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Pesticide Waste v. Hazardous Waste


What is a pesticide waste? Are all pesticide wastes considered hazardous wastes? If I have excess pesticide, how should I dispose of it? These are some of the recent questions we have had concerning this confusing question. The following will, hopefully, answer these questions.

What is a pesticide waste? A pesticide waste is any material which contains any concentration of pesticides which has been declared a waste. This includes such things as: rinse material from containers and spray equipment, left over spray solutions, excess pesticides, canceled/suspended pesticides.

Are all pesticide wastes considered hazardous wastes? Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, commercial chemical products such as pesticides become "solid wastes" (and thus, potentially, hazardous wastes) at the point where the pesticide's holder (i.e., end-user, dealer, distributor, or registrant) decides to discard them. If a pesticide product is listed in 40 CFR 261.31 or 261.33, or exhibits a hazardous waste characteristic identified in 40 CFR 261.21 through 261.24, it becomes a hazardous waste at the point when its holder decides to discard it. Parts 261.21 through 261.24 identify the following criteria; ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity characteristic.

The holder who makes the decision to discard, controls the point at which the pesticide becomes a solid waste; if the pesticide is a hazardous waste, RCRA regulations govern its transportation and storage from that point on. Thus, if an end user decides to dispose of the pesticide in his possession instead of returning them to the registrant through a recall program, the pesticide would be considered a solid waste subject to RCRA.

A listing of the pesticides in parts 261.31 and 261.33 are listed below. You will note that there are various Hazardous Waste Codes (RCRA No.) listed in the table. These codes have special meanings and are defined as follows:

F-List Hazardous wastes from nonspecific sources (40 CFR 261.31).

K-List Hazardous wastes from specific sources (40 CFR 261.32).

P-List Acutely hazardous wastes from specific sources (40 CFR 261.33(e)).

U-List Toxic and other commercial chemical products (40 CFR 261.33(f)).

D-List Products containing residues, by analysis, that exceed a minimum concentration.

If I have excess pesticide, how should I dispose of it? This depends on the source/type of excess pesticide. If the excess pesticide is rinseate, it should be disposed of at the application site or reused as diluent for the next pesticide application. If the pesticide is an unopened container of a commercial product, this should be coordinated for re-utilization (e.g. the DRMO for the military). However, if this unopened commercial product happens to be a canceled/suspended product or is marked for military use only, DRMO/DRMS cannot legally sell or redistribute this material. If this canceled/suspended/military-use-only product contains any one of the ingredients listed in the attached list, it, by definition, becomes a hazardous waste and must be disposed of in accordance with the RCRA regulations. With the re-registration requirement in the 1988 amendment to FIFRA, there have been many pesticide product cancellations. In general, these canceled products may be used at the user level until the stock is exhausted. However, if these products are turned in through DRMO, they will have to dispose of them as hazardous wastes. This cost then gets charged back to your installation.

A text version of the table is available.

Pesticides in parts 261.31 and 261.33
Pesticide/Chemical CAS # RCRA # Tox. # Reg Lvl (mg/L)
1,1,1-Trichloroethane 71-55-6 U226    
2,4-D, Salts, Esters and Acids Various U240 D016 200.00
2,4,5-T, Salts, Esters and Acids Various F027    
A-Naphthylthiourea (ANTU) 86-88-4 P072    
Acetone 67-64-1 U002    
Acrolein 107-02-8 P003    
Aldicarb 116-06-3 P070    
Aldrin 309-00-2 P004    
Allyl Alcohol 107-18-6 P005    
Aluminum Phosphide 1302-45-0 P006    
Aluminum Phosphide 20859-73-8 P006    
Aluminum Phosphide 1302-45-0 P006    
Amitrole 61-82-5 U011    
Arsenic Trioxide 1327-53-3 P012    
Arsenic Acid 7778-39-4 P010    
Arsenic Pentoxide 1303-28-2 P011    
Avitrol 504-24-5 P008    
Cacodylic Acid 75-60-5 U136    
Calcium Cyanide 592-01-8 P021    
Carbon Tetrachloride 56-23-5 U211    
Carbon Disulfide 75-15-0 P022    
Chlordane 57-74-9 U036 D020 0.03
Chlordecone 143-50-0 U142    
Chlorobenzene 108-90-7 U037 D021 100.00
Chlorobenzilate 510-15-6 U038    
D-D (1,2-Dichloropropane) 8003-19-8 U083    
DDD 72-54-8 U060    
DDT 50-29-3 U061    
Diallate 2303-16-4 U062    
Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) 96-12-8 U066    
Dieldrin 60-57-1 P037    
Dimethoate 60-51-5 P044    
Dinoseb 88-85-7 P020    
Disulfoton 298-04-4 P039    
Endosulfan 115-29-7 P050    
Endothall Disodium 129-67-9 P088    
Endrin 72-20-8 P051 D012 0.02
Erbon 136-25-4 F027    
Ethylene Dibromide 106-93-4 U067    
Famphur 52-85-7 P097    
Fluoracetamide/1081 640-19-7 P057    
Fluoracetamide 640-19-7 P057    
Formaldehyde 50-00-0 U122    
Furfural 98-01-1 U125    
Heptachlor 76-48-8 P059 D031 0.008
Hexachlorobenzene 118-74-1 U127    
Isodrin 465-73-6 P069    
Kepone 143-50-0 U142    
Lead Acetate 301-04-2 U144    
Lindane 58-89-9 U129 D013 0.4
Maleic Hydrazide 123-33-1 U148    
Methomyl 16752-77-5 P066    
Methoxychlor 72-43-5 U247 D014 10.0
Methyl Bromide 74-83-9 U029    
Methyl Parathion 298-00-0 P071    
Nicotine 54-11-5 P075    
Nitrobenzene 98-95-3 U169    
OMPA, Schradan 152-16-9 P085    
Orthodichlorobenzene 95-50-1 U070    
Paradichlorobenzene 106-46-7 U072    
Parathion 56-38-2 P089    
Pentachlorophenol, Salts 7778-73-6 F027    
Pentachlorophenol 87-86-5 U242 D037 100.00
Phenylmercuric Acetate (PMA) 62-38-4 P092    
Phorate 298-02-2 P094    
PMA 62-38-4 P092    
Potassium Cyanide 151-50-8 P098    
Procytox 50-18-0 U058    
Pronamide 23950-58-5 U192    
Safrole 94-59-7 U203    
Silvex, Salts, Acids and Esters Various F027    
Sodium Cyanide 143-33-9 P106    
Sodium Pentachlorophenate 131-52-2 F027    
Sodium Fluoroacetate 62-74-8 P058    
Strychnine And Salts 60-41-3 P108    
Strychnine Alkaloid 57-24-9 P108    
Sulfotepp 3689-24-5 P109    
Thallium Sulfate 7446-18-6 P115    
Thiofanox 39196-18-4 P045    
Thiram 137-26-8 U244    
Toxaphene 8001-35-2 P123 D015 0.5
Warfarin 81-81-2 U248    
Wood Creosote 8021-39-4 U051    
Zinc Phosphide (<10%) 1314-84-7 U249    
Zinc Pentachlorophenate 2917-32-0 F027    
Zinophos 297-97-2 P040