Solid Waste Advisory Board fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith
PUB2596

This fact sheet provides general information to help pesticide applicators determine whether their leftover, unwanted pesticide is solid waste or hazardous waste and how to properly dispose of each type. Disposal is an important part of responsible pesticide use, as improperly disposed pesticide wastes can create serious hazards for human health and the environment. Businesses should refer to this fact sheet as general guidance only and should review appropriate state and federal laws and regulations before making the ultimate decision of how to manage waste pesticides.

Regulatory Citations

The federal hazardous waste regulations are in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 260 through Part 280 (40 CFR 260-280). The Missouri Hazardous Waste Law is in the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo), Sections 260.350-260.575. The hazardous waste rules are in the Code of State Regulations, Title 10, Division 25 (10 CSR 25).

What is a pesticide waste?

Pesticide waste is any material which contains any concentration of pesticide that has been declared a waste or can no longer be used for its intended purpose. This includes such things as: rinse material from containers and spray equipment, left over spray solutions, excess pesticides, empty containers and banned, canceled or suspended pesticides.

Are all pesticide wastes considered hazardous wastes?

No, under federal regulations, commercial chemical products such as pesticides become "solid wastes" and thus, potentially hazardous wastes, at the point when the pesticide's holder (i.e., end-user, dealer, distributor, or registrant) decides to discard them. If a pesticide product or the active ingredient of the product is listed in 40 CFR 261.31 or 261.33 (Table 1) or exhibits a hazardous waste characteristic identified in 40 CFR 261.21 through 261.24, it then becomes a hazardous waste at the point when its holder decides to discard it. Parts 261.21 through 261.24 identify the following criteria: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity characteristic. Most hazardous waste pesticides fall into the toxicity criteria due to the toxic organic properties.

An environmental consultant or hazardous waste disposal contractor can help make a hazardous waste determination for you to ensure the waste pesticide is disposed of properly. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources maintains a Licensed Hazardous and Infectious Waste Transporter List. The department also provides a list of Missouri Commercial Hazardous Waste Facilities (PUB 968) with permits to accept hazardous waste. It is always recommended to call several consultants/contractors when obtaining bids for disposal.
More ways to help determine if a pesticide is a hazardous waste include:

  • Checking the Material Safety Data Sheet for the pesticide
  • Talking to the product supplier or manufacturer.
  • Reading the product labels

How to dispose of pesticide classified as hazardous waste?

Businesses generating hazardous waste must follow federal and state laws and regulations, depending on the type and amount of hazardous waste generated. Publications summarizing hazardous waste regulations include Handbook for Small-Quantity Generators - PUB2174 and EPA’s guidance document, Typical Wastes Generated By Industry Sectors.

Determining how much hazardous waste pesticide is generated in any one month and accumulated at any one time is necessary information for determining generator requirements. Hazardous waste generator requirements is available at 10 CSR 25-5.262 and a summary of the regulations is available in a fact sheet titled Hazardous Waste Generator Status Guidance - PUB2224.

To avoid having to dispose of unused pesticide products, try to give the unneeded product away to someone who can use the product for its intended purpose, provided the pesticide is in its original, fully labeled container and still legal to use. . If you cannot find someone who can use the pesticide and you no longer have a use for the product, below are options for disposing of an unwanted hazardous waste pesticide.

  • Registering as a large quantity generator (LQG) or small quantity generator (SQG) if 100 kg (220 pounds) or more of non-acute hazardous waste and 1 kg (2.2 pounds) or more of acute (P-listed) hazardous waste is generated in one month or accumulated at any one time. Table 1 below lists some acute and non-acute hazardous waste pesticides with their specific hazardous waste identification under the “RCRA #” column. Hazardous Waste Generator Registration, Reporting and Waste Fees - PUB2254 summarizes registration requirements.
  • If you have less than the above mentioned weight of hazardous waste pesticide you may be able to dispose of it as a conditionally exempt small quantity generator (CESQG). A fact sheet titled Managing Conditionally Exempt Small Quantities of Hazardous Waste - PUB0128. CESQGs may transport their own hazardous waste within Missouri. Under this standard a manifest or a licensed hazardous waste transporter is not required if you do not exceed the regulated amounts of waste. However, you will need to follow applicable U.S. Department of Transportation requirements for the waste being shipped.
  • Disposing of the hazardous waste pesticide under the universal waste rule in Missouri is an option that can reduce the regulatory burden on businesses allowing less stringent disposal requirements versus disposal under the more stringent hazardous waste regulations. The Universal Waste Rule in Missouri - PUB2058 summarizes the requirements of the rule.

Pesticide Container Disposal

In addition to label requirements, some pesticide containers must meet the requirements set forth in 40 CFR 261.7, Residues of Hazardous Wastes in Empty Containers, to be considered empty. Empty containers that once stored pesticide classified as acute hazardous waste versus containers that stored pesticide classified as non-acute hazardous waste may require different treatment methods for declaring the container empty. After the container is made empty according to label and 40 CFR 261.7 standards, the container should be punctured. Empty containers may be sent for recycling or placed in the trash and sent to a permitted solid waste landfill.

Ag Container Recycling Council is a non-profit organization that receives money from pesticide manufacturers to provide free pesticide container recycling programs throughout the United States. The Pesticide Container Management - PUB2727 includes more detail on managing empty pesticide containers.

Disposal of Pesticides Not Classified As Hazardous Waste

If you are absolutely certain the pesticide is not classified as a hazardous waste the pesticide may be solidified and placed into the sanitary landfill if the landfill chooses to accept it. However, because all pesticides are designed to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate pests, disposal should be done in a professional manner preferably following the hazardous waste or universal waste laws and regulations.

A listing of the pesticides from 40 CFR 261.31 through 40 CFR 261.33 is provided below in Table 1. Please note the table may not include all hazardous waste pesticides. Table 1 includes various Hazardous Waste Codes (RCRA #) that have special meanings and are defined as follows:

F-List hazardous wastes from nonspecific sources (40 CFR 261.31)
P-List acutely toxic hazardous wastes from specific sources (40 CFR 261.33(e))
U-List toxic hazardous wastes and other commercial chemical products (40 CFR 261.33(f))
Toxicity characteristic hazardous wastes that meet or exceed the regulatory level listed in the table (as shown by laboratory analysis)

Table 1. Pesticides in parts 261.31 and 261.33

Pesticide/Chemical CAS # RCRA # Toxicity Characteristic # Regulatory Level (mg/L)
1,1,1-Trichloroethane 71-55-6 U226    
2,4-D, Salts, Esters and Acids Various U240 D016 200.00
2,4,5-T, Salts, Esters and Acids Various F027    
A-Naphthylthiourea (ANTU) 86-88-4 P072    
Acrolein 107-02-8 P003    
Aldicarb 116-06-3 P070    
Aldrin 309-00-2 P004    
Allyl Alcohol 107-18-6 P005    
Aluminum Phosphide 1302-45-0 P006        
Aluminum Phosphide 20859-73-8 P006        
Aluminum Phosphide 1302-45-0 P006        
Amitrole 61-82-5 U011        
Arsenic Trioxide 1327-53-3 P012        
Arsenic Acid 7778-39-4 P010        
Arsenic Pentoxide 1303-28-2 P011        
Avitrol 504-24-5 P008        
Cacodylic Acid 75-60-5 U136        
Calcium Cyanide 592-01-8 P021        
Carbon Tetrachloride 56-23-5 U211        
Carbon Disulfide 75-15-0 P022        
Chlordane 57-74-9 U036 D020 0.03        
Chlordecone 143-50-0 U142        
Chlorobenzene 108-90-7 U037 D021 100.00        
Chlorobenzilate 510-15-6 U038        
D-D (1,2-Dichloropropane) 8003-19-8 U083        
DDD 72-54-8 U060        
DDT 50-29-3 U061        
Diallate 2303-16-4 U062        
Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) 96-12-8 U066        
Dieldrin 60-57-1 P037            
Dimethoate 60-51-5 P044            
Dinoseb 88-85-7 P020            
Disulfoton 298-04-4 P039            
Endosulfan 115-29-7 P050            
Endothall Disodium 129-67-9 P088            
Endrin 72-20-8 P051 D012 0.02            
Erbon 136-25-4 F027            
Ethylene Dibromide 106-93-4 U067            
Famphur 52-85-7 P097            
Fluoracetamide/1081 640-19-7 P057            
Fluoracetamide 640-19-7 P057            
Formaldehyde 50-00-0 U122            
Furfural 98-01-1 U125            
Heptachlor 76-48-8 P059 D031 0.008            
Hexachlorobenzene 118-74-1 U127            
Isodrin 465-73-6 P069            
Kepone 143-50-0 U142            
Lead Acetate 301-04-2 U144            
Lindane 58-89-9 U129 D013 0.4                
Maleic Hydrazide 123-33-1 U148                
Methomyl 16752-77-5 P066                
Methoxychlor 72-43-5 U247 D014 10.0                
Methyl Bromide 74-83-9 U029                
Methyl Parathion 298-00-0 P071                
Nicotine 54-11-5 P075                
Nitrobenzene 98-95-3 U169                
OMPA, Schradan 152-16-9 P085                
Orthodichlorobenzene 95-50-1 U070                
Paradichlorobenzene 106-46-7 U072                
Parathion 56-38-2 P089                
Pentachlorophenol, Salts 7778-73-6 F027                
Pentachlorophenol 87-86-5 U242 D037 100.00                
Phenylmercuric Acetate (PMA) 62-38-4 P092                
Phorate 298-02-2 P094                
PMA 62-38-4 P092                
Potassium Cyanide 151-50-8 P098                
Procytox 50-18-0 U058                    
Pronamide 23950-58-5 U192                    
Safrole 94-59-7 U203                    
Silvex, Salts, Acids and Esters Various F027                    
Sodium Cyanide 143-33-9 P106                    
Sodium Pentachlorophenate 131-52-2 F027                    
Sodium Fluoroacetate 62-74-8 P058                    
Strychnine And Salts 60-41-3 P108                    
Strychnine Alkaloid 57-24-9 P108                    
Sulfotepp 3689-24-5 P109                    
Thallium Sulfate 7446-18-6 P115                        
Thiofanox 39196-18-4 P045                        
Thiram 137-26-8 U244                        
Toxaphene 8001-35-2 P123 D015 0.5                        
Warfarin 81-81-2 U248                        
Wood Creosote 8021-39-4 U051                        
Zinc Phosphide (<10%) 1314-84-7 U249                        
Zinc Pentachlorophenate 2917-32-0 F027                        
Zinophos 297-97-2 P040                        

Additional Information

Pesticide Container Management - PUB2727
Ag Container Recycling Council
EPA Guidance document, Typical Wastes Generated by Industry Sectors
Handbook for Small-Quantity Generators - PUB2174
Hazardous Waste Generator Registration, Reporting and Waste Fees - PUB2254
Hazardous Waste Generator Status Guidance - PUB 2224
Licensed Hazardous and Infectious Waste Transporter List
Make the Decision to Discard a Pesticide Decision Tree
Managing Conditionally Exempt Small Quantities of Hazardous Waste - PUB0128
Missouri Commercial Hazardous Waste Facilities List - PUB0968
The Universal Waste Rule in Missouri - PUB2058
Pesticide Collection home page
Code of Federal Regulations
Code of State Regulations for Department of Natural Resources
Missouri Revised Statutes


Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.


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