Pesticide Rinsate Management

Waste Management Program fact sheet
05/2020
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith
PUB2870

This fact sheet provides guidance for pesticide applicators on how to properly manage pesticide rinsate. The proper management of pesticide rinsate helps protect human health and the environment while also allowing the applicator to utilize as much of the pesticide product for its intended purpose as possible. Always read and follow the pesticide label before using any pesticide because the label is the law.

Most pesticide labels require pesticide containers be rinsed prior to recycling or disposal to ensure as much of the product is cleaned from the container as possible. In addition to rinsing product containers, pesticide application equipment needs thorough rinsing when switching between products and before storage. Below are some common questions with answers regarding pesticide rinsate management. 

Q: Can pesticide rinsate be used to make up the next batch of like formulation?  

A: Yes, as long as the amount of pesticide in the rinsate plus the amount of pesticide product in the mixture does not exceed the labeled rate for the target site. 

Q: Can rinsate be reapplied to a labeled site? 

A: Yes, as long as the labeled rate isn’t exceeded over the site.

Q: Can pesticide rinsate be discharged to a publicly owned treatment works (POTW)? 

A: It depends. Volume, concentration and rate of discharge of the rinsate are factors likely considered by a POTW before allowing the discharge to occur. Always contact the POTW first to ask for permission to discharge into the system. 

Q: What if I am unsure what pesticide product the rinsate resulted from? 

If you are a Missouri farmer or householder you can solidify the rinsate and discard in the trash or dispose of the rinsate the same as a business as noted next. If you are a business (e.g., commercial pesticide applicator) you would need to conduct a hazardous waste determination on the rinsate in order to determine proper disposal.  Managing Pesticide Waste, Fact Sheet--PUB2596 is a fact sheet developed for business management of pesticide waste.     

Best management practices associated with managing pesticide rinsate:

Best management practices associated with rinsing pesticide containers/application equipment:

Additional information

Managing Pesticide Waste, Fact Sheet--PUB2596
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Waste Management Program
Missouri Department of Agriculture Bureau of Pesticide Control

For environmental emergencies contact the Department’s spill line at 573-634-2436.