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The Problem

Due to their toxic and hazardous nature, many pesticides can harm our environment and public health if they are not disposed of properly. While most states run pesticide disposal programs, many do not have dedicated funding and operate intermittently. Pesticides are expensive for governments to manage safely; in fact, other than paint, pesticides are the most costly household hazardous waste (HHW) product for governments to handle. Many communities also lack the resources and technical knowledge to provide pesticide collection opportunities and to conduct outreach.

Because of this, considerable quantities of out-of-date and banned pesticides are stored in homes and businesses, or are stockpiled on farms. Federal legal and regulatory requirements do not prohibit residents from disposing of pesticides in the trash, so many of these products end up in landfills and can harm the environment.

A Solution

The recent success of extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs – or safe disposal programs run and financed by product manufacturers – for paint and other products has sparked interest in pursuing a similar approach for other HHW products, including pesticides. EPR provides a permanent, sustainable system for managing discarded pesticides that can alleviate the financial burden on governments and reduce environmental and health impacts.


While a legislated EPR program for HHW doesn’t yet exist in the U.S., such programs have been operating successfully in Canada since the 1990s.


Metro, a regional government in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, worked with legislators to introduce a bill (HB 3251-1) in February of 2015 that would establish a statewide EPR program for HHW. The state held an informational hearing on the bill and Metro held a series of stakeholder meetings to get feedback on the bill’s approach. A new bill (HB 3105 A/SB 199) was introduced in March 2017 (view the public hearing here).

PSI's Impact

Conducts Research and Evaluates Programs

PSI offers research and analysis that informs and shapes product stewardship policy. In 2017, we developed a Pesticide Stewardship Briefing Document that lays out a framework to advance the safe management of household and agricultural pesticides, which can help governments and other stakeholders pursue solutions to mitigate pesticides’ health and environmental impacts. PSI has also analyzed several existing Canadian HHW EPR programs, which include pesticides. You may find this and additional research here.


Convenes Stakeholders and Provides Technical Assistance

PSI brings together government, industry, and other stakeholders on national calls, webinars, and other meetings to help improve the collection and safe disposal of pesticides and HHW. In 2017, PSI hosted a National Pesticide Stewardship Webinar Discussion with government and industry speakers to consider potential solutions to problems of pesticide management in the U.S. View PSI’s past and future webinars here.


Advocates for EPR Legislation

PSI monitors, informs, and advocates for product stewardship legislation for pesticides. We also offer expert testimony supporting EPR legislation in hearings.


We provide exclusive resources for PSI Members and Partnerslogin or learn more.

For more information, please contact Suna Bayrakal at (617) 671-0616. 



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