Wednesday, November 18, 2015
How to Safely Dispose of Gardening Chemicals and Go Organic!
I have a confession to make: I have not always been an organic gardener.
I have childhood memories of my parents sending me out in the summer to spray the weeds in the pavement with glyphosate (a.k.a. Roundup) -- something I often did while barefoot! I sprinkled osmocote on garden beds, and applied rose powder to black spot.
In my 20's I discovered organic gardening, and have been "leaning in" to the concept since then. While I did cut back on the amount and frequency of its use, the one chemical that I continued to use was glyphosphate. I mean, it was supposed to be safe, right? And it killed weeds so well! And how else was I supposed to get rid of poison ivy?!?
Now, after the report from the World Health Organization came out in March 2015, I refuse to use it any longer. (See the WHO report here: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf ). Not only does glyphosphate harm the environment, but it is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) for humans. I no longer want it in my life!
But how to get rid of it???!
I have a big old bottle of the stuff sitting in my garage. Although it is unlikely to cause harm just sitting in the bottle, it is in the way. I can't just dump it out. I can't flush it down a drain. I can't throw it in the trash to fo to the landfill. Any of those options could harm the environment ot even people.
There is but one option: take it to a chemical disposal facility.
Luckily, my local extension office was able to direct me to one such facility: MAEAP Cleansweep.
A directory of their drop off sites can be found here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/FY15_Clean_Sweep_Map__Directory_475749_7.pdf
If you live outside of Michigan, your state may have a similar service. Please contact your local extension service or government agricultural agency for information.
Please join me in becoming a little bit more organic every day by disposing of your chemicals safely. Together, we can make the world a little bit cleaner, and a little bit safer! 🌳🌼🐸