Pesticide waste

Because of their toxic properties, pesticides can be harmful to humans and other living species. The management of pesticide waste is important because of their hazardous materials (hazmat) properties This hyperlink will open in a new window.) that can present a danger to the environment and health. To limit risks, the management of pesticide waste is regulated. Some municipal by-laws are supplementary to provincial regulations. For more information, contact your municipality This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Management by individuals

Never dispose of leftover pesticides in the sink, septic tank or sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants do not treat pesticide pollution. Instead, take your leftover pesticides to the ecocentre or participate in your municipality's household hazardous waste collection.

Empty containers must be drained and rinsed three times. Rinsed containers must be crushed or punctured to prevent them from being used for other purposes. Empty containers should never be burned or buried. Keep them in a safe place until final disposal can be arranged. Empty containers and well-wrapped small spill containment materials may be disposed of with household garbage if they are not deemed hazardous materials.

Management by Commercial Users

Empty commercial product containers

AgriRÉCUP runs annual collection drives for empty agricultural containers This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Empty containers, rinsed and without caps and labels, are accepted at participating retailers' collection sites.

To limit the number of empty containers in the environment, many companies offer factory filled and sealed reusable deposit containers. After use, non-rinsed containers are returned to the company's depot. Another option is to use water-soluble packaging.

Leftover slurry

Slurry is the result of mixing a pesticide with water. In order to avoid overspraying, estimate as accurately as possible the amount needed for application based on the area to be treated and recommended spray rate.  

Overage can be saved for later application or used on an area that has not yet been treated but requires the same treatment. Do not dump excess slurry into the sewer system.

Rinse water

Rinse water from cleaning empty containers contains low concentrations of pesticides. It can be applied to the previously treated area when it does not interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment. If this type of disposal is not appropriate, it is preferable to spray the rinsate in a low-risk area, away from streams, lakes, and at least 50 meters from wells. It should not be discharged into the sewer system.

Pesticide injection systems installed on sprayers are recommended as they mix pesticide concentrate and water immediately before passing through the nozzles. Water-soluble packaging, which minimizes rinse water, and returnable containers, are also recommended.

Non-useful or expired pesticides

Intact containers of non-useful products can be returned to suppliers. AgriRÉCUP also runs a secure collection and disposal program This hyperlink will open in a new window. for approved expired or unusable agricultural pesticides every three years. Unusable or expired pesticides that have hazmat properties must be recycled or disposed of by holders of Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) authorized permits. The list of addresses of authorized permit holders is available from regional offices of the MELCC.

For more information, view the list of pesticides deemed hazmat This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Pesticide spills

If you witness a spill, immediately notify Urgence-Environnement This hyperlink will open in a new window.. Contain the liquids by surrounding them with absorbent materials. These materials will be considered as pesticide waste, even in the case of a minor spill.

If the spill is minor and the pesticide is not deemed a hazmat, the absorbent material can be disposed of with the household waste. Quickly cover the spill with a thick layer of absorbent material such as cat litter or newsprint. Wait for this material to absorb the spillage liquid before disposing of it. Avoid spraying the material with water. Instead, put it inside a plastic bag and dispose of it in a garbage can lined with a second plastic bag.

If the pesticide is deemed a hazmat, the waste must be recycled or disposed of by a holder of a MELCC authorization permit.

For more information, view the list of pesticides deemed hazmat This hyperlink will open in a new window..

In the event of a minor spill on the ground, the contaminated soil must be excavated and treated as pesticide waste. All containers of pesticide-impregnated soil and/or absorbent materials must be sealed, labelled and stored in a safe place for disposal by a licensed waste management company. Never use water to dilute spilled pesticides.

In the event of major soil contamination, land remediation must be planned. The landowner must report the soil contamination and type to the Bureau de la publicité des droits This hyperlink will open in a new window.Land that poses a significant risk to health and the environment must be remediated, contained, or restricted from use.

Important contact information

Urgence-Environnement This hyperlink will open in a new window.
1 866 694-5454

CANUTEC This hyperlink will open in a new window.  (hazmat transport)
Emergency line: 1 888 226-8832
For more information: 514 633-3400

Poison Control Centre  This hyperlink will open in a new window.
1 800 463-5060

AgriRÉCUP This hyperlink will open in a new window.
1 877 ​​​​​​​622-4460

Last update: February 2, 2022


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