Northern Michigan News: As an area rich in both agricultural activity and natural resources, the question of the safe disposal of pesticides, mercury and pharmaceuticals is an essential one in Northern Michigan. A solution is found in the Michigan's Clean Sweep Program, which is helping Northern Michigan do some "spring cleaning" at 17 disposal sites. Founded in 1996, the Clean Sweep Program ensures the safe and proper disposal of unwanted, outdates, or unused pesticides, mercury, and pharmaceuticals, preventing possible pollution of Michigan's vast natural resources.
“Clean Sweep is a proven example of how environmental protection can be accomplished through state, federal, local and industry partnerships,” said Keith Creagh, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director. “This program continues to lead the way in the proper disposal of pesticides, mercury and pharmaceuticals translating into cleaner and safer farmsteads, households, and communities.”
Coordinating with local and federal partners, MDARD has established 17 permanent Clean Sweep sites throughout Michigan. These sites safely dispose of the harmful materials at no cost to agricultural producers, golf courses, agri-businesses and other individuals.
Clean Sweep has received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant, and over the past 15 years has used this funding to remove nearly 1.9 million pounds of pesticides from circulation. In 2011, 120,014 pounds of pesticides, 10,000 pounds of pharmaceuticals, and 1,500 pounds of mercury were collected through the program.
MDARD, through the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and supported by pesticide and fertilizer registration fees on specialty and agricultural products, provides funding to local communities to support the disposal of pesticides. Local units of government staff maintain the sites, schedule collections and conduct other activities.
Northern Michigan Collection Sites and Contact:
Kim Elliot Grand Traverse County
Grand Traverse Resource Recovery
Department of 'Recycle Smart'
2650 LaFrancier Road
Traverse City, MI, 49686
231.941.5555 [email protected]
Elisa Seltzer Emmet County
Department of Public Works
200 Division Street, Suit 6-76
Petoskey, MI, 49770
231.348.0660 [email protected]
Rick Aho Marquette County
Marquette County Solid Waste
600 County Road NP
Marquette, MI, 49855
909.249.4109 [email protected]