide (in its original container) into a sealed plastic container, a box lined with two plastic garbage bags or a metal container with a lid.

What do I do if the pesticide has spilt or leaked?

  • Keep children and pets away from the pesticide.
  • Call the Fire Brigade to contain the pesticide and make it safe.

How can I avoid having waste pesticides?

  • Be sure that you need a pesticide before you buy. Your local nursery or the Department of Primary Industries can help you decide.
  • Use alternatives to pesticides when possible.
  • Purchase only the amount you need.
  • Use leftover pesticides before buying more and before the pesticides expire.
  • Follow the storage instructions on this page.

As with all household hazardous wastes, the best protection for our health and the environment is to prevent household products from becoming hazardous wastes.

More information

If you have any questions about hazardous waste, please contact: