DEC CleanSweepNY program starts April 28

The New York State Department of Environ-mental Conservation will hold its 16th CleanSweep-NY program the week of April 28 in western New York, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

CleanSweepNY is a program that helps promote a healthy and sustainable New York by providing opportunities for businesses, farms and schools to properly dispose of unwanted or obsolete pesticides and other chemicals. DEC will also collect empty, triple-rinsed HDPE (#2) plastic pesticide containers for recycling.

“Every container of unwanted or outdated pesticides turned in during our collection event helps keep these materials out of conventional waste streams and municipal landfills,” Commissioner Martens said. “Through our collaboration with state Depart-ment of Transportation, we want to build on the success of our fall event where we achieved a 150 percent increase in chemicals collected. I encourage businesses to take advantage of this opportunity to reduce potential environmental impacts in our communities and help us build a toxic-free New York.”

DEC is targeting Alle-gany, Cattaraugus, Chaut-auqua, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties for this spring’s CleanSweepNY efforts.

The program is designed for entities such as agricultural and non-agricultural professional pesticide applicators, schools, golf courses, cemeteries and marinas. CleanSweepNY services are not available to homeowners.

DEC rotates Clean-SweepNY locations throughout the state. Last fall, DEC collected a record-breaking 138,000 pounds of chemicals from 11 counties in the Western Finger Lakes region.

Since the program’s inception in 2002, DEC collected and disposed of over 1.2 million pounds of chemical wastes, including more than 809 pounds of elemental mercury, and collected over 4,000 plastic pesticide containers for recycling that would otherwise have been disposed.

CleanSweepNY is an En-vironmental Benefit Project administered in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust and was initially established with approximately $2.2 million from several enforcement settlements in DEC’s pest management program.

The collections are organized by DEC in collaboration with state DOT, which provides collection sites. The program is supported by Cor-nell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Soil and Water Conservation Dis-tricts, New York Farm Bureau and related grower associations.

Participants will receive drop-off locations once they pre-register. Preregistration is required by Friday.

For more information on CleanSweepNY, visit www.cleansweepny.org or call toll free: 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).