In March 2019, the first Pesticide Disposal Day in over nine years was held in Ashe County. Over 5000 pounds of unused or expired pesticides were collected. It was a huge success, and also gave an opportunity to expand.
North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center will provide a container to place at your farm to dispose of used, expired, or empty vaccine and antibiotic bottles. Once you are ready to exchange the container for an empty one, please bring it to the Cooperative Extension Office. From there, Cooperative Extension will take the containers to Stericycle, a company specializing in medical waste and disposal.
We take this extra step because we are stewards of this land. If not disposed of properly livestock medication can cause resistant bacteria, such as E.Coli, that can be hard to control. It can also end up in the water, as treatment systems cannot remove medications and vaccines from wastewater. Vaccines and medications can kill fish and other aquatic species and hormones may interfere with reproduction and normal growth.
Medications ending up in the soil can affect soil bacteria. The bacteria is unable to process nitrates and nitrites, affecting the soil fertility and causing issues with pastures or hayfields.
We properly dispose of our pesticides and our medications. Now it’s time to take the next step and do the same with our livestock medications.