Santa Barbara County to provide eco-friendly disposal of large plastics

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016

Santa Barbara County is giving growers a sustainable way to chuck their pesticide empties: a free, on-the-spot recycling event for agricultural plastic containers.

The county has only held the event once before, more than six years ago, and it didn’t see much of a turnout, according to Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Lottie Martin. But she said the Agricultural Commissioner’s office is hoping for a bigger turnout at the upcoming May 25 event, vying to make it a twice-yearly affair.

Participants can bring their half-pint or larger pesticide containers to the Santa Barbara County Corporation Road Yard, where partner company Interstate Ag Plastics will shred the containers for later reuse.

“They chip them onsite and recycle them into other reusable materials to save them from going into landfills,” Martin said. When the containers do end up in landfills, “They take up a lot of space and don’t degrade very quickly, because they’re made up of plastic.”

Martin said Ventura is one of many counties that hold recycling events for pesticide containers twice annually. While Santa Barbara County holds similar events for homeowners with smaller containers, it has yet to make one regularly available to the landscape companies, maintenance businesses, and growers who have large pesticide empties on their hands.

The agricultural recycling event will accept containers as large as 55-gallon drums. As required by law, participants must triple-rinse their empties before recycling them, and they must sign a paper stating they have done so before disposing of their containers at the event. No caps, label booklets, or foil seals from spouts are permitted.

The free event, provided by county Public Works, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 25 at 912 W. Foster Road in Santa Maria. Prospective participants are asked to book an appointment in advance by calling 934-6200.


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