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How to Properly Dispose of Roundup

Author
Alicia Betz
March 21, 2021

Glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, is a pesticide that has garnered a lot of criticism lately for its links to cancer. Many people have stopped using the chemical on their weeds but wonder what to do with the extra product they have lying around. Because it is considered household hazardous waste, getting rid of roundup is not as simple as throwing it in the trash or dumping it down the drain.

What is Roundup?

Roundup is a weedkiller made of glyphosate. It’s been around since the 1970’s and has been one of the most popular weedkillers for decades. The chemical is popular because it works. Very shortly after glyphosate is sprayed on a plant it turns brown and dies, almost as if by magic. 

The ease with which this chemical kills plants began to make people wonder if it was safe to be spraying around their homes and crops. Nonetheless, decades went by after its inception without concrete evidence that it may be unsafe.

roundup dispose safely

Until 2000, glyphosate was patented and was only sold under the Roundup brand name. Since then, many other companies have begun selling the chemical under different brand names.

Why is Roundup Dangerous?

In recent years, the manufacturer of Roundup has garnered a lot of criticism for allegedly covering up concerns surrounding the safety of the weedkiller. Tens of thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Bayer, alleging that Roundup caused their (or their loved one’s) cancer. 

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a Group 2A probable carcinogen. The harmful effects of the weedkiller seem to be particularly detrimental among people who regularly used Roundup for years and who used it without protective clothing and other coverings.

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How to Get Rid of Roundup

Knowing that the active ingredient in Roundup — glyphosate — may cause cancer in humans, it makes sense that you should take care when you get rid of it. When you realize how dangerous Roundup can be, you might be tempted to get rid of it any way you can as quickly as you can. Not disposing of the chemical properly can perpetuate the cycle of glyphosate being in our environment. Do your part and follow the proper protocols to get rid of Roundup. 

If you’ve decided to stop using Roundup but have extra in your home, you should not throw it in the trash, dump it down the drain, dump it down the street drain, or flush it down the toilet.

dispose chemicals safely

Roundup needs to be disposed of as hazardous household waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pesticides like Roundup can harm fish, plants, and other wildlife if they’re not disposed of properly. They can also be returned into your drinking water if your local waste management is not able to filter out all of the pesticides. 

If you have Roundup in your home, here is how you can properly dispose of it: 

  • First, check the label for any product-specific disposal instructions. 
  • Contact your local health department, state environmental agency, or waste management authority. Ask them for your local options to dispose of household hazardous waste. 
  • If you’re having trouble gathering information from local authorities, call 1-800-CLEANUP or visit www.earth911.com.
  • You can also try contacting local nurseries, landscapers, farms, or garden services. They may be able to help you dispose of your leftover Roundup or advise you on how they dispose of these materials. 
  • When you dispose of Roundup or clean out the containers after disposal, wear proper gloves and eye coverings to reduce your risk of exposure to the chemical. 

Avoid following general information you find online regarding Roundup disposal. This is likely to be good advice, but hazardous waste disposal guidelines vary by region. Your local or state laws may be more strict than the general guidelines, so do your due diligence to find out the exact requirements in your area

It may be tempting to think that just one container of Roundup down the drain or in the trash won’t make a difference. This is a very dangerous mindset that can harm plants, wildlife, and even yourself.  

After you’ve disposed of your Roundup, you should not re-use the containers for anything, and especially not for something that will be consumed by humans or animals. Leftover glyphosate can leach into anything you put into the container. If you decide to use a safer weedkilling alternative, be sure to store it in a clean container that was never used to store glyphosate. 

To get rid of your used Roundup containers, rise them thoroughly after disposing of the chemical inside. Ideally, you should also dispose of your rinse water the same way you disposed of the Roundup initially. Then, you can recycle the container. line

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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