Pesticides and other chemicals used on farms are often extremely poisonous, even in very small quantities.
So it’s vital that no bottle, jar, tin, box, plastic container, plastic bag or other receptacle that contained pesticides or other chemicals should ever be re-used, particularly for storing water, cooldrink or food.
Instead, these containers should be disposed of properly. Here’s how:
- Drain the empty containers completely and rinse them three times with clean water.
- Puncture holes in them to ensure they cannot be used again, and flatten them.
- Bury them in a pit far away from any house or animal pens.
- This pit should be at least 50m from a water source such as a river, dam or borehole, and in relatively high ground. The soil should not be too sandy, otherwise it might absorb leftover poisons.
- Line the pit with a 3cm to 5cm layer of lime.
- Place the containers and other farm waste in the pit in layers 10cm to 15cm deep, covering each layer with a layer of soil.
- Cover the pit with canvas to keep it dry.
- When the contents of the pit are 50cm from the top, fill with soil and compact it, creating a mound so that rainwater runs off.
- Put up a sign to warn people that this is a disposal site.
Source: Directorate Agricultural Information Services, department of agriculture.