Handling Pesticide Containers


This module provides general principles on the proper handling of empty pesticide containers.  Carol Ramsay, Washington State University Extension Pesticide Specialist and members of The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance, compiled the information in this module using noted resources and contributions from national subject matter experts. Remember to follow all local, state, and federal regulations regarding pesticide emptying and handling empty containers.  Review the product label for any specific directions.

A brief description of, and links to, the various topics within this module follows:

  1. An Introduction states the importance of immediate and proper handling of empty containers.
  2. Paper and Plastic Bags rarely are rinsed, but still require careful handling prior to disposal.
  3. Nonrefillable containers (plastic) are usually made of plastic, require immediate rinsing and then can be recycled or taken to a landfill.
  4. Refillable containers and shuttles must be emptied as best as possible.  Cleaning, refilling, and disposal are the responsibility of the dealer or registrant, not the applicator.
  5. Two methods of Rinsing Instructions (triple- and pressure-rinsing) are reviewed with links to videos as well as standards of acceptance for recycling.
  6. Both plastic recycling and landfills are discussed as Disposal Options, as well as links to the Disposal web pages.
  7. Additional resources for handling empty pesticide containers are located in the Fact Sheets section.
  8. Handling Pesticide Containers Quiz Module


Compiled by Carol Ramsay

Washington State University Extension