Agricultural Waste Pesticides
The TCEQ is no longer conducting agricultural waste pesticide collections.
- Using Agricultural Chemicals in Texas
- Handling Used Agricultural Chemical Containers
- Recycling Agricultural Chemical Containers
- Managing Lead-Acid Batteries, Used Oil, Used Oil Filters, and Antifreeze
- Managing Hazardous and Universal Waste
- Useful Resources
- Emergency Contact Numbers
Using Agricultural Chemicals in Texas
Agricultural chemical products are used in Texas and throughout the United States to control pests and increase crop yields. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is designated as the state’s lead agency in the regulation of pesticide use and application. TDA is responsible for licensing and training pesticide applicators, overseeing worker protection, registering pesticides for sale in the state and working to minimize unnecessary impacts to agriculture.
Proper use and management practices can help keep you and others safe. Correctly using these products and safely recycling, reconditioning, or disposing of the empty containers is a must for all agricultural users. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service offers a wide range of Pesticide Safety Education Resources to the agricultural community.
Handling Used Agricultural Chemical Containers
Agricultural chemical containers come in many shapes and sizes and may be made of paper, metal, or plastic. Empty paper containers cannot be reconditioned or recycled; take them to an authorized incinerator or landfill. Metal and plastic containers can be reconditioned or recycled if they are properly rinsed.
Currently, properly rinsed agricultural chemical containers are not classified as hazardous waste, and in many cases, are disposed of in authorized landfills. Some landfills have already begun to refuse these containers or charge a fee for disposal. It would be advisable to call prior to taking the containers to a landfill. Other methods once used to destroy these containers, such as burning or burying them, are no longer viable disposal options. In Texas, open burning of pesticide containers is illegal. Disposal at specially designed incineration facilities is often too costly for the average applicator.
Burying these containers may lead to serious environmental consequences, such as groundwater contamination. Today, many environmentally concerned land developers, buyers, and lenders require that environmental audits be conducted on a property before it is purchased or sold.
Recycling Agricultural Chemical Containers
USAg Recycling provides detailed information about why you should rinse and recycle your empty plastic pesticide containers. Many scrap iron and steel recyclers throughout Texas may accept and recycle properly rinsed, empty, metal, agricultural chemical containers.
If you have large quantities of empty plastic pesticide containers, we suggest you contact USAg Recycling, a contractor for the Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC), which promotes the recycling of these containers. The ACRC supports state-level collection programs and works directly with recycling contractors.
Managing Lead-Acid Batteries, Used Oil, Used Oil Filters and Antifreeze
Discarding or improperly disposing of a lead-acid battery is illegal in Texas. Texas law requires businesses that sell lead-acid batteries to accept your old one for recycling when you purchase a new battery. Ask your local auto parts store or auto service shop if they will accept extra batteries for recycling.
Used Oil & Used Oil Filters
Texas law prohibits dumping used oil on land or into storm drains or waterways. It is also illegal to use as a dust suppressant. Some communities have collection centers for used oil and properly drained oil filters. Also, some auto service centers, listed in the yellow pages under “Oil Change & Lube” or “Auto Repair & Service,” accept used oil and sometimes used filters from the public. Check in your local yellow pages under “Oil-Used & Waste” for used oil collection services. It is advisable to call before taking used oil and used oil filters to any used oil center since the quantity they can accept may be limited.
Some auto service centers, listed in the yellow pages under “Oil Change & Lube” or “Auto Repair & Service,” will accept used antifreeze for recycling. Check under “Oil-Used & Waste” for antifreeze collection services.
Managing Hazardous and Universal Waste
Wastes that meet the definition of hazardous waste must be managed as hazardous or universal waste. Guidance for managing hazardous and universal waste can be found in the TCEQ publication rg-234 “Industrial and Hazardous Waste: Rules and Regulations for Small-Quantity Generators.”
You can review additional guidance on managing Universal Waste.
You may be able to find Commercial Management Facilities for Hazardous and Industrial Solid Wastes near you.
- Texas Department of Agriculture
- Texas AgriLife Extension Service
- Environmental Protection Agency- Pesticides – explains managing pesticides as universal waste
- TexasEnviroHelp - Resources specifically tailored to help small businesses and local governments comply with environmental regulations.
In Case of Emergency
Local Emergency Responder: call 911
After calling 911 you may need to call:
For Chemical Emergencies (such as chemical spills or leaks, or chemical-related fires or accidents): call CHEMTREC at 1-800-424-9300
For Exposure Emergencies: call the Texas State Poison Control Center 1-800-764-7661