Safely Handling and Disposing of Gardening Chemicals

Gardening is a wonderful hobby that brings joy to your home with vibrant colors and delicious fruits and vegetables. However, as with any hobby, you may accumulate a collection of gardening chemicals over time. It is important to know how to handle, store, and safely dispose of these chemicals to protect yourself and the environment.

The Most Common Gardening Chemicals

Over the years, you might amass a variety of tools, products, and treatments for your garden, trees, and lawns. Let’s focus on two main categories of gardening chemicals that can pose hazards: pesticides and herbicides, as well as biosolid and chemical fertilizers.

Pesticides and Herbicides

These chemicals are designed to combat insects and weeds, but they can be harmful to both humans and the environment. It is crucial to handle and store them with caution, following the instructions on the labels. Most of these chemicals are not safe to dispose of in the trash or down the sink due to their impact on the ecosystem. Additionally, aerosol spray cans containing these chemicals can pose extra risks if stored improperly or compacted.

For more detailed information, you can check out our blog post on the Safe Disposal of Herbicides and Pesticides, as well as our Fact Sheets page!

Biosolid and Chemical Fertilizers

There are three major types of home garden and lawn fertilizers: organic fertilizers made from recycled yard and agricultural waste, chemical fertilizers made from artificially produced nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and biosolid fertilizers made from treated sewage. Among these, biosolid and chemical fertilizers cannot be disposed of in the trash or down the drain due to their harmful impact on the environment, such as causing algae blooms.

Further reading:  The Ultimate Guide to 19-19-19 Fertilizer: Transform Your Garden and More!

For more information, take a look at our blog post on Why Fertilizer is a Hazardous Household Product, and also our What We Accept page!

It’s important to note that excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, especially in combination with lawn care, can cause issues in your local environment and storm drains.

Disposing of Gardening Chemicals

If you have gardening chemicals that you no longer need, there are a few options for safe disposal. First, if the products are still usable and not expired, consider asking neighbors or friends if they could make use of them. You can also contact your local garden supply store to inquire if they accept unused fertilizer for disposal. If these options don’t work out or your products are unsafe to reuse, it’s time to find a household hazardous collection center that accepts gardening chemicals.

For an easy solution, you can check out the Ames Farm Center’s Household Hazardous Products Collection Centers! We can assist with the disposal of fertilizers and other gardening products like pesticides, along with a wide range of other household hazardous waste. To learn more, visit Ames Farm Center or schedule a pick-up.