By Sally Voth
Shenandoah County Extension Agent Bobby Clark was recently honored for his work disposing of potentially hazardous unused pesticide.
Clark was recognized by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for his help supporting the 2011 Pesticide Disposal Program, according to a VDACS news release. Twenty-seven localities took part during the course of two weeks, and 58,364 of unwanted and unused pesticide were turned in, it states.
"Even as late as the day of collection [Clark] was busy on his cell phone contacting participants who had not yet arrived but had expressed an interest," the release states.
Clark helped bring in about 26,000 of the 58,364 pounds of pesticide turned in among the localities.
"When people have these products left over, they're not supposed to go in the landfill, so people are stuck with them," Clark said on Friday. "Fortunately for us, we picked up a substantial quantity."
Clark said he notified farmers and landowners of the disposal option. He said there was a disposal site at the Shenandoah County landfill, and another at the Southern States in Stephens City.
Pesticides have been researched to make sure the environment is protected, he said.
"But, when you have gallons of products sitting around, or in this case we had 26,000 pounds of this stuff sitting around ... your farmers did not want to use, or they could not use because it could be no longer legal to use, then this stuff sits around in sheds," Clark said. "If it spills or gets away from you in concentrated form, it probably would be really bad for the environment. It's too concentrated. It's important to gather up these things and handle them properly.
"The program is founded through moneys that come from the purchase of [the] product. I'm grateful for the award, and I'm grateful for the hard work all the farmers did bringing all their stuff in."
Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org