Pesticide Container Recycling

The Michigan Pesticide Container Recycling Program is a partnership between the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, the Michigan Agri-Business Association, the Ag Container Recycling Council, agri-chemical dealers, and pesticide users across Michigan. The program protects groundwater by promoting the proper rinsing and recycling of pesticide jugs and drums. In addition to protecting our water, recycling empty containers reduces waste entering our landfills.

This national program is supported by the principal agri-chemical companies and through state fees assessed on the sale of pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers, and is a good example of cooperation and coordination among growers, agri-businesses, state government, and state and national associations. Michigan has collected and recycled more than 1.9 million pounds (950 tons) of properly rinsed plastic containers since 1993. Through a network of agri-businesses and conservation districts, growers are able to easily return their used, properly cleaned plastic containers for recycling. Even as we prepare for planting season, it is never too early to remember to set aside empty plastic containers for recycling.

Recycled pesticide containers are ground and used for various products, predominantly field drainage tiles, but also hazardous waste drums, speed bumps, construction site mats, among other items.

The program accepts all pesticide containers up to 56 gallon (plastic) drums under the regular program. There are three easy steps you must complete before recycling containers:

1. Remove any metal or other loose pieces on larger containers as well as any caps and loose labeling from any container, in general.

2. Triple-rinse or pressure rinse empty containers immediately after use. The rinse-water can be used in an appropriate diluted tank mix.

3. Store rinsed containers in a dry area away from wells and water supplies until a pick-up can be arranged, or take to a recycling location as soon as possible.

The vendor is particular about what will be accepted. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) or vendor will distribute plastic bags to interested businesses for collection of five gallon and smaller containers to facilitate storage and insure that properly prepared containers remain clean until pickup. These bags should handle approximately 40 to 50 - 2 ½ gallon empty, cleaned jugs.

There are two ways that a participating business/collection site can request a pickup of stored, clean containers

  1. Contact the current vendor, G. Phillips & Sons, LLC directly at 1-563-942-0391 or by email at 
  2. Contact MDARD at 1-517-284-5612

If your business is interested, it is best to contact G. Phillips & Sons in the spring so they can include you on their contact list - this facilitates planning to anticipate working your business into their scheduled pick-up routes. For more information on G. Phillips & Sons’ and their pick-up schedule go to their website:

If you are a farmer looking for a place to recycle your containers, the following may offer public drop-off locations or events. Please contact the conservation district prior to drop-off to learn about local schedules and procedures:

Grand Traverse Conservation District
1450 Cass Road
Traverse City, MI 49685
Grand Traverse County

Huron Conservation District
1460 South Van Dyke
Bad Axe, MI 48413
Huron County

Oceana Conservation District
1064 Industrial Park Dr.
Shelby, MI 49455
Oceana County

Please remember that prior arrangements are necessary.  

For more information contact Abby Eaton, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division, at 517-284-5612 or e-mail:

FY2018 Pesticide Container Recycling Annual Report