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Pesticides and Water Quality

Pesticide Storage and Disposal

The only legal way to dispose of unused pesticides in California is through a household hazardous waste collection site. Contact Earth's 911 at www.earth911.com External link or call 1-800-CLEANUP to locate a collection site near you!

Storing products

  • Keep all chemicals tightly capped in a locked cabinet, out of reach of children and pets.
  • Locked cabinetAlways keep pesticides in their original container.
  • If a pesticide container is leaking, you can transfer the pesticide to another container as long as you make sure to properly label the new one—the new container must be made out of a material similar to that of the original container, such as plastic, to avoid a chemical reaction with the pesticide.

Disposing of pesticides

  • Take unused pesticides to a household hazardous waste site for disposal (see above).
  • DrainNever dump pesticides into storm drains as these materials flow directly into creeks, rivers, and oceans.
  • Do not dump unwanted pesticides down the sink—while sewage treatment plants treat bacteria, they are not designed to treat pesticides.
  • Never dispose of unwanted pesticides in the trash.
  • TrashPesticide containers can be thrown in the garbage can only if they are completely empty.
  • Visit the California State Water Resources Control Board for more tips on reducing water pollution.

Illustrations by Chris O'Connor


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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